How Exercise and Massage Can Help Pregnancy Pain - Nose Creek Sport Physiotherapy, Calgary
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How Exercise and Massage Can Help Pregnancy Pain

There are many changes that happen to your body throughout pregnancy. Your body needs that extra care, and we know how important proper maintenance can be for your overall experience as a mother to be.

Have you ever wondered why these common symptoms may be happening?

See what kinds of changes your body may be going through:

Lower Back Pain


As many as three-quarters of pregnant women experience back pain which most often appears in later months or becomes worse as pregnancy progresses. The two common patterns of low back pain in pregnancy are lumbar and posterior pelvic pain.
Lumbar pain may have been experienced before you were pregnant and is felt over your spine at the level of your waist approximately. It may also cause pain that radiates to your legs, and sitting or standing for long periods of time may make it worse especially at the end of the day. Posterior pelvic pain is felt lower than lumbar pain and may be felt deep in the glutes and back of the thighs. It may be triggered by walking, climbing stairs, getting in and out of a tub or a low chair, rolling over in bed or twisting and lifting.

Why does this happen?

  • Your expanding uterus shifts center of gravity. It then stretches out and weakens abdominal muscles, which changes your posture and puts strain on your back.
  • A pressed nerve from the pressure could contribute to your painful experience.
  • Carrying extra weight will increase stress on joints and add more work for your muscles.
  • Hormonal changes loosen joints and ligaments that attach your pelvic bones to your spine. This can make you feel less stable and cause pain when you walk, stand, sit for long periods, roll over in bed or lift things.

There is a higher risk for low back pain if you’ve lead a very sedentary lifestyle and have poor flexibility and weak back and abdominal muscles. For example, carrying twins or more increases your odds of having an aching back. As well, bed rest is generally not helpful for low back pain and may make it worse. Exercises that strengthen your abdominal muscles and stretch your back and legs as well as pregnancy massage can help with many of these problems.

Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP)

At least half of all moms to be are thought to have some sort of back or pelvic pain at some point, but it’s not something to neglect. Pelvic girdle pain describes the pain in the two joints of the pelvis; sacroiliac joints and symphysis pubis joint. The areas of pain include low back, sacroiliac joints, groin, front and back of thigh and around the hips. PGP can begin as early as the first trimester or as late as a few days before giving birth. If you experience PGP in one pregnancy, you are likely to have it again next time you get pregnant.
Exercises (especially for your stomach), pelvic girdle, hip and pelvic floor muscles aim to improve the stability of your pelvis and back. PGP usually clears up within a few weeks or months after the birth, but you may have a mild recurrence just before your period when hormones released at this time have a similar effect to pregnancy hormones.


Why does this happen?

  • During pregnancy the hormone relaxin is produced which softens your ligaments, the tough tissues that connect your joints.
  • Joints are more mobile during pregnancy which helps your baby pass through your pelvis during birth.
  • The joints in your pelvis moving unevenly.
  • Changes to the way your muscles work to support your pelvic girdle joints.
  • One pelvic joint could not be working properly and cause pain in the other joints.

When you have pelvic pain while you’re pregnant, this means your irritated joints are less stable. This also means that proper maintenance of your joint and muscle health is even more important during pregnancy.

Why would massage therapy help these conditions? We assure you a face-to-face assessment would identify exactly why.
Carmen is our Pregnancy Massage Therapist, and can offer a wide range of advice and solutions for your experience.
Book by calling 403.275.7728 at our Thorncliffe location.

Be your best, feel your best.



Blair Schachterle BScPT, Dip Manip PT, Dip Sport PT, FCAMPT, CGIMS

Blair has been a Physiotherapist at Nose Creek Sport Physiotherapy since 2001. Blair graduated from the University of Alberta with a BScPT in 1992. He has focused on Orthopaedic Manual Therapy and Sport Therapy. Blair completed his Sport Therapy Diploma in 1997, and his Advanced Manual and Manipulative Diploma in 1998. Blair is also certified for IMS (Intramuscular Stimulation) Dry Needling. Blair has a keen interest in active rehabilitation of recent and chronic, spinal and peripheral, joint and muscle injuries. He enjoys treating upper neck pain that is associated with cervical tension headaches, sciatica (pinched nerve in lower back), shoulder injuries and traumatic knee injuries. Blair previously served for 6 years as the Executive Chair of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Therapy (CAMPT).

Blair balances his busy professional life by staying active. He enjoys cycling, swimming, working out, hiking, camping and snowboarding, depending on the season. Blair shares his free time with his wife, son and daughter outside on the weekends. He has learned to enjoy the journey, as life really is too short.
Blair Schachterle BScPT, Dip Manip PT, Dip Sport PT, FCAMPT, CGIMS

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