Why does my lower back hurt in postpartum?

After giving birth and in the years following, many women experience lower back pain. For some women, this pain can go on forever! The dull ache or throb at the base of the spine, right above the tailbone, is attributed to weak pelvic floor muscles. 

There are a few main contributors to weak pelvic floor muscles. During pregnancy, the fast-growing uterus adds weight to the pelvis quickly.  Then at birth, the muscles work hard to expand and support a smooth delivery, but can become damaged and need time to heal.

In postpartum, returning to working out, intercourse, or everyday movement with poor body mechanics can make symptoms worse.

Three contributors to weak pelvic floor muscles:

  1. Weight gain due to pregnancy
  2. Childbirth causing pelvic floor muscles to expand, and sometimes become damaged
  3. Postpartum recovery is rushed or overlooked such as working out again too soon, poor body mechanics when picking up your baby

To overcompensate for weak pelvic floor muscles, posture is compromised!

Poor posture and body mechanics is often seen when:

  • breastfeeding
  • holding baby
  • picking up heavy objects or children
  • standing with pelvis slouched forward

A term for slouching and tucking the pelvis too far forward is “doming”. Doming is when a person is standing with their pelvis forward and the spine isn’t fully upright and straight. Picture someone standing with their bum caved forward and their spine at an angle. This overcompensation will contribute to lower back and hip pain until the pelvic floor and glute muscles are strong enough to support good posture. 

To help lower back and hip pain, good posture is necessary!
  1. Try standing straight with your pelvis slightly rocked back so that your spine stands fully lengthened and supportive to your hips and pelvis.
  2. The rib cage and pelvis need to be stacked. 
  3. If you are standing, and your pelvis looks like it is in front of the rib cage, shift the pelvis back so that they are aligned.  This will allow loads, like carrying babies or toddlers to go through the body and not put excessive strain on the low back. 

If you have questions about your posture we offer in person or virtual appointments to help. CLICK HERE!

Along with good posture, building strength in your pelvic floor muscles can be done with full body exercises like plank, body weight squats, and kegels. Get my best core workouts AT THIS LINK.

I help women and children live their life to the fullest, without worrying about pelvic floor pain, peeing while sneezing, or difficulty pooping. When not at the office, I like to play board games with my kids, binge-watch Netflix with hubby, and travel outside of the AZ heat.

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