Pre-pregnancy, I worked out 3 times a week that consisted of cardio and lifting. When I stopped working out in my first trimester, I lost some of my muscle mass. That was not a good outcome for my body since I started developing some back, neck and pelvic pain. Four factors that can create back pain during pregnancy are losing muscle mass, postural changes, developing baby and hormones. Lets look at each one of them in more detail.
Losing muscle mass: Our body is very smart when it comes to conserving energy and prioritizing, and responds to demands very efficiently. If your pregnancy prevents you from your workouts, it is inevitable that your body will stop sustaining your muscle mass. Once the muscles around your joints are weakened, you are more prone to biomechanical faults, decreased control and increased pains and aches due to daily demands.
Postural changes: As your growing baby gets heavier and heavier, the forward pull on your body becomes more and more. Your core weakens due to over stretching and posture also responds to this pull. Your neck juts out more, shoulders get rounded and curvature in your low back is exaggerated. All these changes creates uneven weight bearing in your joints and alters your biomechanics which creates aches and pains.
Developing baby: As your little one gets bigger, it all gets really tight in your belly which will start exerting more pressure towards the outside. Your internal organs are shifted, and there is a different demand from your musculoskeletal system. Your core muscles get stretched out and weaker so they no longer are able to support you as well as they did pre-pregnancy. When your spine does not have the stabilization and guidance during movement from your core, you are more prone to injury.
Hormones: One of the reasons to why pregnancy women go through mood changes, experience morning sickness and have a “glow” is due to rapid hormonal changes in the body. Besides estrogen and progesterone, relaxin hormone is essential to keep your joints more flexible to prepare you for labor. While all of these hormones are absolutely critical to complete your pregnancy, they also put you at risk for sprains and strains due to increased laxity. In a nutshell, increased laxity plus weakened muscles equals up to injury followed by pain waiting to happen. Be mindful and careful during any physical activity.
I would like to hear about your perspective. What do you think? Please comment and let me know!
Check out part 2 series of how to battle back pain during pregnancy next!
Tune in for more information, until then stay awesome 🙂
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