A common complaint among pregnant women involves consistent, chronic lower back pain during pregnancy. Indeed, very few women make it through a pregnancy without suffering from lower back pain.
Due to the nature of pregnancy, options for dealing with lower back pain can be rather limited. For example, certain medications are unavailable because of the impact these drugs can have on an unborn child. For this reason, a growing number of women find relief from lower back pain during pregnancy through physiotherapy, including massage therapy.
Causes of Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy
While added weight can be the culprit when it comes to pregnancy-related lower back pain, two other primary causes exist for the problem. These are the growth of the uterus itself and hormonal changes during pregnancy.
The expansion or growth of the uterus as a pregnancy progresses actually shifts a woman's center of gravity. This alteration impacts the lower back, and sometimes significantly so.
It is something of a cliché to comment on the hormonal change that occurs during pregnancy. More often than not, the focus of that change is on a pregnant woman's mood and related issues. However, it is important to understand that the hormonal change associated with pregnancy also loosens the ligaments and joints that connect to the spine. This change typically results in persistent lower back pain.
Physiotherapy and Massage During Pregnancy
Initially, it is important to understand that a physiotherapist does not take a one size fits all approach to the development of a pain reduction regimen for a pregnant woman. The first step in the process is an initial consultation with an experienced physiotherapist to more closely identify the specific issues a pregnant woman is confronting.
Massage therapy, many times, is included in an overall course of treatment by a physiotherapist for a pregnant woman dealing with pain and other issues. The frequency of massage therapy sessions is determined on a case by case basis.
In most cases, women dealing with back pain associated with pregnancy begin to experience symptoms of relief even after the first treatment session. As a general rule, massage therapy continues throughout the course of a pregnancy to ensure the reduction or elimination of lower back pain.
As an aside, massage therapy bestows other very important benefits for a pregnant woman. For example, the hustle and bustle of daily life is stressful as is. Addressing the requirements of daily life becomes even more challenging and stressful when a woman is pregnant.
Regular prenatal massage therapy provided by a qualified, experienced physiotherapist also works to reduce the stress level of a pregnant woman. This reduction in a woman's stress level during pregnancy contributes to the overall health and well-being not only of the mother to be but of the unborn child as well.