Common Pregnancy Pains

Fifty percent to 70% of pregnant women experience low back pain during pregnancy. In addition, 30% to 50% of pregnant women report low back pain severe enough to cause lost time from work. It's more manageable, however, than most women (and their doctors) think. Here are some tips for staying in motion throughout pregnancy while decreasing aches and pains.

Practice safe yoga

Many pregnant women make yoga part of their daily routine, but physical therapists do not recommend all positions, because pelvic ligaments can be overstretched. Physical therapists recommend that women avoid yoga poses that require standing on 1 leg or excessively twisting the pelvis, such as the "warrior" and "tree" poses. Those poses can exert a sheering force on the pubic symphysis, a joint that holds the left and right halves of the front part of the pelvis together. This, in turn, can lead to severe pain when the pregnant woman is rolling over in bed, getting up from a chair, and even walking.

Pregnancy needn't be a pain in the pelvis

Pelvic pain can be felt in the hips, groin, buttocks, tailbone, front of the pubic bone, and even internally — potentially having a major impact on your pregnancy experience. It can affect everything from sitting and walking to sleeping and the regularity of bowel movements, and can result in painful sexual intercourse. Physical therapists recommend exercises to increase stabilization and strength in the pelvis, which should ultimately reduce pain. Treatment techniques may include soft tissue mobilization and using a pelvic belt to help brace the pelvis, as well as education on proper body mechanics.

Acknowledgement: Marianne Ryan, PT, OCS

Post from, the official consumer Web site of the American Physical Therapy Association, ©2014

Comments are closed.