Pregnancy Related Pain

Pregnancy Related Pain

Many women experience back pain during pregnancy. This pain is caused by multiple factors that affect a woman’s posture during pregnancy. Mechanical instability in the lower back and pelvis commonly results in lower back pain in pregnant women.
This is caused by:
  • An increased C-shaped curve in the lower spine—this causes excess strain on the lower back joints, muscles, ligaments, and discs.
  • The hip muscles, which stabilizes the spine and helps in hip and leg movements, are shortened due to the increased C-shaped curve in the back, worsening the lower back pain symptoms.
Lower back pain symptoms may start at any time during pregnancy. Symptoms may present as:
  • A dull ache, sharp, burning pain in the lower back
  • One-sided pain in right or left area of the lower back
  • Pain radiating into the back of the thigh and/or leg, and sometimes into the foot (similar to sciatica)

Pregnancy Related Pelvic Pain

Also referred to as pelvic girdle pain or symphysis pubis dysfunction. Women who develop pelvic pain have varying degrees of laxity in their sacroiliac joints. The sacroiliac joint is where the very base of the spine and the pelvis meet. This joint laxity occurs due to high concentrations of the hormone relaxin, which is responsible for softening the connective tissues and joints. Significant laxity of the sacroiliac joints may cause displacement of the ilium—one half of the pelvis that attaches to the sacroiliac joint.
Pain occurs when the shifted ilium is displaced in an unstable position, this causes stress on the adjoining tissues. The body will attempt to fix the pelvis back into its correct position, the muscles tend to become tense and pull within and around the pelvis area. If this tension occurs in the pelvic floor muscles or the groin muscles severe pain may be felt.
Typical features of pelvic pain include:
  • Stabbing, dull, shooting, and/or burning sensation in the back of the pelvic area
  • Pain extending into the buttock and may radiate to the groin and back of the thigh
  • Pain over the pubic bone at the front in the centre.
  • Sciatica type symptoms and may change in type or area affected as pregnancy progresses

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