Today we want to highlight a patient story about how low back pain during pregnancy doesn’t have to be something you deal with, physical therapy can help!
Low back pain during pregnancy is super common, Research shows that anywhere from 20 to 72% of women will report some type of low back or pelvic girdle pain during their pregnancy. Of those women, 30 to 50% of them reported pain severe enough to need time off from work, and avoidance of social situations. Unfortunately we found, only 15-30% of women who are reporting their pain to their physician,are given any type of advice or recommendation for treatment. This is NOT okay, and read on to learn Amanda’s story of how physical therapy can help
Amanda came to us when she was about 3 months pregnant with her 2nd child. She was having R sided low back pain. She said it felt “achy” all the time but felt a “sharp” pain when she did certain movements, especially transitioning from sitting to standing, rolling over in bed or when she would get down on the floor to play with her 2 year old.
She said she didn’t have this type of pain during her 1st pregnancy, she only had some mid-back low back pain during the very last month of her pregnancy and it went away when she delivered. Her current pain is constant, and worse with daily movements like taking care of her 2 year old and cleaning the house. The worst part was, it was getting worse as her pregnancy continued.
So, she went to her OBGYN for her normal monthly appointment, and told her doctor about her worsening back pain. Unfortunately, all he said to her was, “You’re pregnant, it’s normal. That happens and there’s nothing you can do about it. You just have to live with it.”
She left extremely discouraged and wasn’t sure how she would be able to take care of her 2-year-old while her low back was so bad. Thankfully for Amanda, she had a friend who would come to us as a patient during her pregnancy. Her friend told her about how Physical Therapy helped relieve her pain and kept her moving and exercising during her pregnancy.
We are eternally grateful to that person because she referred Amanda our direction and we were able to help her out. In Amanda’s case, all that was really needed were some simple changes in how she moved and some education about different stretches and exercises to help loosen up some tight, tense muscles. With that, Amanda was able to get rid of her low back pain and finished off the rest of her pregnancy feeling strong, healthy and ready to deliver.
In Amanda’s case, it was a few simple things that made a change. It is important to note that everyone’s case is different, but trying to reduce pain via physical therapy is worth a try, and definitely better than doing nothing.
We hear too many women say, “Well, my doctor said it was just normal. I just have to deal with this. There’s nothing I can do.” This leads them down a path, where they are less active and unable to do what they enjoy, finishing off their pregnancy in unnecessary pain.
Amanda is a clear case of where you may need to advocate for yourself as a patient. Your doctor or nurse practitioner may not make the recommendation that you should do anything about your pain. They may tell you that it’s normal. It is not normal. Pregnancy low back pain is common but not normal.
So, if you are dealing with low back pain like Amanda was, advocate for yourself and ask for a referral to physical therapy. It is important to alleviate pregnancy related low back pain as quickly as possible because it can also have long term consequences. A study that followed women 12 years after their delivery found that 86% of women who had back and pelvic pain during their pregnancy reported continued back pain when not pregnant. So if you have this pain during pregnancy, there is a good chance it can stick around afterwards or come back later on in life. We don’t want that to be the case. We want you to be able to move and do what you love and not be dealing with that pain.
So, what can you do? Advocate for yourself and try Pelvic Floor physical therapy, you do not have to suffer through your pregnancy. We created an ebook called, “10 Simple Tips to Ease Pregnancy Pain” to offer some initial guidance.
We hope that you don’t suffer in silence and that you reach out and get to the care that you need. We would love to be a resource for you and help you out anyway that we can. Feel free to give us a call here at Legacy.