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“The Pregnancy Is Going Well but My Back Is so Achy!”

Joti Mall, (Hon) BSc. Life Sci, MSc. PT, RPT - Registered Physiotherapist, Acupuncture & Dry Needling Provider

This is a statement many of you must have heard before. Although the little bundle of joy is growing in mummy’s tummy, many other physiological changes are occurring at the same time. So why is pregnancy often accompanied by low back pain?


During pregnancy, the body releases hormones to loosen the ligaments in preparation for childbirth. You can think of ligaments almost as seat belts that hold certain structures in place. As a result of this, the stabilizing function of these ligaments is reduced. This may lead to excessive shearing and shifting of structures upon each other. It may also result in the body becoming more susceptible to injury. Excessive laxity in the low back and pelvis area can then lead to low back pain.


As the fetus continues to grow, the woman’s pelvis and low back will compensate to maintain her balance. This can often result in the deepening of the curve in her low back which can place additional stress on the muscles and surrounding structures. Over a prolonged period, this may then cause low back pain.


Although there are many changes which occur within the body, there is a lot that can be done to try to reduce the amount of low back pain experienced during pregnancy. This may include altering sleeping and resting positions. It may also include strengthening or stretching specific muscle groups. Even simple education on the technique required to lift or carry certain objects can make a difference. Speak to your physiotherapist about your options today!