Most Common Physical Complications During Pregnancy and How to Manage Them


Teri Maciejewski, PT

Physical Therapist/Women's Health Specialist


Common Physical Complications

- Low back pain

- Buttock pain

- Pelvic pain

- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


Managing Complications

- Strong abs

- Strong back

- Good posture


Well, some of the most common things I see are: low back pain with or without sciatica, which is pain going down the leg. Also, I see a lot of back pain; it might be aching, it might be sharp pains that make it difficult for them to bear weight through that leg. Some patients complain of pubic pain in the front of the pelvis or pelvic outlet pain down low. Another common complaint is carpal tunnel syndrome where you get numbness and tingling or pain in your hands. Pregnant mothers might be surprised that there are a lot of things they can do to help minimize, to prevent, or alleviate those kind of conditions. A lot of the advice focuses on the abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor muscles. These are the two muscles that take the greatest strain during pregnancy, and they are also the two most important muscles in stabilizing the spine and the pelvis. So let's look at posture. When you're pregnant, the weight of the baby pulls on the front of the spine and increases the inward curve of the low back. That puts a lot of extra strain on the low back. But your abdominal muscles can completely counteract the weight of the baby and bring you back to a neutral position. So you need to have good strong abdominal muscles and you need to use that as you stand and walk throughout the day for better posture. And remember they're good stabilizers; they are the important stabilizers, so you want to brace with those muscles whenever you're doing things like lifting and carrying, pushing and pulling, and transitions like turning in bed, and getting up from sitting. These are the things that consistently seem to cause the most pain, but if you've got good strength and use it that tends to alleviate it.




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