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  • Writer's pictureEmma Carpenter

Back pain during pregnancy and exercises

Updated: Jan 1


Back pain in my point of view is the worst kind of pain, it's that gnawing sensation, the not being able to get comfy, or spasms when you move and let's be honest when pregnant back pain does get worse. It depends on how you carry your baby, how big your baby is or how strong your ligaments are in your anterior and posterior change (front and back). Have you seen the viral videos going round where someone goes behind the pregnant women and just lifts that bump up and take the weight and pressure away for a few seconds, by the looks of the women's faces it is heaven! So what types of back problems can you get when you are pregnant?


One of thoughts back problems is called sciatica. The sciatic nerve runs down the lower back, across your glutes (bum) , hips and down each of your legs. When you are carrying your baby depending on how your baby lays, this can cause your sciatic nerve to become trapped and you will feel shooting pains down your lower back, glutes and legs and wow does it hurt! Research has shown sciatica is worse in the colder months so recommended even when pregnant having thick socks on, trousers and a hot water bottle.



During your third trimester you can suffer with a condition called Lordosis. This means your lumbar part of your spine becomes more curved which means your hips drops forward and your bum sticks out more. This is due to having your bump in front and to compensate for the added weight your lumber verterbraes curve more to compensate as your centre of gravity is off and your body feels like it may topple forward. The hormone called relaxin is released during pregnancy which causes your ligaments to relax and thus preparing your body for birthing your child especially in your pelvis. So with more relaxin, ligaments being more relaxed and the added weight of the baby your spine is under a lot of stress to keep you upright, this is when in most women in their 3rd trimester will suffer with lordosis.


Another condition due to having more relaxin in your body is that your ilium can become dislodged which can cause lower back pain. Your ilium is what connects your vertebrae's to your pelvis. During childbirth you can also have coccyx pain before during and after birth. A lot of women have a condition whereby after giving birth your coccyx may not go back completely and this can cause pain walking and sitting down.


Don't worry I am not just going to write this whole blog on the biology behind the female anatomy when you are pregnant. So I am now going to give you 5 exercises your can do to help relieve back pain during pregnancy. As I am a Pre and Post Natal speciliast coach these exercises are all safe to do when pregnant unless your doctor has advised not to due to medical reasons. This is a great exercise to relieve lower back pain and pelvis pain. Complete this exercises every other day, complete 2 rounds, 10 reps of holds for 25 seconds, rest for 2 minutes after all 5 exercises then repeat the circuit one more time.




  1. Cat to cow- Get on all fours with hands directly under your shoulders knees under your hip. When your ready exhale curl your back up towards the ceiling and your head comes down then inhale and return to start position. Exhale then tilt your pelvis, stick your bottom out then bring your head forward, inhale then go back to the start positions.


2. Wall pelvis tilts- this exercise is a fab exercise if you're coming towards the end of your third trimester and are finding it hard to get on the floor. Stand up against a wall, back flat to the wall. On the exhale push your pelvis forward so your lower back arches slightly however your upper back and shoulders stay flush to the wall, on the inhale return back to your start position. This exercise can relieve lower back pain, sciatica and also if you have pain in your ilium and coccyx.




3. Yoga ball pelvis tilts- This is a harder version of the wall pelvis tilts. With your yoga ball sit with your lower back flush to the ball, feet flat on the floor. On the exhale tilt your pelvis forward and slightly towards the ceiling, make sure you have a slight arch in the back as you want to stay on the ball, on the inhale return to the start position.




4.Torso rotations- sitting on the floor or sofa, sit up right like a piece of string is on the top of your head pulling you up so your shoulders come back. Have your hands on your knees, on the exhale twist your torso to the left, place your left hand on the floor and look over your shoulder and hold for a few seconds. On the inhale rotate back to the start. On the exhale rotate to the right, your right hand on the floor or sofa then look over your shoulder and hold for a few seconds. On the inhale return to your start position. This is a great exercise for lordosis and also sciatic pain.


5. Extended puppy pose- kneeling on all fours, on the exhale rock your hips back, lay your pelvis in between your legs, lay your chest to the floor, face the floor and walking your hands out in front of you. Hold for 25 seconds then on the inhale return to start position. This exercise is great for your lower back and hip pain.


50/80% of pregnant women will suffer with back pain during pregnancy. Some women can experience back pain in the first trimester however most women start experiencing back pain at around 18 weeks. The difference is that you have now read "let's keep it real" blog and you have 5 exercises in your toolkit to help relieve some of this back pain. If the back pain becomes excruciating I would recommend going to seek medical advice as there could be more to it then just back pain from carrying your baby and your body making room for this young life.

Women's bodies are amazing, you carry this little human for 9 months, you grow it inside you, your body makes room for this baby, it then births this baby and keeps this baby alive. So with all this going on it isn't surprising that it can come along with health conditions like back pain, however with these blogs you can have the exercises you need to help ease these health conditions, so please note down these exercises or share this blog and exercises to your other mum friends.



I am going to leave you with some questions like I do with all my blogs. Did you suffer with health conditions when you were pregnant? Did you seek medical help? Have you tried these exercises before and have they helped ease your back pain? Do you think their is enough help out there to offer mums to help them whilst pregnant? But remembers guys "let's keep it real."





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