Back Pain

Safe Exercises for Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy

Are you a new mom-to-be and suffering from backaches? Well, now is the time to be stress-free, as the following article will tell you all about the exercises for lower back pain during pregnancy.

Nothing can beat the excitement of waiting for your child, but the backaches destroy the moment! It is quite usual to experience lower back pain during pregnancy which comes with its cons- either the mood is ruined or the entire health run down.

Not to forget that when you are new to all of this, you are pretty much confused and scared, and all you do is run after the Paracetamols, which do not have any adverse effects on the expectant mother and the baby. However, it is still advised to take it in minimum amount.

It is always better to get rid of such pains naturally by exercising for lower back pain when pregnant rather than surviving on medicines. So, proceed with this article as it is going to be of great help for you. Let us go into the depth of discussing the exercise to reduce lower back pain during pregnancy.

Related post: Back Workout at Home

How To Help with Lower Back Pain While Pregnant?

The best way to help get rid of lower pain while pregnant is to do safe exercises and stretches. Of course, due to the hormonal changes, your ligaments stretch out to prepare the body for labor. The lower back and pelvis joints are strained because of it that leads to having backaches. It is normal to have lower back pain during pregnancy. However, it is equally essential to relax your body with exercises or stretches for lower back pain during pregnancy to get relief. 

Notably, it is beneficial for both you and your baby if you stay active throughout your pregnancy. You may do some physical activities in each trimester after consulting your doctor. Some physical therapy exercises for low back pain during pregnancy may include swimming, walking, riding a stationary bike, and some moderate activities like dance or yoga. However, cycling the stationary may not be very appropriate in the last months of pregnancy, so you may back scale its intensity or stop using it in the final stages. 

The above information is just an introduction regarding how to get rid of lower back pain during pregnancy; the exercises and yoga stretches are as follows.

pregnant-woman-back-pain

The Best Exercises for Lower Back Pain in Pregnancy

Let us now look at some recommended exercises for sore lower back pain in pregnancy. The first exercise is a general exercise that you can combine with the following exercises or perform solely.

Kegel Exercise:

This specific exercise aims to prepare the pelvic muscles for postpartum and childbirth. If you have a hypertonic pelvic floor, you may not perform this exercise.

Method:

  • Begin by pulling your pelvic floor muscles upwards and in (towards your back) as if you are disrupting the urine flow while in a sitting or lying position. 
  • Stay in this position for three to five seconds.
  • Relax your muscles for another three to five seconds. 
  • Repeat the pulling and relaxing of the muscles ten times three times a day, such as a morning, afternoon, and night.

You may link your breathing flow with this exercise, for instance, by breathing deeply and then exhaling and then relaxing your body.

Ensure not to tighten the stomach, chest, thighs, or hip muscles while performing this exercise, and do it when the bladder is empty. 

Pelvic Tilt:

You should preferably perform this exercise in a sitting or standing position in the second and third trimesters.

(While reclined)

  • To begin with, the exercise, lie down and lift your knees while your feet remain intact on the floor.
  • Contract your abdominal muscles while exhaling and pull or rotate your pelvis upwards.
  • Stay in this position for three to five seconds. 
  • Release to get to the starting position. Repeat this exercise ten times.

(While sitting):

  • All you have to do is sit on a chair and spread your weight equally by placing the feet on the floor. 
  • Repeat the same steps as when lying down.

(While standing)

  • Stand while making sure that your weight is equally distributed via your feet 
  • Place them distant at almost hip-width apart
  • Repeat the steps as instructed while lying down.

Quadruped Cat:

This is for sure one of the best exercises to relieve lower back pain during pregnancy.

  • Get into a crawling position by bringing your weight on the hands and knees. 
  • Keep hands straight below the shoulders and knees straight below the hips.
  • Contract your abdominal muscles by exhaling, push your spine upwards as if the ceiling is pulling it, 
  • Bring your head down gradually and slowly towards your chest.
  • Remain in this position for ten to fifteen seconds and repeat it ten times

Bird Dog:

  • Again, get into the crawling position with shoulders over the hands and hips over the knees. 
  • Engage the abdominal muscles; make sure that your spine is straight. 
  • By maintaining balance, gradually lift your right hand from the floor
  • Extend the right arm and the left leg to reach the level of your straight spine.
  • Stay in this position for three to five seconds 
  • Repeat it with the left arm and right leg ten times.
Exercises for Pregnant Women

Squat:

  • Begin by standing on your feet at a distance like shoulder-width apart.
  • Lower down a bit by bending your knees and pushing your hips backward. 
  • Bend to an extent till you are comfortable and then return to normal position. 
  • Repeat this ten times.

