Backpain in Pregnancy

In this article by Islington’s Angel Osteopathic Clinic’s Osteopath she will discuss:

• Back pain in pregnancy
• Causes of back pain in pregnancy
• Osteopathic treatment of back pain in pregnancy
• Is pregnancy induced back pain preventable
• Post childbirth back pain
• Long term management of pregnancy induced back pain

Back pain in pregnancy

Back pain is common in pregnancy and most women experience some form of pelvic ache or low back pain during their pregnancy. A few unlucky individuals will go on to develop a more longstanding problem and this article will give advice that will help with that.

It is important to distinguish between pre-pregnancy and post-pregnancy backache. Some women may get a flare up of historical back pain they may have had whilst others may get back pain for the first time.

Causes back pain in pregnancy?

Historical back pain

The flare up of historical back pain may be an exacerbation of back pain that you have always been prone to. As the bump increases in size it changes how you move and perform even the most mundane of things, such as getting in and out of bed, getting in and out of the car and even how you sit in front of a computer. All of these activities may be compromised by the bump and this will stress the back and may re-injure an area predisposed to back pain.

Back pain in pregnancy can recur if you have had a history of disc pain with or without sciatica, or facet joint pain, or a history of straining muscles in your lumbar spine due to poor posture or poor lifting or sitting habits.

These conditions recur often at the end of the day or if you have been on your feet for a long time. This is because your muscles get tired and your ligaments stretch slightly from the weight of your body and baby. In other words the reasons that you get back pain before and after pregnancy are the same.

Pregnancy induced back pain

Pain around the front or back of the pelvis can occur as a result of pregnancy and often needs to be treated differently to the historical back pain due to the specific cause, pregnancy!

Pain around the front of the pelvis maybe caused by Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction and pain around the buttocks may be caused by sacroiliac joint dysfunction. The pain from both of these conditions is due to spraining of the ligaments and joints and the subsequent inflammation.

Osteopathic treatment of low back pain

Osteopathy is a profession and not a treatment and there are various techniques that can be used to help the flare up of historical low back pain as well as for the treatment of pregnancy induced low back pain. Often with pregnancy induced low back pain techniques other than manipulation are used as the joints are already very mobile and manipulation can aggravate the condition.

Osteopathic treatment may involve gentle stretching and low force techniques to help realign both the pelvis and the sprained and inflamed joints. In addition advice may be given regarding carrying out everyday activities and about appropriate ways to exercise.

Is pregnancy induced back pain preventable?

Nothing can be guaranteed but you can get your body prepared for pregnancy in the same way that you would not attempt to run a marathon without a training plan to ready your body for 26 miles of running!

Back pain can be helped by making sure you are as fit as possible before getting pregnant, both physically but mentally. Our clinic has a parent coach and a nutritional therapist to help with getting your diet right and dealing with any emotional problems.

If you are already pregnant, it is not too late to work on your health and an appropriate exercise regime during pregnancy can go a long way to helping prevent or minimise pregnancy induced back pain. In addition to preventing back pain during pregnancy working on your physical health may help childbirth and prevent any post childbirth back pain.

Post childbirth back-pain

After nine months of pregnancy childbirth can be a relief. There is a downside, your body has been accommodating the growing foetus and this has put an increasing amount of effort through the ligaments and joints of the pelvis. At the end of nine months there is the effort of giving birth and then caring for a demanding baby. Lifting in and out of a cot, in and out of a car seat and breast-feeding. All of these are demanding and can increase the chance of pelvic pain.

Long-term management of pregnancy induced back pain

Once you have given birth you don’t have the big bump getting in the way of life and making everyday tasks awkward. But you do have to be careful as giving birth is demanding and it may take a few months to get over the physicality of childbirth. This of course can be aided by appropriate exercises and the Angel Osteopathic Clinic’s osteopath is more than qualified to recommend the best form of exercise.

As your baby grows there are other demands as they still like to be carried but are getting heavier and heavier. Correct lifting techniques need to be maintained and posture needs to be monitored with the appropriate rehabilitation exercises prescribed to help maintain good spinal function.


If you are pregnant or are trying to conceive and you want to find out more about how the Angel Osteopathic Clinic can help with any of the following:

• Back pain in pregnancy
• Causes of back pain in pregnancy
• Osteopathic treatment of back pain in pregnancy
• Is pregnancy induced back pain preventable
• Post childbirth back pain
• Long term management of pregnancy induced back pain


Please contact Islington's Angel Osteopathic Clinic's osteoapth, Chantal Prince for further information on how osteoathy can help with pregnancy induced back pain.

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