When it comes to exercises to relieve back pain during pregnancy, the human body is entirely capable of doing much more than we give it credit for. Staying active throughout pregnancy is an important part of maintaining a healthy body and reducing the risk of complications.
Regular exercise can help with managing uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy, such as swollen feet and back and pelvic pain, through improvements in posture. It can also help with improving circulation and releasing endorphins.
Safe Exercises to Relieve Back Pain during Pregnancy
1) Bird dog
The Bird Dog securely encourages core stability by recruiting the abdominal and lower back muscles to help relieve lower back pain. It also targets the muscles that run the posterior chain (the rear of the body), providing mild movement into the shoulder and hip joints.
To do this exercise:
- Begin on all fours on a yoga mat with your wrists beneath your shoulders, knees in line with your hips, and head in a comfortable position.
- Making a straight line from the arm, spine, leg, and foot, extend the left arm out in front before extending the leg behind you.
- Make sure your hips are straight to the floor and watch out for any lower back dip.
- Spend two seconds extending your arm and leg before bending them back into place. To reduce any body “rocking,” keep the core tight.
- For three rounds, perform 10 reps on each side.
2) Pelvic Tilts
Pelvic tilts are brief but powerful isometric holds that support and bolster the muscles that stabilize the core while easing lower back pain. While pregnancy causes changes to your pelvic alignment, this exercise can help you balance out the difference in the severity of your pelvic tilt.
To do this exercise:
- On a yoga mat, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Rest with your body in a neutral position so that your lower back forms the lower spine’s normal curve.
- You should softly tuck your hips toward your head as you exhale. Keep an eye on how your lower back engages with the ground.
- When you have held this position for two complete breaths, inhale as you move back to your beginning position.
- Three sets of 10 reps each should be performed.
3) Squats with Medicine Ball
Squats are a great exercise for building strength and your core, but they’re also a good example of a “primal” action that increases hip mobility and better prepares your body for birthing. Exercise ball squats cushion the lower back and give you extra support as you proceed through the motion if you have lower back pain.
To do squats:
- Place a large exercise ball behind your lower back and lean against a solid wall while standing with your feet hip-width apart or slightly wider (to account for your expanding tummy).
- Walk your feet forward until they are in line with your toes as you stoop down while bending at the knees.
- As you lower yourself until your knees are at a 90-degree angle, brace your core and push through your heels to return to the starting position.
- Perform 3 sets of 8–12 reps.
4) Cat-Cow Stretch
The gentle strengthening of your lower back with this stretch will assist to relieve round ligament pain, as well as hip and lower back pain. Additionally, it helps improve spine mobility. Increasing the flow of spinal fluid keeps your joints lubricated all day. This can lessen existing pain and prevent the onset of new pain.
Here’s how you do it:
- Start out on all fours. Keep your hips directly above your knees, shoulders directly above your wrists, and the tops of your feet flat on the mat.
- Drop your tummy and allow your back arch as you inhale, keeping your shoulders folded back and down, and your gaze forward and slightly upward.
- Look inward toward your belly as you exhale, pressing into your hands and rounding your upper back.
- Continue to breathe in an arch and out in a circular motion.
5) Seated piriformis stretch
Those who suffer from sciatica or lower back pain can benefit from this stretch. Pregnancy can cause the piriformis muscle, a tiny muscle located deep in the glutes, to spasm. Due to its strong ties to the sciatic nerve, this frequently results in back and leg pain. This muscle can be gently stretched to relieve discomfort and tightness.
To do this exercise:
- Lie back on a chair and plant your feet firmly on the floor.
- In the shape of the number “4”, cross one foot over the other knee.
- When you exhale, steadily lean forward while maintaining a flat back until your lower back and buttocks begin to expand.
- Instead of bringing your shoulders closer to your lap, try lengthening your spine.
- Hold for 30 seconds.
Your body experiences a lot of changes throughout pregnancy, which could result in aches and pains. Pregnancy-related joint or muscle pain might make it harder for you to carry out daily tasks and can lower your quality of life in general.
Exercise during pregnancy, together with consulting with medical specialists like physical therapists and chiropractors, can significantly reduce back pain and let you take full advantage of the pregnancy experience.
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