Q&A with Women’s Health Physio: Back pain early in pregnancy
Q: I’m pregnant and my back is starting to hurt. I’ve been told I need to just get on with this, as it’s just “pregnancy aches and pains”. Is there anything I can do?
Suzy: Yes, absolutely. While not uncommon, back pain early in pregnancy is not deemed normal and should be addressed. It often coincides with a muscular imbalance around the pelvis and can happen alongside other common areas of pain such as the hips, buttocks and pubic area. With the amount of change that happens in the body during pregnancy, it is hardly surprising that sometimes our muscles are slow to catch up! It is also important to note that women who experience back pain in pregnancy are up to 7 times more likely to experience some form of pelvic floor dysfunction, as the muscles can begin to function differently in response. Here at InTouch Physio, we can help you to address these issues, identify the structures which need work and try to reduce your symptoms so that you can enjoy your pregnancy
Q: When I need to go to the toilet I feel like I need to get there as soon as possible, it’s very hard to hold it and sometimes I don’t make it in time. Is this normal?
Suzy: While urinary urgency and incontinence is not uncommon, and you are not alone, it should not be considered normal. It can be caused by either weakness OR overactivity of the pelvic floor muscles, and over time your bladder can develop incorrect activity as a result. This does not only happen after having children. With a proper assessment and treatment plan, I can work with you to try to correct this.
Q: I do my pelvic floor exercises regularly. Why am I still having problems if my pelvic floor is strong?
Suzy: Pelvic floor muscles, like any other muscles, can be either weak or overactive. Overactivity can cause problems as much as weakness can, such as pain, incontinence and constipation, due to the muscles not functioning correctly. It has also been linked to pains in the groin, hips and back. Also, some women can perform their pelvic floor exercises incorrectly. I can help you to determine which of these issues is the cause of your problem and begin to help you on a programme to improve this.