Low back discomfort is a very common condition among pregnant women due to which about fifty percent of all pregnancies end in hospital admissions. In fact, most gynecologists consider back pain during pregnancy as a normal occurrence in pregnancy. Although not life-threatening, pregnant women tend to experience a considerable amount of pain in their abdominals as well as the lower back region. A physiotherapist-perinatal team is highly recommended for pregnant women with low backache.
Normally, women experience pain during pregnancy as a result of hormonal changes. The level of hormones at this stage may be too high or low and this may result in abnormal development of the spinal cord. There are several causes of back discomfort during pregnancy like spinal misalignment, disc degeneration and muscle injury. Most pregnant women report difficulty in sitting up straight or lifting heavy objects and this problem is usually associated with back pains during pregnancy.
During postnatal care, the physiotherapist will start treating the patients with back pain during pregnancy with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are usually used to treat mild pain and discomfort. The other type of drug commonly used is acetaminophen which is available in tablet form and can be taken for two weeks. Antibiotics are also prescribed in such situations for the purpose of decreasing pain. Usually, a physiotherapist-perinatal team of doctors is preferred by the medical practitioner when pain persists after four weeks of treatment. This team consists of a registered medical practitioner, a registered nurse and a registered physiotherapist.
After the postnatal period, physiotherapy can be continued. This will ensure that the patient’s body is healed and does not recur in future. In most cases, physiotherapy does not cure back pains during pregnancy because some patients have to go through a whole course of treatment to get relief from the pain. This is mainly because each case of pain is different. Hence, it would be wise to seek advice from the registered nurse for individualized treatment in order to avoid wasting time on the wrong course of treatment.
Patients should be careful while lifting heavy objects during the course of their treatment, as this could lead to a back injury. Physiotherapy can be continued even after the pregnancy is over. As a matter of fact, a pregnant woman should avoid lifting heavier objects or going for extended walks as her weight is increased. and the body needs more time to recover from the birth.
Physiotherapy should be continued after the delivery to prevent injury to the spine. The pregnant woman should exercise and stretch her muscles for better posture so that her posture improves and the weight-bearing exercises help to ease the pressure on her back.