Neck and back pain are very common in women, especially during or after pregnancy. About 50% of pregnant women suffer from posture changes and, as a result, back pain during or after pregnancy, and this has a major impact on their life quality. Symptoms can appear during the first trimester of pregnancy or develop during delivery and soon after. The therapies used include the use of posture corrector bra, corsets, physiotherapy, electrostimulation, acupuncture, massage, relaxation and yoga.
A study carried out by The Journal of the American Osteopathy Association indicates osteopathy as one of the best remedies to reduce problems relating to pregnancy which could include pelvic pain and / or stress incontinence in addition to back pain. European guidelines recommend personalized interventions that may include control and stability exercises, and medications if needed. Let’s have a closer look at those in the paragraphs that follow.
Causes of bad posture in and after pregnancy
Where do the back pain and poor posture come from in the postpartum period? During pregnancy the woman’s body changes. The center of gravity shifts forward due to breast augmentation and the baby’s growth. Breast growth can cause back pain and discomfort, too.
In the pelvic and pubic region, the production of a hormone called relaxin causes the ligaments to relax. This is to make the pelvic region wider and more mobile for delivery. Although many women experience pain and discomfort in this area, such as in the back, this laxity / flexibility will return to normal after delivery.
Changes during pregnancy that affect your posture the most are:
- You carry more weight (from 12 to 15 kg on average) which can cause problems with muscles and joints;
- The breasts become larger to prepare for breastfeeding causing problems in the dorsal part of the back (this is why you should never skip choosing a good bra with reliable posture correction construction);
- The uterus and abdominal muscles stretch to allow the growth of the fetus;
- There is an increase in lumbar lordosis;
- Feet and legs can swell and cause pain due to lower circulatory capacity.
Here are some yoga guides you can follow while pregnant to maintain a healthy posture even after giving birth:
Start your posture makeover with a visit to an osteopath
Your trusted osteopath, through very light manual techniques, helps muscle release and movement of the joints. It improves blood circulation by reducing swelling and discomfort, especially in the feet and wrists, helping a woman’s body to better adapt to the physiological changes of her pregnancy. But there are also plenty of things you can do on your own to improve your posture following pregnancy.
Find your perfect posture corrector products
Posture corrector bras and corsets are designed to take care of your back while you are busy taking care of your daily life. They do not require any efforts: these functional pieces of underwear support your back, distribute the weight of your upper body in a physiological way, keep your shoulders aligned and your back straight, and give your body a more graceful shape. Those products are especially beneficial in the weeks following delivery of a child, since they target the areas that need extra support: the bust and the abdomen.
Postural massage to feel fit again
A postural massage brings with it a very long list of benefits; it is real panacea for the body. Through circular movements with pressures of variable duration, action is taken on the muscle tissue to eliminate contractures and relieve the sensation of discomfort caused by back pain, cervical pain and lumbago that often accompany post-natal recovery.
Undergoing a postural massage brings with it a very long list of benefits, real panacea for the body. Through circular movements with pressures of variable duration, therefore, action is taken on the muscle tissue to eliminate contractures and relieve the sensation of discomfort caused by back pain, cervical pain and lumbago.
Postural massage is able to reduce stress and tension of the entire skeletal structure: from the neck to the sacrum. Thanks to the general lengthening of the back, in fact, all the connective muscle bands, as well as the facial and cranial ones, are positively affected. The consecutive improvement in blood circulation gives energy to the whole body.
Yoga for postpartum back health
Yoga exercises work on the flexibility and mobility of the spine. If repeated every day, yoga trains good posture, the mobility of the back, and progressively relieves pain.
Your set of exercises should start with some warm-up asanas that work on flexing, extending and twisting the spine, hydrating and lubricating it.
The Cat and Cow position increases the flexibility of the spine and improves its alignment, relaxes the muscles of the neck and back, stimulates the organs inside the abdomen, and acts beneficially on the kidneys and adrenal glands.
The position of the Sphinx in addition to developing the muscles of the spine, relieves pain due to sciatica, back pain and herniated disc. It improves ailments such as hyperkyphosis, reduces pain related to the menstrual cycle, and tones the thyroid gland.
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The sequence should end with the supine twist of Jathara Parivartanasa, which stretches the muscles of the spine, thighs and hips, relaxes and stretches the back and realigns the vertebrae. This asana massages and stimulates the internal organs, increases lung capacity and reduces lumbar pain.