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Pregnancy Pain and Pregnancy Massages

Why do I get back and joint pain during my pregnancy? 

Back and joint pain in pregnancy is more common than you expect. It has been reported that 2-in-3 women experience back pain, with 20%  experiencing pelvic pain. This can have a big impact interfering with work, sleep and just everyday activities.

So why does this happen? Well, this is down to your general posture and a change in hormones but it all depends on the stage of your pregnancy.

First Trimester (weeks 1-12) 


Back pain during this period is mainly down to changes in your hormones! During your first trimester, a hormone called progesterone increases. This prepares your body for pregnancy and helps to thicken the lining of the uterus to help it receive the embryo. Progesterone also helps to prevent contractions which is essential in the early stages of pregnancy.

When it comes to your body’s external physical changes, high levels of Progesterone helps the muscles and ligaments relax near the pelvis, which can affect the alignment and stability of the joints.

There is another hormone called relaxin which increases during pregnancy which affects the ligaments which support the spine.

First Trimester Lower Back Pain – 

Back pain can often be one of the first indications that you’re pregnant. It can be from a variety of reasons like when the uterus expands to accommodate your growing baby.
Poor posture from the added weight of carrying a baby is also another key reason for back pain (yes, even in the first trimester!). 

 
Second Trimester (weeks 13-26)


During your second trimester is when a lot of the back and joint pain becomes more noticeable. About ⅔ of women have lower back pain during their second trimester. This is where a pregnancy massage can really help!

Back pain during this period usually occurs due to the simple fact that your baby is growing bigger week-by-week. This puts a strain on your back muscles causing changes in your posture. Below are some of the most common times women experience lower back pain in their second trimester. 

Second Trimester Lower Back Pain

  • Dull pain in the lower back.
  • Back Stiffness.
  • Pain when bending over.


We also have specific bits of connective tissue either side of the uterus to help keep it in place, called ‘Round Ligaments’. During pregnancy, our uterus expands which causes these ligaments to stretch. Round Ligament pain starts to become most noticeable in the second trimester but only last a few minutes. Some of the key symptoms include:

Second Trimester Round Ligament Pain

  • A sharp pain, usually on one side of the belly.
  • Pain that may grow into a pain in the groin or hip.
  • Pain that is more noticeable after exercise.

 
Thirds Trimester (weeks 27+)


Congratulations! Finally in the last trimester. In a few weeks, your baby will arrive! This can also be the toughest period for your body. It’s important to know what’s normal when it comes to discomfort in your body over this period.

As your body prepares for childbirth, Progesterone increases (that hormone which loosens your ligaments). This increases the flexibility in your pelvis so that your baby is able to come out more easily. Hip pain and lower back pain increases as your ligaments loosen.

There’s a nerve which runs from your lower back down to your feet called the sciatic nerve. During pregnancy, this nerve becomes enlarged causing pain and numbness in the lower back, thighs. This pain is called Sciatica. Don’t worry though – this pain shouldn’t harm your growing baby!

To ease the pain, many women find stretching, warm baths, using pillows as support and pregnancy massages to be great pain relief.

 

What is a Pregnancy Massage?


Here’s what our expert therapist Lisa has to say, “This is a safe treatment for all mums-to-be who are over 12 weeks pregnant, or have recently given birth. A pregnancy massage is really similar to a classic deep tissue massage, but is tailored to the needs of the mother and unborn baby”.

Your therapist is qualified to give prenatal and postnatal massages and will have specific pregnancy massage training and are happy to make the experience bespoke for your needs and your unborn baby.

You’ll be on your side throughout this treatment, to ensure your baby receives oxygen and nutrients by not compressing the umbilical vein.

Your therapist will use long, slow strokes and kneading movements in the places where you’re feeling tense, with special attention paid to the lower back, head, neck and face for a full-body experience.

So feel free to ask any questions you might have before your treatment starts.

 

What are the benefits of a Pregnancy Massage?


The most common therapy for women during pregnancy is massage therapy. The benefits such as relief in back and joint pain speak for itself but there are additional benefits which have been explored in controlled scientific studies.

Let’s break it down – one study explored the benefits of massage for 20 mins per week for 5 weeks. This resulted in decreased depression, anxiety alongside decreased Cortisol activity (The hormone associated with stress!) compared to the women who did not have massages.

Lowering Cortisol has been reported to have a direct effect on improving the growth of the fetus and reducing the chances of premature birth.  

 

What can I do to help?


Time to focus on you! – Pregnancy (prenatal) can have great effects on both your body and your mind. Massage therapy has demonstrated to decrease the feelings of anxiety, depression, leg and back pain. It has also been shown to reduce pain during labour.

 

Sounds great! Where can I get one?


Syrona Women brings all the services you need as women together on one platform. One of our most popular services is the pre-natal and post-natal pregnancy massage (See more info on how these massages can help you post-pregnancy). 

The advantages of our massages are that our fully-vetted and insured therapists come directly to you! Whether that be at home or work, we cater to your needs. 

 

Resources

https://www.myfertilitycenter.com/blog/entry/progesterone-and-pregnancy
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324545.php#second-and-third-trimesters
https://wehavekids.com/having-baby/Aches-and-Pains-of-Pregnancy
https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001139.pub4/abstract
https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/first-trimester-back-pain#treatment
 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1586/eog.10.12
 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10212885
 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130407090835.html
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1586/eog.10.12