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Lower back care/exercises

(10 Posts)
MildWest Mon 21-Jul-08 11:36:59

Does anyone have any advise on lower back exercises to do whilst pg? Have noticed this weekend that my lower back is starting to feel a bit wretched, general twinges and niggles. Only 23 weeks so keen to find some exercises I can do now to help stretch and strengthen whilst I still have the chance. Have been swimming and walking and doing a bit of pilates, but could do with some suggestions for short exercises to do when I get home from work as usually stuck at a desk all day. Also, has anyone got recommendations of exercises to do to help your stamina in trying to keep mobile through labour...should imagine squats would be good, anything others..?

Very specific request I know!!

idontbelieveit Mon 21-Jul-08 11:51:28

No idea but will watch this thread with interest as would like some suggestions also.

MrsTittleMouse Mon 21-Jul-08 12:01:41

I have been to the physio with pelvic and back pain, and she recommended that I strenthen my core muscles. It is a really frustrating exercise, because it feels like you're not really doing anything, but apparently the muscle only works at 30%, so that's normal.

OK - here goes. You sit down and then you breathe in, and when you breathe out again, you pull up your pelvic floor and then extend the contraction to your abdomen. If you put your hands below your navel, you can feel it tighten, but it's a really subtle movement, not like a sit-up at all. The whole breathing thing is so that you can't hold your breath while you contract and use the breath to do the work, rather than the core muscles. The idea is to do reps of 10, at least 3 times a day.

bikerunski Mon 21-Jul-08 13:01:25

I've been going to pregancy pilates classes and have just bought a gym ball to do some of the exercises at home. A back exercise that I really find helps is to sit on the ball and to tilt your hips forward so the ball rolls forward a wee bit. Then roll back and repeat a few times. Then sit on ball and raise your hip, again a few times on each side. These are tiny movements, but really loosen up my achy back.

dinkystinky Mon 21-Jul-08 14:31:11

Did both pregnancy yoga and pregnancy pilates when pregnant with DS and they both helped immensely with breathing, stamina, stretching and relief from those pregnancy niggles. Definitely worth looking into some local classes or buying/renting a couple of dvds. A gym ball is great (v good also for optimum foetal positioning and bouncing around on when in early labour) for pregnancy pilates stuff.

I remembered finding that the cat pose and a variation on downward dog were the absolute best at stretching out my lower back.

Flaneuse Mon 21-Jul-08 15:14:33

I am 22 and a bit weeks, and have been having a nightmare with my back from early in the pregnancy, so I really sympathise. After a couple of pointless physio sessions, I have finally seen a wonderful physio, who has given exercises which seem to be doing something! 2 in particular seem good, and the first is time sensitive, as we'll be too big in a few weeks...

1. Lie on back, knees bent, feet flat on floor. Tighten buttocks, pelvic floor muscles and abdominals and ensure back is as flat as possible. Lift your bottom off the floor, and gradually your back, one vertabra at a time (or so it feels like that), as high as you can, and then lower yourself in the same way. Repeat 10 - 15 times. (It's not that comfortable, but it loosens and strengthens the lower back.)

2. Lie on side, legs together, arms striaght out in front at shoulder height, hans palm to palm. Tighten pelvic floor and abdominal muscles, inhale and exhale. Lift the upper arm and swing it in an arc over the body, with your eyes following it, until it's as far down on the other side as you can go (it should touch the other side of the bed, but don't force it). Try not to move your lower body. Bring arm back to its starting position. Repeat 15 times on each side. This is apparently really good for loosening the spine (I've found it helful).

Also, before standing up after sitting for a long period of time, it's good to wriggle the hips a few times (even though it makes you look faintly ridiculous in an office...).

Sorry for getting carried away with a long post - how to ease lower back pain is my current obsession...

MonkeyMargot Mon 21-Jul-08 18:11:46

Flaneuse - keep it coming please! I am nearly 25 weeks and for the past week I've been experiencing agonising lower back pain. Annoyingly, I've been doing loads of exercise (gym/swim) to try and avoid this. I'm going to try your exercises in a minute, and then sit on my ball this evening instead of slouchy chair....

kookiegoddess Mon 21-Jul-08 18:21:49

Yes flaneuse, watch out for 1st exercise - if it makes your tummy go into a point then it's not a good one as it encourages muscles to separate. Not supposed to do anything which strains/tenses yr tummy muscles if you can avoid it But you know this I'm sure!!

I'm 29 wks now and would say my back problems are pretty chronic now. it's no fun. I've found I get very stiff from sitting down for any period of time, and it's not great for me to lean back on a deep sofa either.

Bouncing on the birthing ball and doing slow, gentle pelvic tilts in any position regularly thruout the day have helped. I try to bounce for a few mins before bed as I get a lot of pain from rolling over in bed. Pilates style standing, pulled up, soft knees hip width apart, and circling hips slowly if you are on yr feet for any amount of time also helps to keep things loose.

But in general back ache is making me pretty miserable and I advise taking LOTS OF CARE with walking quickly, attempting to get to the phone in time or going up and down stairs at yr normal pace as you get bigger.

Fingers crossed you don't have it as bad as I do!

Flaneuse Tue 22-Jul-08 15:32:11

Kookiegoddess - thank you for the tip about the exercise - I didn't know that, and will watch out for it. And commiserations on the pain - I can feel everything you describe starting to happen, especially the getting stiff after sitting for a while, which is miserable...

MonkeyMargot, I will pass on any more tips that the physio gives me! Apparently, the synovial (sp?) fluid (which surrounds joints) gets stickier during pregnancy, and some women just suffer with it more than others, so it's the luck of the draw. I really would recommend getting your MW to refer you to a physio, as they'll ensure you're doing the right things for your particular areas of pain.

The other thing my physio reiterated today is to keep applying heat to the lower back. This does seem to loosen things up and is soothing - and it's not too hot during this miserable summer!

MonkeyMargot Tue 22-Jul-08 16:52:35

Flaneuse - thank you. Hmmm, I knew everything was going too smoothly for me (no morning sickness/constipation etc), but hey-ho. I've just come back from the office to work from home as it was getting intolerable. Much better at home when I can sit on my ball and move around without annoying people. I will endeavour to find a physio.

Kookiegoddess - I also find lying flat on the floor whilst doing deep breathing helps.

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