Causes of postpartum back pain in mothers
According to experts, postpartum back pain can stem from various reasons. The following are the primary causes of back pain and fatigue experienced by mothers after giving birth:
Conditions such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis are bone and joint disorders that can affect anyone. Additionally, during pregnancy, the mother’s spine undergoes strain due to prolonged periods of supporting the extra weight. This often leads to discomfort, persistent back pain, and difficulty in sitting for extended periods while caring for the baby.
Postpartum back pain can be attributed to elevated levels of the hormones Progesterone and Relaxin, which relax the ligaments and joints in the pelvis. These hormones facilitate the comfort of the fetus in the womb. However, even after childbirth, these hormones can persist for several months, contributing to back pain in women after giving birth.
During pregnancy and postpartum, women often experience calcium deficiency in their bodies. This is because the mother needs to supply nutrients for both herself and the fetus during this period. Prolonged calcium deficiency leads to a decline in bone and joint health, resulting in postpartum back pain.
For those undergoing a cesarean section, spinal anesthesia is often required to alleviate pain. However, its side effects on postpartum spine health can be severe. Nearly 100% of women who have had a cesarean delivery experience long-term low back pain and spine discomfort. If left untreated, this can progress to chronic back pain.
Incorrect Sitting Posture
Postpartum back pain can be the result of improper breastfeeding positions and uncomfortable lying postures. Failure to adopt the correct sitting position can prolong the pain and may lead to the development of scoliosis.
Lack of exercise and prolonged bed rest after childbirth can cause muscle contraction and reduce the flexibility of bones and joints. This is a common reason for back pain in many women after giving birth.
After childbirth, the pelvic ligaments remain loose, making back pain inevitable. If this condition persists for an extended period, it can increase the mother’s risk of developing spinal conditions.
3+ Reasons Why Postpartum Mothers Should Engage in Back Pain Exercises
After childbirth, a mother’s body undergoes significant strain, leading to fatigue and difficulty in caring for the baby as usual. Therefore, it is crucial for mothers to incorporate back pain exercises into their routines to alleviate pain and restore their health. Here are three significant benefits of back pain relief exercises:
Alleviate Back Pain
Regular engagement in sports and yoga exercises aids in swiftly reducing back pain for mothers. This helps in enhancing the flexibility and elasticity of the bones and joints, particularly the spine, thereby alleviating back pain.
Robust and Flexible Bones
In addition to easing back pain, exercise and yoga routines also promote the strengthening and flexibility of bones. Most importantly, these activities aid in reducing the risk of future spinal and joint injuries for mothers.
Peace of Mind
Engaging in exercises to alleviate postpartum back pain also aids in relaxing the body and alleviating fatigue. Following a 25-30 minute exercise session, the mother’s body feels rejuvenated, with reduced tension and lower stress levels.
10+ Highly Effective Postpartum Back Pain Relief Exercises
Back pain is a persistent issue for many mothers, prompting them to seek quick remedies. Below are 10 effective and user-friendly back pain relief exercises that moms can incorporate into their routines:
Lower Abdominal and Pelvic Floor Exercises
This exercise targets the abdomen, back, and thighs of mothers. Regular and proper practice of lower abdominal muscle and pelvic floor exercises can significantly alleviate back pain. Furthermore, this exercise aids in effective postpartum tightening.
How to do it:
- Lie face down with your hands and knees on the floor. Adjust your back position to ensure a balanced and relaxed abdominal muscle.
- Gently perform inward and outward movements. While exhaling, contract and lift the pelvic floor muscles.
- Hold the contraction for 10 seconds, maintaining even breathing. Note: Mothers should avoid holding their breath or arching their back for optimal results.
- Rest for 5 seconds, then repeat the entire sequence 10 times.
Bridge Pose Yoga Exercise
The bridge pose is a popular choice among many mothers seeking relief from back pain after childbirth. This yoga posture is relatively straightforward and highly effective when executed correctly. It targets the muscle groups in the hips, abdomen, and lower back, aiding in alleviating spinal discomfort.
How to do it:
- Begin by lying on your back on an exercise mat with your knees bent.
- Concentrate on the muscle groups as you raise your hips off the floor or mat.
- Ensure that the hips are lifted to align with the knees and shoulders.
- Hold the pose for 10 seconds, then return to the initial position.
When practicing daily, repeat this movement 12-15 times.
Side Leaning Exercise
If you’re seeking a simple and user-friendly postpartum back pain exercise, give this workout a try. This exercise is regarded as one of the easiest and requires minimal time commitment. Side leaning exercises primarily target lower back fatigue and work to alleviate back pain.
How to do it:
- Lie down on the yoga mat and lean to the right while slowly bringing your knees toward your chest.
- Maintain even breathing while engaging the lower abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.
- Keeping your legs together, raise your left knee without moving your hips. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then gently lower it.
- After a brief rest, switch sides and repeat the movement approximately 10 times.
Cobra Pose Exercise
Engaging in the cobra pose stretches the muscle fibers, alleviating pressure and tension in the spine. Additionally, this exercise aids mothers in effectively reducing belly fat.
How to do it:
- Lie face down with your legs parallel to each other.
- Gradually position your elbows beneath your shoulders and lift your face upward.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed while endeavoring to raise your spine, ensuring your lower body remains on the floor.
- Maintain this position for 1 or 2 minutes and repeat 4-5 times during each exercise.
