Pregnancy and low back pain often go together, and many moms-to-be have simply accepted this as part of the package. After all, how can carrying around another human for nine months be comfortable?
The most common link I’ve found between pregnant women and low back pain is weak core musculature. Hormones released during pregnancy are responsible for creating laxity in joints throughout the body including the spine. By doing core stabilization exercises, women may be able to prevent or even reverse troublesome back pain during pregnancy.
Most women I talk with think that they should avoid doing abdominal exercises during pregnancy. They reason that “it’s all going to be stretched out anyway.” Or they avoid working their core because they can’t lie on their back. Although some abdominal muscles will become overstretched, these aren’t the same muscles that play an important role in true core stabilization. And not all core exercises require that you lie flat on your back. Beyond the traditional crunch or sit-ups there are many ways to strengthen your core muscles in various positions other than lying flat on your back.
One of my favorite ways to keep a strong core is prenatal Pilates exercises. Regardless of the specific exercise you choose, it is important to keep these muscles strong and active not only during exercise but also during your daily life. Being in control of your pain is a great feeling, and core stabilization exercises may just be your answer to a pain-free pregnancy.