Jessica's Story ~ How to reduce back and pelvic pain

Jessica was twenty-nine years old and pregnant with her third child. Her eldest child was turning four and her second was just twelve months old. When she was twenty-seven weeks pregnant, Jessica began to experience a grinding sensation in her pelvis. The grinding feeling seemed to be coming from the front, at her pubic bone, as well as the back, in her sacroiliac joints, when she walked. She also felt it when she got up out of a chair and when she rolled over in bed. Her lower back had been sore for the past three months.

Jessica had also noticed that she had started to leak urine when she was going for a walk, and that it was getting harder to "hold on" when her bladder was full. Sometimes, to her embarrassment, she would not make it to the toilet on time.

Jessica spoke to her doctor about these problems. He sent her to see a Physiotherapist who worked in the area of women's health. The Physiotherapist gave her some advice about looking after her back during pregnancy and also taught her how to do "pregnancy abdominal bracing" exercises. These were not easy to do at first and took a lot of concentration. Her lower abdominal muscles were weak as a result of her previous pregnancies, and the fact that she had never exercised them before. As she talked with her Physiotherapist, Jessica discovered the importance of pelvic floor exercises. No one had ever told her about them. The Physiotherapist helped her learn how to do the exercises properly and she began to do them each day.
On the advice of the Physiotherapist, Jessica began to use the booklet, As Your Shape Changes. This booklet contained back care tips and checks for her pelvic floor and abdominal bracing exercises. Using the charts in the booklet, Jessica was able to monitor her progress.

After only one week, she felt that there was less grinding in her pelvis. After three weeks of doing the exercises and keeping track of her progress in the booklet, Jessica's back pain had gone and the grinding feeling in her pelvis had completely disappeared. She found it much easier to hold her abdominal muscles in and to do her abdominal bracing. She had also stopped leaking urine when walking, and could hold on to a full bladder much more easily.

Through the advice and assistance of her Physiotherapist, Jessica had learned the importance of strengthening her lower abdominal and pelvic floor muscles to help support her baby and take the pressure off her back and pelvis. She continued with these exercises during her pregnancy, and started postnatal abdominal bracing and her pelvic floor muscle exercises again after she had given birth, to help her get back into shape.

Jessica's story is similar to that experienced by many other women. She had no problems during her first and second pregnancies, but without specific toning and strengthening exercises, her muscles had stayed stretched and this eventually began to cause problems. Fortunately, Jessica's doctor knew that a Physiotherapist could help and, with the right advice and treatment, her muscles quickly regained strength and she recovered from her physical problems before they become severe.

Unlike Jessica, many women simply tolerate backache, pelvic pain and urine leakage during pregnancy without realizing that a great deal can be done to treat and prevent the problems associated with the physical changes of pregnancy and childbirth.

To find out more about how to care for your back during pregnancy buy our NEW ebooklet.
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