Pregnant and in Pain?

Around 1 in 5 women will experience mild discomfort during pregnancy. It is really important to look after yourself when you are expecting. Your body will go through an extraordinary amount of change and many women will experience problems such as fatigue, fluid retention, headaches and pain.
These aches and pains, if left untreated may progress to interfere with everyday activities such as walking, climbing the stairs and getting out of chairs. After having the baby, you will need to be able to cope with added demands of lifting, changing and feeding baby as well as manoeuvring baby carriers and car seats. All these activities require a strong back, pelvis and abdominal muscles.

Back pain is one of the most common problems during pregnancy. As the baby grows so does the uterus, this alters your centre of gravity which creates a more forward posture. In turn your lower back curves more than usual resulting in strained muscles, stiffness and pain in the lower back.

Sciatica is a term referring to the altered sensation down the back of the legs and into the calf. Symptoms can consist of pins and needles, numbness, cramp or pain. During pregnancy weight gain, expansion of the uterus and increased fluid retention can put pressure on the nerve where it passes through the pelvis, compressing it. When the baby starts to shift in the third trimester, the head can rest directly on the nerve causing pain in the buttock which can refer down the legs.

SPD, PPGP or PGP is characterised by pain in the centre of the pelvis. During pregnancy a hormone called Relaxin loosens the ligaments in the pelvis causing the pelvic bones to lose some of their stability and become misaligned. The main symptom is usually pain or discomfort in the pelvic region. This will probably be centred on the joint at the front of the pelvis (the pubic symphysis). It is also common to hear a cracking or popping sensation in the lower back, hip or sacroiliac joint during walking or changing position.

Sacroiliac Disfunction is where the SI joints are formed by the connection of the sacrum and the right and left iliac bones. During pregnancy, hormones are released into the body, allowing ligaments to relax. This prepares the body for childbirth. Relaxation of the ligaments holding the SI joints together allows for increased motion in the joints and can lead to increased stresses and abnormal wear. The additional weight and walking pattern associated with pregnancy also places additional stress on the SI joints.

Mike Varney Physiotherapy are a private clinic in Harlow, offering pregnancy and post-natal therapy to reduce your pain and improve your overall pregnancy experience. The qualified therapists can offer you a range of treatment techniques to aid in your recovery including:

  • Kinesiotape to support the lower back and provide relief from SPD
  • Pregnancy Massage to relax the body and provide relief from aching muscles.
  • Manual Therapy to ensure your spine, pelvis and hip joints are moving normally.
  • Active Isolated Stretching to relax individual muscle groups that overwork during the changes in pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy and Post Natal Pilates Exercises to strengthen and retrain the abdominals, pelvic floor and hip muscles during and after pregnancy.

Should you be unfortunate enough to be suffering from pregnancy related pain please contact the clinic on 01279 4149 or visit for more information.

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