It is usually said that pregnancy is not a disease, but it can still be a great stress, both physically and mentally. Therefore, the pregnant woman and her family always need extra attention and support.
It goes without saying that the physical strain can weigh on and hurt the pregnant woman.
A good advice for those who have no pain yet or just the beginning of back and pelvic pain: plan your pregnancy leave well in advance, so you can be home the last month before the baby arrives. It is just as nice and important physically and mentally for those who are to become a mother and father for the first time as for the “grandfather’s” family.
With the knowledge of “unwinding” and thinking about yourself and the unborn child, full time last month, you will also indirectly be able to prevent and / or reduce some back and pelvic pain.
How do these pelvic and back pain occur?
Very early in pregnancy, softening of all joints and ligaments begins with the hormone relaxin. The joint fluid increases and thickens. In this way, the joints become softer and more mobile. This also applies to the woman’s pelvic joints / joints. This is a completely natural process that continues throughout pregnancy. In this way, the woman’s posture and pelvis are adjusted to the child’s growth and the pelvic opening becomes larger and more resilient during childbirth.
If you have pelvic pain, it can be difficult to determine where they come from. It may be the pelvic joints (= joint loosening), the muscles or the numerous ligaments around the pelvis that trigger the pain.
Pain in the pelvis can be divided into two main groups:
- Pain triggered due to fatigue / irritation, overload or malfunction of pelvic joints or ligaments.
- Pain conditions triggered from all pelvic structures, such as uterine segments / ligaments, as well as muscles, ligaments, and nerves of the pelvis. The pelvic joints can also be softened to such an extent that the woman really feels that the pelvis is unstable, so-called joint discharge.
Pelvic and back pain is a condition that can occur early in pregnancy and persist for some time after delivery. The diagnosis is made on the rather special symptoms that manifest themselves as pain and cause movement restrictions and walking difficulties.
How does the pelvic and back pain feel?
The pains can sit deep in the lower back and lower back, from where they radiate towards the groin. They can also be felt around the pubic bone and radiate towards the groin as well as the front and inside of the thighs. The pain is exacerbated by movement, for example when turning from back to side position in bed. It can also get worse as you walk. The steps become shorter and the walk almost rocky. Walking down stairs can be especially tiring and painful. The pain can also be triggered when lying down and trying to lift or stretch the leg.
The back and pelvic pain does not always have to come from the pelvic joints. The pains can also come from the ligaments, which hold the uterus in place in the pelvis, for example in a change of position in the bed. The muscles around the pelvis can become sore from having to work a lot one day. This also applies to the large ligaments around the pelvis.
The most common are back and pelvic pain after pregnancy week 28. The pain can also debut earlier during pregnancy.
What can you do if you get pelvic and back pain during pregnancy?
If you have pelvic pain and pain, talk to your doctor or midwife. Otherwise, you may risk worsening the condition and staying longer than necessary.
You can reduce your pain and pain yourself by:
- Avoid, as far as possible, movements that hurt.
- Stand firmly on both feet and with the weight under the hollow foot, that is, just as much weight on the front foot pad as on the heel.
- In all the movements you do, whether you sit down, stand up or turn around, you have to think about doing it with unified legs, ie holding your knees together.
- Lay down and sit down properly. Get up from the lying position by rolling around the side with your legs together. Get up to sit by pushing away with your elbow and other hand. Feel free to have a pillow between your knees and lower legs at all times.
- Do not twist the body with the feet “firmly” in the floor. Keep your nose up to your shoe tips all the time. So you “trip” around when you turn.
- “Rock” like a duck when walking, it is a way for the body to reduce the load on the joints / pelvic joints.
- Go with short steps.
- Cycling rather than walking. Avoid long walks (longer than 30 min).
- At stairs, walk as a child. Put both feet on the same step.
- If possible, avoid stairs, take the elevator instead.
- Never sit in deep sofas or chairs.
- Do not place one leg over the other while sitting.
- When lying on the side, have a large pillow between your knees. Always sit down when wearing trousers, socks and shoes, so as not to tempt the joints.
- Wear shoes that are firmly on the foot, to avoid wrinkles and the like (this will strain the joints). High heels and clogs should be avoided.
- Tricks in the pelvic floor repeatedly during the day. This is a must. The “pinch muscle” helps hold the pelvis together.
- Try to support / hold the pelvis with a wide band around the hips. You can of course also try out a supportive pelvic belt at the physiotherapist.
You can get further information and help from your midwife / doctor.
Today, acupuncture is a very common treatment for back and pelvic pain. Acupuncture treatment, once or twice a week, can be given by your midwife or physiotherapist. Your physiotherapist may also try out a pelvic belt for you, to firm up your pelvis. Relaxation and mental exercise also have a positive impact on these types of pain.
It is important to get support and understanding from the rest of the family and workmates. Sometimes sick leave may still be necessary.
What does the outlook look like?
If the pelvic and back pain is diagnosed and treated correctly, the possibilities are good for the actual delivery and the time thereafter to pass without any hassle. In addition to the support of your family and surroundings, you must be active yourself so your pregnancy progresses well.
It is equally important to take into account the pelvic and back pain after childbirth. Thus, some women also suffer from post-natal problems – mainly those who have had problems from several pelvic joints, including severe pain, before giving birth. For these, it may take longer to be fully restored. If only the symphysis / pubic bone has been involved, the pain disappears faster after birth.
If the woman has problems more than six months after childbirth, she is urged to start early pelvic and back exercises during the next pregnancy.
To reduce pelvic pain during the next pregnancy, it is recommended that trouble free for at least six months before that pregnancy. It is also an advantage if the youngest child can take care of himself, for example by dressing and undressing.