Effects of Therapeutic Exercises on Pregnancy-related Low Back Pain and Pelvic Girdle Pain

By, Dr. Laura Wong

Approximately two-thirds of pregnant women experience some level of low back discomfort/pain at some point during their pregnancy. This can be due to altered posture during pregnancy, ligamentous laxity, or fluid retention within the connective tissue.

It is recommended that pregnant women (those without contraindications determined by their doctor and gynecologist) should engage in moderate-intensity physical activity about 30 minutes, 5-6 times a week. A study published in 2017 by the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine examined the effects of a exercise program on occurrence and severity of pregnancy-related low back pain. The program consisted of a combination of aerobic and resistance exercises, in addition to daily walks. The study showed significant differences between the therapeutic exercise group and the control group (received standard antenatal care) in the 36th week of pregnancy. The women in the exercise group reported overall lower levels of pain, higher quality of life, and lower levels of disability. This suggests that a supervised and structured therapeutic exercise program can reduce the occurrence and severity of pregnancy-related low back pain.

Physical therapists can treat pregnancy-related low back and pelvic pain using active and passive therapies, including manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, ergonomic advice and posture training to reduce pain, improve function and reduce disability.

Speak to your PT specialist at AmeriCare today if you or someone you know is experiencing pregnancy-related low back symptoms, and see how we can help!