Resisted Sidestep:

  • Stand by placing feet at a distance and knees slightly bent. 
  • Wear a resistance band on your thighs and if you want to intensify the exercises, wear it on the ankles.
  • Take ten sidesteps to the right and then sidesteps to the left. 
  • Resisted sidestep is an easy and effective exercise for lower back pain while pregnant.

Resisted Kickback:

  • Again, stand with feet at a distance, either while wearing a resistance band on thighs or ankles or not.
  • First, kick backward your right leg ten times; make sure it is minute and light. 
  • Kick your left leg backward ten times; again, they should be controlled and small.
  • Wearing a resistance band for this exercise is optional.

Side-lying Leg Rises:

  • Begin by lying down on your right side with the right hand holding the head for support and keep your legs, ankles, and hip straight. 
  • You may wish to keep a pillow under your side for help to keep your spine straight.
  • Gradually raise your left leg to a 45 degrees angle and then lower it slowly. 
  • Perform this ten times.
  • Perform alternatively by lying down on the left side and raising the right leg.

Side Bridge:

The last exercise amongst the best exercises for lower back pain during pregnancy is:

  • Lie down on your right side while your knees are bent at a 90 degrees angle. 
  • Keep your hips, knees, and shoulders in a straight line.
  • While engaging your abdominal muscles, gradually lift your left leg and hold it for three to five seconds.
  • Perform it ten times on each side by switching it.

Precautious Tips | Exercises for Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy

  • After you are done with completing your first trimester, you are recommended to avoid exercises while lying on your back flat, as when you are in this position, the uterus puts heavy pressure on the vena cava. This vein takes the blood back to your heart. If the blood flow to the heart is disturbed, you start to feel dizzy and difficult breathing. Hence, avoid lying flat on your back for exercises after your first trimester.
  • Kindly choose to exercise on an even surface to maintain balance and avoid any other body aches.
  • To support the body and not to overburden the feet, wear supportive and safe shoes.
  • Ensure to keep hydrating yourself even during the exercise. Drink water before starting the activity, during it, and after the workout. 
  • If you begin to feel exhausted, end the action, slow it down or take a short break.
  • Do not overstretch and do every activity slowly and steadily.

Your body releases a hormone known as the Relaxin hormone during pregnancy, which relaxes your ligaments and the cervix during delivery. Stretch too much might tear out your ligaments as the relaxin hormone reduces the friction, loosens, and lubricates the joints and the ligaments of the pelvis. 

pregnant-woman-back-pain

Yoga Stretches for Lower Back Pain in Pregnancy

While informing you about the best yoga stretches, we will also tell you about the types of equipment needed. Let us now shed light upon the safe exercises for lower back pain during pregnancy. To relax and get relief from body aches, try out the following stretches!

Seated Piriformis Stretch (Modified Half Pigeon):

This stretch relaxes the piriformis muscles, which are contracted during pregnancy and lead to backache.

Equipment required: Chair

Method:

  • Begin by sitting on the chair with feet resting on the floor. 
  • Then place the right foot on the left knee by making a number 4 shape.
  • While exhaling, lean forward gradually towards your crossed leg while keeping your spine straight. 
  • Instead of bringing the shoulders forward, you should keep them firm and elongate your spine.
  • Stay in this position for thirty seconds as you feel a healthy stretch in the lower back and hips. Switch the legs and repeat the stretch.

Child’s Pose:

Equipment required: Yoga Mat

Method:

  • Get into the crawling position with hands below the shoulders and the knees under the hips. 
  • To avoid any extra pressure on the hips, you may widen the distance between your feet, but make sure that your toes are completely in touch with the mat.
  • Take a deep breath and flatten your spine.
  • Then exhale and take your hips towards heels, stretch out your arms in the front on the mat and tuck in your chin towards the chest.
  • Stay in this position until you inhale five times deeply. 
  • If it is difficult to reach the carpet, you may put a folded blanket or a yoga blanket to keep it under your head.

