How to avoid lower back pain during pregnancy

Around 1 in every 2 women experience lower back pain during their pregnancy!

Most women just accept this as another annoying symptom of pregnancy that is out of their control. The other misconception is that rest is the best treatment for it. 

You may be wondering what causes this discomfort during pregnancy. One of the most common causes of back and pelvic pain is due to a hormone that our bodies produce during pregnancy called RELAXIN. This hormone is produced to loosen our joints and ligaments around the pelvis in preparation for birth. HOWEVER relaxin affects ALL joints around the body.

This loosening of joints can cause pain and discomfort typically in the lower back, pelvis, upper back and neck. On top of this, as our bodies grow and change, our alignment gets altered which means our posture is often changed, putting strain on the ligaments and joints (see picture below).


Did you know that movement, even simply walking or a few core activation exercises can give dramatic relief to certain pains felt during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, if our muscles aren’t strong enough, a combination of a heavier chest and a heavier stomach makes our posture look something like the photo on the left (below). This increases our chances of lower back and neck pain.

With regular core and upper back exercises, and a conscious effort, we should look more like the photo on the right which makes us less prone to the common back ache that so many of us experience during pregnancy.

Exercise during pregnancy is not just about weight control. It is also beneficial to every day functioning and prevention of aches and pains which can be very debilitating. These aches and pains can also significantly affect your quality of life during a time that should be so special.

Strengthening of the core and back muscles can make all the difference to your pain levels and day to day functioning during pregnancy.

If you are eager to keep strong and fit throughout your pregnancy but not sure where to start, Alex Gleeson (Exercise Physiologist and Founder of STRONG by Alex) has designed a week by week exercise program, specifically tailored to each week of your pregnancy. 

Written by Alex Gleeson



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