woman showing her physical therapist where her back hurts

Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy

Lower-pack pain is common in women during pregnancy, anywhere from 24% to 90% of women experience low back or pelvic-region pain when they are pregnant. For someone women the pain resolves after giving birth, however, for others, the pain can persist a year after delivery. But, physical therapy can help.

Physical therapy for lower back and pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy

Due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, abdominal and pelvic muscles are stretched, and lower back muscles may shorten. This can cause muscle imbalances–which can lead to pain.

Pelvic joint laxity may also occur, increasing forces on the lower back and hip joints, making it difficult to perform everyday tasks.

Lower back pain symptoms

Patients suffering from lower back pain during pregnancy may experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain in the lower back
  • Pain may radiate into the legs or feet
  • Leg numbness
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Muscle weakness
pregnant female patient discussing lower back pain with physical therapist

How we treat lower back pain during pregnancy

Those with multiple pregnancies, a history of low back pain, and a high workload may have increased risk of pain. Pregnancy back pain may be on one or both sides, experienced with sitting, standing, walking, bending, lifting, and sleeping. Physical therapy to treat lower back pain during pregnancy may include:

  • Muscle energy techniques
  • Massage
  • Core stabilization or movement control and strength training
  • Postural and pelvic floor re-education
  • SI belt fitting
  • Home exercise program and SI self-correction exercises

Back pain resources

Back Pain During Pregnancy
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What to expect

Your first physical therapy appointment is about creating a personalized treatment plan based on your health history, diagnosis, and goals. Here’s what you can expect at your first physical therapy appointment:

Your first appointment will last about an hour. Please arrive 15 minutes early.

If applicable, bring your physician referral or prescription, insurance card, paperwork, ID, and co-payment.

At your appointment, we’ll do an initial evaluation and discuss your care plan.

*Services are not available at every location. Visit our Locations page for more details.