Having a baby creates incredible changes in your body. Fortunately, it is very resilient and can recover from the excessive strains pregnancy and labor puts on your body. However, sometimes there are impacts from birth that can lead to the development of low back pain after birth. These impacts can create lasting changes in your body that need special attention to recover.
While there are a ton of things that can cause pain in the low back area, I have found there are 3 most common issues that create pain in the thousands of postpartum women that I have seen in my clinic.
#1 PELVIS STUCK IN OPEN BIRTH PATTERN
After birth, I find there is a common pattern in the pelvis. The sacrum gets jammed up on the right-hand side. As a result, the sacral base is higher on the right than it is on the left. It also decreases the ability of the sacrum to move in that sacroiliac joint as it should. When I try to mobilize the sacrum in the sacroiliac joint, there is less mobility on the right side as compared to the left. This is what can cause pain to be more on the right side of the low back.
The pelvic bones can also be stuck in a widened position. This position occurs naturally to allow the baby to come on out. Not many practitioners are aware that the positioning of the bones of the pelvis can be altered after birth and left open in the birthing pattern. Most chiropractors and therapists will continue to do adjustments and mobilizations that they know. These typical adjustments are not quite as effective in helping to close up the pelvic bones after birth. Practitioners can learn how to close the pelvic bones in my Holistic Treatment of the Postpartum Body course.
I have yet to figure out a way to help moms be able to move their sacrum back into its normal position on their own. I am not aware of any specific exercise that can be done to help close up the pelvic bones after birth. At this point, it is beneficial to see a Birth Healing Specialist, someone who has taken the Institute For Birth Healing Postpartum course, to help you get your pelvic bones back into place.
#2 SCAR TISSUE FROM CESAREAN BIRTHS
After a cesarean birth, the body does an amazing job of healing the open wound. It creates scar tissue that attaches to anything and everything in that area. There are 3 issues that c-section scarring can create in your body that you can read more about in this blog post, and one of them is low back pain.
I have not met a c-section scar that is not tighter on one side more than the other. The side the main surgeon stood on is usually the tighter side. When the uterus has been cut open in the front and the scar tissue gets tighter on one side, it pulls the uterus forward on that side. The uterus is attached to the sacrum in the back via the uterosacral ligament. Since the body’s priority is the protection of the organs first, the body does what it needs to do to take tension off of the uterus. It pulls the sacrum forward, ever so slightly, and causes decreased mobility in that same side sacroiliac joint. This leads to low back pain.
I had a friend who has two teenage boys, and twice she had her back go out on her. The first time I saw her, all I did was release her c-section scar tissue in the front and her back pain went away. The second time this happened, I wrongly assumed her back pain was from hobbling around on a bad knee for 6 months following surgery. I worked on everything but her c-section scar and the next day she was still in pain. When I saw her next, I laid her on a picnic table at a school event and released her scar tissue. She immediately had no more pain!!!
Most birth professionals don’t tell you to massage your c-section scar. I’m here to tell you that it is very important to do so! Massaging the scar may prevent not only back pain but bladder and intercourse issues in the future as well. You can watch my YouTube video on how to do so here,
#3 PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLE TENSION
The third most common issue causing low back pain is tension in your pelvic floor muscles. This is especially true if you tore during childbirth. Tearing of any tissue creates scar tissue. Scar tissue is not as flexible as normal tissue. Your pelvic floor muscles run from your tailbone in the back to your pubic bone in the front. If you have tension in any part of these muscles, it can prevent your sacrum from being able to move as it should.
Your sacrum is meant to flex and extend as your spine bends forwards and backward. The sacrum does the opposite. When there is tension from the pelvic floor muscles, the sacrum can’t move in the sacroiliac joint as it should. This can create pain in the low back.
Releasing your pelvic floor muscles can help release your sacrum and allow it the freedom it needs to move as it should. You can try doing some intravaginal massage of your pelvic floor muscles yourself and see if that helps. Or better yet, please work with a Birth Healing Specialist who has taken my Postpartum course. These practitioners know a unique way of working with the vaginal tissues to get the most effective releases that shouldn’t cause any pain!!! They know exactly what to look for and how to release the tissues to get the pelvic floor muscles functioning optimally for you. I truly wish any person who has had a baby could be seen by a Birth Healing Specialist. They know what to look for and how to help you recover more completely after birth.
WHAT ABOUT CORE WEAKNESS?
While other issues can cause low back pain after birth, these are the 3 most common issues I find after having a baby. One could argue that weakness in the core muscles could be the fourth problem. However, I find the issues mentioned above contribute more than the weakness in the core.
Practitioners – Let me know below which of the above you see most in your practice.
Moms – Have you tried any of the tips I list above? Did you have an appointment with a Birth Healing Specialist after having your baby?