Dr. Indika Alahakoon has spent years developing the skills and know-how to help women manage complicated and high risk pregnancies. She also recognises that taking the time to provide an understanding and caring environment for her patients is key to a positive outcome. In this article she lends her expert advice to helping pregnant and post-natal women with preventing and coping with back pain.
“Maternity support belts can be used in pregnancy for symptomatic relief of abdominal and pelvic pain, under the guidance of a physiotherapist,” she says.
Reasons for Back Pain in Pregnancy
“Back pain in pregnancy is a common problem, due to, firstly, pregnancy hormones causing ligaments to soften and therefore joints move more than usual. Secondly, it is the postural problems as a result of the extra weight of resulting from the growing baby. Thirdly, it is the position of the baby, especially towards the end of pregnancy.”
Ways to Minimise or Prevent Back Pain During Pregnancy
Here are her top tips for back pain relief.
“There are ways to minimise or prevent back pain such as:
1. Good posture. Avoid slouching. Sit in chairs that support your back.
2. Avoid wearing heels.
3. Use the correct technique to sit up after lying down – i.e when in a laying down position, roll onto your side and use arms to push yourself up.
4. Exercise – gentle walking or water aerobics.
5. Rest each day, especially in the later part of pregnancy, sleeping on your side and using a pillow between legs for support.
6. Correct lifting and bending – bending at the knees to pick something up. As your pregnancy advances – to lift a child, sit on chair and let child climb onto your lap.
7. When standing or sitting for long periods, try to change positions at regular intervals.”
Ways to Ease Back Pain
If you suffer from back pain, try the following to help ease the pain:
1. Get sufficient rest.
2. Use heat packs.
3. Warm bath or showers.
4. Try maintaining good posture.
5. Maternity support belts can be used in pregnancy for symptomatic relief of abdominal and pelvic pain, under the guidance of a physiotherapist.
Reasons for Back Pain after Birth
“Back pain after birth is common as the body is reverting to its pre-pregnancy state. Due to bending and lifting it remains important for the mother to have good posture, correct lifting techniques and to exercise to strengthen muscle tone. You can also discuss with your post natal physiotherapist for the use of recovery belts.”