Wall Stand Exercise
Standing with your back against the wall is an exercise that offers numerous health benefits, including improved muscle strength, enhanced concentration, and muscle development and toning. This exercise is particularly useful for reducing back pain and enhancing spinal flexibility after childbirth.
How to do it:
- Stand with your back against the wall, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart and positioned about 60cm away from the wall.
- Gradually slide your back down the wall, using it for support until your hips and knees form a 90-degree angle. Keep your hands pressed against the wall, hanging down by your sides.
- Adjust your feet so that your ankles align with your knees, ensuring the soles of your feet and heels are close to the floor.
- Maintain a steady gaze on a fixed point and breathe evenly. If you feel a stretch in your upper thighs, you are employing the correct technique.
- Hold this pose for 1 to 1.5 minutes. Then, rest for 30 seconds before repeating at least three times during a single workout session.
Dove Pose Yoga Exercise
The pigeon pose is a fundamental yoga exercise that effectively aids in improving back pain and reducing stress. Mothers can practice this pose for beneficial results.
How to do it:
- Firstly, prepare a yoga mat and wear comfortable clothing.
- Sit on the mat with your right leg bent, the foot towards the pelvis, and the left leg extended straight behind you.
- Place your hands on either side of your hips, palms down, with your fingers pointing outward.
- Ensure that your thighs form a straight line parallel to the floor, with squared hips facing forward.
- Maintain a straight-ahead gaze, lifting your head and chest while remaining relaxed.
- After 30 seconds, return to the initial position and repeat the same steps with the other leg.
Bending is a postpartum back pain relief exercise favored by many mothers for its simplicity. When practiced correctly and regularly each day, it helps reduce back pain and promotes improved spinal function.
How to do it:
- Sit on the floor or a yoga mat with your knees bent, ensuring your feet are shoulder-width apart.
- Extend your arms upward, keeping your chest open and your back straight.
- Slowly bend forward at the waist, reaching your hands toward the floor or the mat.
- Keep your back straight, press your abdomen close to your thighs, and hold this position for 5-7 seconds before returning to the initial position.
- Mothers should aim to practice this routine about 15 times per session daily to expedite relief from back pain.
Twisting Pose Exercise
Another exercise worth trying to alleviate back pain is the twisting posture. Twisting is a movement that effectively reduces spinal degeneration, which experts recommend for mothers postpartum. This exercise aids in muscle relaxation and enhances synovial tension in the joints, particularly the spine.
How to do it:
- Lie on your back on a yoga mat.
- Bend your legs and gently lower your knees to one side, ensuring your shoulders remain balanced on the floor.
- Maintain this position for 10 seconds, then switch to the opposite side.
- Repeat the movement 10 times in 1 set.
Cat Pose Yoga Exercise
The cat pose is a user-friendly yoga exercise that offers numerous health benefits. This yoga movement aids in alleviating back pain and promoting a healthy spine. Simultaneously, when performing this exercise, mothers are encouraged to synchronize their breath with the movement, which effectively reduces stress and promotes a calm spirit.
How to do it:
- Position yourself on your hands and knees, ensuring that your shoulders and knees are aligned with shoulder-width apart.
- Tilt your pelvis, arch your back upward, and lower your head close to the floor.
- Maintain this position for 5 seconds, then return to the initial position.
- Repeat this movement 10-15 times during each exercise session.
Eagle Pose Yoga Exercise
The Eagle Pose is a standing yoga exercise that enhances calf strength and improves balance. Particularly, this pose is highly beneficial in addressing low back pain and sciatica.
How to do it:
- Stand upright on the floor, maintaining your feet hip-width apart.
- Keep your right leg grounded, lift your left leg, and cross it over your right thigh, tucking your left foot behind your right calf.
- Extend your arms upward, crossing them with the left arm over the right, allowing the palms to touch each other.
- Bend your elbows, bringing your hands to shoulder height, and position them in front of you.
- Maintain an upright posture or lean forward from your waist, aligning your upper body parallel to the floor.
- Take 5 deep breaths. Hold the pose for 15 to 30 seconds or longer if possible.
- Exhale and slowly release your arms and legs. Switch legs to the other side and repeat the exercise.
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Guidelines for Practicing Exercises to Alleviate Back Pain After Childbirth
According to medical experts, mothers should take note of the following guidelines while practicing exercises to alleviate back pain after childbirth:
- Begin with gentle warm-up exercises to generate heat and ensure adequate blood flow throughout the body. This step is crucial in preparing the muscles for stretching.
- Allocate approximately 10 minutes for relaxation in a comfortable position after completing the exercise session.
- Perform movements slowly and avoid sudden or rapid motions during the exercise routine.
- Many mothers make the mistake of exercising only when they feel discomfort, stopping once the pain subsides. However, to prevent the pain from returning, it is essential to maintain a regular daily exercise routine. Alternatively, if time is a constraint, aim for 3-5 exercise sessions per week.
- If during or after the exercise, you experience an increase in back pain instead of relief, cease that particular exercise immediately. Be proactive in monitoring your physical well-being and consult a doctor when necessary.
After reading the article, the mother should now have a good understanding of the appropriate postpartum back pain relief exercises, right? Hopefully, the above article has helped mothers address the challenges they may face after childbirth. Wishing you good health so that your journey of caring for your baby can be as fulfilling and joyful as possible.
Johnny Jacks was born in 1985 in Texas, USA. He is the founder of Good Health Plan and is passionate about helping people improve their health and physical well-being. With over a decade of experience working in the healthcare industry, he currently works at Goodheathplan.com – a blog that shares knowledge on beauty and health.