Can you stretch too much during pregnancy?

Stretching is something that we talk about in our office on a daily basis. Many patients come to us with muscle imbalances from sitting at work or even from working out. But today we are going to talk about pregnancy instead!

As a woman gets further into pregnancy, relaxin is flowing in full force. Relaxin is necessary to relax the ligaments in the body, specifically in the pelvis, to allow the pelvic basin to expand when babe is delivered. As the pelvic and lumbar spine joints loosen up, the muscles in the glutes, hips and low back begin to work harder - literally holding your pelvis together! This obviously sounds like stretching those muscles would be the most beneficial, but that is not always the case!

The majority of the pregnant women that come into our office find significant benefits in stretching the glutes, hips and low back. However, approximately 10% of women (in my experience) experience less relief and more frequent pain with stretching. Normally a treatment plan will begin with some basic stretches, but as soon as they aren't helping it is all about STRENGTHENING! Our goal moving forward is to help stabilize the hips and the pelvis throughout pregnancy. This can be done with squats (weighted and non weighted), banded side steps, clam shells and banded clam shells. The improvements that are seen by switching up a treatment plan are incredible in as little as 24-48 hours.

If you or a loved one, are struggling with pregnancy-related low back and/or hip pain, please give our office a call. We want to keep your comfortable during pregnancy and help you achieve your labor and delivery goals!

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