Safe and Effective Treatments for Pregnancy-Related Back Pain

Apart from fatigue, nausea, and swollen feet, most women experience back pain during pregnancy.

Pain is commonly felt in the lower back, in the posterior pelvic region, and the lower lumbar region. Therapy for pregnancy-related back pain is recommended to minimize discomfort.

Symptoms of Back Pain During Pregnancy

50% to 70% of women experience back pain during the second half of pregnancy. Some of the specific symptoms they experience are:

  • Stiffness or discomfort after standing or sitting for prolonged periods of time
  • Pain that radiates to the legs
  • Pain over the pubic bone
  • Pain in the thighs or buttocks
  • Pain in the center of the back
  • Pain above or at the sides of the waistline

Causes of Pregnancy-Related Back Pain

Various factors can cause back pain during pregnancy, such as:

  • Weight gain – Your growing infant creates additional weight that your spine must support. This may cause lower back pain over time. The extra weight can also put pressure on the nerves and blood vessels in the pelvis and back.
  • Center of gravity – Pregnancy shifts your center of gravity and causes your posture to gradually bend forward. This may result in back strain.
  • Hormonal changes – During pregnancy, the body produces “relaxin,” a hormone that loosens joints and relaxes ligaments in the pelvic area in preparation for childbirth. Relaxin also loosens ligaments that support the spine, resulting in discomfort and instability over time.

Traditional Treatments

  • Exercise – Regular exercise strengthens muscles, boosts flexibility, and reduces spinal strain. Safe exercises for most pregnant women include yoga, walking, swimming, and stationary cycling.
  • Heat and cold – Doctors often recommend applying hot and cold compresses on the painful area for up to 20 minutes at various times of the day.
  • Acupuncture – Thin needles are inserted into the skin at specific locations to ease pain.

A better option…

In some cases, back pain during pregnancy is a sign of something more serious. Although the traditional solutions discussed above may help mitigate common symptoms, they do not address the underlying cause of the pain.

Our Superior Method offers a different approach to treatment. We address the primary pain source and strive to develop lasting relief so you can resume your regular activities as soon as possible. Created by our own Dr. Andrew Dischinger, this method may include the following procedures:

Full-body Movement Assessment
Successful healing begins with discovering the root cause of the patient’s pain. In most cases, pain in one area is only a symptom of a larger issue. In a full-body movement assessment, the source of the problem is identified by examining the movement of nearby or connected parts. This allows movement to be restored and the body to complete the healing process.

Hands-on Manual Therapy
The Superior Method employs the help of a trained therapist certified in functional manual reaction. The therapist uses their hands to facilitate proper motion, improving areas of restriction. This is similar to deep tissue massage, but it incorporates movement.

Prescriptive Home Exercise Program
The Superior Method aims to educate patients on how the body moves to safely ease pain and restore function.
With our smartphone app called Movement RX, we empower patients with the knowledge and tools needed to attain long-term physical freedom. All of the instructions provided by your physician will also be video-recorded and sent directly to your email or mobile device.

Applied Functional Science
This principles-based method is designed to improve how the mind, body, and spirit work together to facilitate complete healing. All Superior Physical Therapy providers are Fellows of Applied Functional Science through the Gray Institute. This organization is led by the reputable physical therapist, Dr. Gary Gray.

Deep Muscle Stimulation
Mechanical vibrations that penetrate deep into the muscle tissue enable tissue regeneration and improve the lactic cycle, which is one of the most common causes of pain. The procedure also helps boost circulation and lymphatic flow to alleviate pain.

Dry Needling
A fast, safe, and virtually pain-free method to reduce pain and address musculoskeletal presentations. In dry needling, trigger points or local contractures are stimulated by monofilament needles.

McKenzie Therapy
The McKenzie Method® of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy® (MDT) is a distinguished and internationally researched method of diagnosis and treatment for spinal and extremity musculoskeletal conditions. Created by New Zealand Physiotherapist Robin McKenzie, this system has been used globally for over 60 years.
MDT-certified clinicians assess and treat all types of musculoskeletal disorders including complications in the spine, muscles, tendons, and extremity joints.

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