Bound Angle Pose:

Equipment required: Yoga Mat

Method:

  • Sit on the yoga mat, bend your knees as the legs rest on their sides, and bring the soles of your feet close.
  • Hold your toes and slightly pull the feet towards your pelvis. 
  • Inhale and sit straight up and when you exhale, slowly recline forwards while keeping your back straight.
  • When you have reached your position while reclining, you can also drop your head downwards and tuck the chin closer to the chest to release tension.
  • Remain in this position until you take three to five deep breaths, and you may wish to recline more on each exhale. Make sure not to overstretch!

Lunge:

Equipment required: A yoga mat and pillow & chair

Method:

  • Stand on your knees on a yoga mat, and if you require more comfort, you may keep a pillow under your knees.
  • While kneeling on one knee, lift the other one at a 90 degrees angle by placing the foot on the mat so the hip also stretches.
  • Exhale and lean forward gradually as your front leg withholds the weight. Hip and thigh feel an excellent stretch.
  • If to maintain a balance, you may take support of a chair or a wall. 
  • Stay in this position for 30 seconds and then repeat with the other leg.

Try out these back stretches for lower back pain during pregnancy to relax your body and the baby. The exercises mentioned above answer your question on how to relieve lower back and hip pain during pregnancy. Throughout the stretches, your hips also stretch to reduce hip pain.

To check and prepare your body, “brace your core.” Bracing your core means contracting the muscles surrounding the spine before beginning any exercise. Bracing yourself is vital as it prevents any mishap or injury post-childbirth. Try out the following steps:

  1. Inhale deeply to contract your belly muscles.
  2. Exhale and deliberately squeeze your lower back muscle and abs 

Remain like this as you resume breathing normally. Now, you are ready, to begin with, the postnatal exercises as you have braced your core.

Three Best Exercises for Lower Back Pain After Pregnancy

Let us begin with these three magical exercises.

Leaning Backward:

  • Stand on the yoga mat with feet hip-width apart.
  • Place your hands on the buttocks.
  • By using the back muscles, slowly and gradually bend backward. 
  • Slowly slide down your hands along the back of your thigh.
  • Remain in this position for four to five seconds.
  • Return to the original starting position. You may repeat this exercise ten times.

Mcgill Curl-up:

  • Lie down flat on your back on the yoga mat with one leg straight and the other lifted with your knee bent, and your foot rested on the mat.
  • Place your hands under your back and press the elbow to the floor.
  • On pressing the elbows, lift your upper body slowly. Make sure that you do not flex your spine, keep it straight while lifting your body.
  • If you want to make this exercise more challenging and advance, raise the elbows and slowly raise your upper body.
  • Repeat with the opposite leg then.

With Dumbbells:

  • Get into a crawling position and place your hands on the dumbbells. 
  • Ensure that your shoulders are directly straight above your hands and your hips are straight above your knees.
  • Exhale and engage your abdominal muscles.
  • Slowly lift one dumbbell by pushing the elbow towards the ceiling and along with your body.
  • Repeat this exercise with the opposite arm then.

There are few other significant actions to take post-pregnancy and help get rid of lower back pain after pregnancy.

  • Do not stretch your arms ahead to hold your baby; instead, bring him/ her closer to you first.
  • To pick up the baby from the ground, bend down on your knees and raise your leg muscles.
  • Keep changing the side of holding your baby.
  • Rather than leaning towards the baby during breastfeeding, bring it closer to your chest. Also, remember to sit on an upright chair rather than a soft couch.
  • While placing the baby inside the car in the baby car seat stressing out your muscles.
  • Avoid lifting heavy things.

Well, the list goes on as everyone wants to keep the mothers safe and healthy, but the details mentioned above are sufficient to deal with your confusion.

Exercises for lower back pain

Takeaway

Now, we have come towards the end of our article. Hopefully, this article has managed to help answer your queries. With the information regarding the exercises for lower back pain during pregnancy, you may practically perform them to get effective results. However, keep two vital things in mind- before doing any exercise, always remember to consult your doctor and never overdo any of the activities! Anyways with all said and done, we wish you a safe, healthy, and happy life!