Approximately 75% of women who are pregnant will experience back pain at some point before their baby arrives. Inevitable weight gain and change in body shape combined with ligament laxity can lead to prenatal back pain. Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises to target the back, leg and abdominal muscles can help prevent or ease pain. If you are pregnant, or know someone who is, these three simple exercises may help make the journey to motherhood a bit more comfortable.
Move to hands and knees position with arms shoulder-width apart and knees hip-width apart. Inhale through nose. Exhale, then pull your belly-button towards spine as you tuck buttocks under and round back. Hold abdominals tight as you breathe for 3 to 5 counts. Relax back to a neutral position as you inhale. Repeat 10-15 times.
Move to hands and knees position as above. Inhale through nose, exhale through mouth and pull belly-button to spine tightening abdominal muscles. As you hold abdominals tight, inhale, extending one leg back. Move slowly to ensure good balance and control as you keep hips and back level. Bring knee back to start. Repeat 10 times on each leg,
Stand with back against wall, feet hip-width apart. Place pillow or ball between knees and squeeze gently. Exhale, then pull your belly-button towards your spine tightening abdominals and pressing low back to wall. Inhale and begin moving down the wall, slowly bending knees. Stop when hips are just above the level of your knees. Exhale and press back up using legs. Be sure that knees do not move forward past the ankles or toes.
If you are experiencing back pain during pregnancy that persists or begins to worsen, consult your doctor to ask if physical therapy might work for you. An individualized treatment plan by a physical therapist can address specific issues and help you prepare to care for your baby without the aches and pains.
Source: www.journalstar.com; Jill Smith; July 15, 2013.