A bit confused over physio?

I know most women don't escape backache at this time and some get it a lot worse than others. Having broke my back at 19 (falling off a horse cos I'm clumsy like that) I certainly didn't expect to escape, especially as I do suffer a lot form a bad back Normally when too bad would be given strong pain killers and/or intense physio which would fix me to be able to get back to work, riding and doing all those other things that wouldn't give me a minute to myself. Pregnancy slowed me down, and I gave up riding for the time being (bouncing up and down and feeling sick don't go well together) I've got slower and slower with sickness, dizziness and so on. My back has certainly been least of my worries but to begin with to be on the safe side I had asked what I should do should my back play up. A list of warmth, exercise etc that I already knew, most painkillers (not inc paracetamol) were out and under no circumstances would the physio be able to do anything.

Anyway after much nagging from my boyfriend and finally having a day when I just couldn't manage the stairs at all went back to the doctor to see if there was anything I wasn't doing that I could to help myself. Already limited in what I can do did not want to lose mobility as well! Turns out I have sciatica, which isn't as bad as could have been, so doctor has put me in for an emergency physio appointment. Said I was told physio wouldn't be able to do anything when I'd asked about treatment previously and told there shouldn't be to much of a problem - thing is was the same doctor who had said I wouldn't be able to have physio. So I guess my question is has anyone had physio whilst pregnant? And other than giving advice can they actually do anything?


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7 Replies

  • I've suffered with back pain throughout pregnancy. Spoke to midwife who did not seem keen on referring for physio but sent me for acupuncture instead. Since then I've gone privately for physio sessions having found someone with expertise in pregnancy. She has done some manipulation but often comments that she cannot do exactly what I need because I'm pregnant. It has given me some relief and she has recommended exercises that I do on my birthing ball. I have also accessed a Pilates session that the physio leads and she adapts the exercises for me. I've been this morning and she has tried strapping up my back in the area causing the most pain but has said that if this doesn't work, there is little more she can do for me. It has helped along the way but think I've now got to the point that there is little more that can be done! 4 weeks to go until my due date so hoping baby comes sooner rather than later! X

  • Hi there, I've done both physio and acupuncture recommended by consultant obstetrician. Both professional were accredited to work on pregnant women. In addition to that I am doing pregnancy friendly yoga (again by accredited trainers) 3-4 times a week. The reason for that is that well controlled clinical trials have proven yoga to be effective for people with chronic low back pain and thus the doctor thought it would be helpful for pregnancy evoked sciatica as well. Also swimming helps with fitness and developing a strong back. Hope you will also find relief soon :-)

  • thanks. Hopefully going swimming later in the week. Not been in a little while so hopefully getting back to it will help. Lynstoun hope baby does come sooner rather than late for you, know how painful mine is just at mo. I've 8 weeks to go but we know I'm probably going to be early because of low bp. Does a birthing ball help? Had it recommended but not sure if was worth getting one or not x

  • I have developed back pain in the last week so I'm hobbling as well as waddling! My lovely hubby paid for me to have a back massage today which seems to have helped. The lady is qualified in pregnancy massage and certainly knew how to find tension points and ease these. I'm also starting aquanatal classes this week run by the physio team at my local hospital - hopefully these will help as well.

  • I complained after being told I didn't meet the criteria for physio and had an app arranged for the following Monday! ...she basically asked what sort of pains I was getting and gave me exercises to do to strengthen my core and leg stretches but the only problem I have with the core strengthening exercises and they are easy is I get cramp in my calf muscles!....they will go through your history so make sure you tell them what limits you because of your broken back....my siatica is made worse if I do too much walking and bending or lifting things I suffer for it the next day! And my spd ! Hope you get some relief siatica is a proper pain in the arse

  • Lol, it most definitely is a pain in the backside. Got an appointment Friday and possibly going to a class next Tuesday so hopefully will help. Stairs are my nemesis at the minute, everything else is a pain but coping at the minute x

  • I would guess that it might depend on how much a part of the pregnancy your sciatica is as physio would certainly be a part of treatment normally (my husband is a recurrent sufferer!) As for pregnancy related back pain maybe it is not be recommended if it involves a lot of manipulation as a key thing with all sorts of physical stuff (yoga etc) is that the pregnant woman is in complete change of what her body does and monitors how every movement feels, stopping if anything becomes uncomfortable. It is dead easy to strain things in pregnancy because the hormones make all your ligaments very stretchy and they can give too much. A lot of what a physio does though as people have said is give appropriate ongoing exercises and gently keeping up the strength of core muscles in pregnancy does help to alleviate back problems. I think they would probably be hands off and get you to monitor how every exercise feels stopping at the first sign of pain.

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