Low Back Pain Post Pregnancy – A Self Check and Exercise Guide
In this video Dr. Kelsey explains a common reason for low back pain post pregnancy. Dr. Kelsey and Dr. Becky demonstrate three simple exercises you can start doing today to help improve function and pain.
For your convenience, here is the commentary to the video:
Hi, I’m Dr. Kelsey and this is Dr. Becky with Premier Chiropractic. We are here to talk to you today about Low Back Pain, post pregnancy. A common occurrence post pregnancy is that of Diastasis Recti. It is a common thing in pregnancy, it can also happen with other conditions, such as lifting.
With pregnancy, when the belly expands quickly the muscle that is attached by connective tissue it stretches and gets weaker and when it goes back down it is not quite as strong as it used to be. When your core muscles aren’t quite as strong your low back pain gets aggravated.
So, we are going to talk to you today about what happens and how to address those with some exercises you can do at home. If you have any concerns that you might have Diastasis Recti , we will show you a self-check but it is not a bad idea to get checked by your OB or a chiropractor if you have any questions.
We will start by having Dr. Becky lay on her back. Then you want to engage just the front of the muscle so you lift your head up just slightly. Not all the way, as in a crunch, because then you have too much muscles contracting where you won’t be able to feel as much. She lifts it up just slightly and we push down at the belly button with two fingers. You want to be perpendicular to the belly button. You push down as far as you can go until you have to stop and then you move up 2 inches and then you feel and then you move down 2 inches and feel. What you are looking for is that the muscle is never more than 2 finger widths apart at a time. If you do have that, then you probably have a slight diastasis rectus some can be quite a bit stretched and that should be something checked out by a physician. I will have you do a couple exercises with me now.
Here are Three Exercises you can do at Home:
The first one is belly breathing. This is a great one you can do at home. Where you have one hand on your chest and then one hand on your belly and then you are going to take deep breaths with your belly. You want to make sure that the hand on the chest isn’t moving and that the hand on your stomach is doing all of the movement. Take a deep breath. The hand on your belly will rise and fall and you want to focus on using your muscles to pull in the breath and release the breath. You are going to do 10 of these. Deep breath, they are good for you anyway. Your upper hand should not be moving. You should not use your chest at all for these deep breaths.
The second exercise we are going to have you do is heel slides. This is great because it works on your core and some of your hip flexors. You are going to do is slide your heel and bring it up and then what you are using is your core muscles
and you alternate and then if you really want to engage your core, you can do alternating hands and heels. Good, this is a great exercise to do at home. Make sure you are engaging your core and that your pelvis is tilted so that you are using only your core muscles. Your hips should be tilted so your belly button is being pulled towards the table.
The third exercise I will have you stand up. This exercise is abdominal drawing in. What you are going to do is, make sure your pelvis is tilted, Back, not forward. You want to take a deep breath and suck it in like you are trying to put on a tight pair of jeans. Make sure that your belly button is as close to your spine as you can make it. You should be able to breath normally though and take 10 breaths. And you will keep your belly in.
Ok, so Dr. Kelsey has gone over 3 exercises that are great for Diastasis Recti if it is something that you think you have it is really important to get diagnosed by your practitioner, either your OB or a chiropractor we can address that in our office as well. The other thing that is happening is that we are getting low back pain since the abdominal muscles become weak we are losing range of motion in our low back, we are having to compensate for that.
If this is something you are dealing with, give our office a call and we will get you on your way to a pain free life!
All the Best
Dr. Kelsey and Dr. Becky