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Back Pain and Pelvic Health

Back pain. Everyone ends up with a sore back at some point in their life. Lift something too heavy? Sleep wrong? Have a fall? Most of the time, back pain sorts itself out with little or no treatment. What does this have to do with pelvic health? Back pain that doesn’t get better with physio treatment, massage, or exercise might need a difference approach.  

What kind of exercises come to mind when you think of treating back pain? Stretching and strengthening the core muscles are the most common exercises. Most people think of abdominal exercises when we talk about strengthening the core. But the core is so much more than just the abs! In the pelvic health world, your core is a team of muscles. Your abs' teammates include your back muscles, your pelvic floor muscles, your glutes and your diaphragm. So if we want to treat the core, we need to get the whole team working, not only the abs.

A trained physio can work with you to relieve your pain and strengthen your abs, back, and glutes. When back pain continues despite treatment, it is worth checking on the rest of the core muscles. A pelvic health physio has special training to be able to assess your pelvic floor muscles with a pelvic exam. Most of your pelvic floor muscles attach to your spine, on your sacrum and coccyx (or tailbone). Any tightness in these muscles can pull on your spine, which can pinch nerves and cause pain or weakness. A pelvic exam allows direct access to those muscles, making it easier to assess and treat any problems with them. Both weakness and tightness in the pelvic floor muscles can contribute to back pain but need a different treatment approach.

Having a pelvic health physio on your back pain treatment team is even more important if you've had kids. Delivering a baby has obvious effects on the pelvic floor muscles. Pregnancy itself changes your abdominals. Some mamas will develop diastasis, or separation of the abdominals, that doesn't resolve after birth. This separation causes weakness in the abdominals and can lead to back pain. Research has even shown that where a woman's back hurts often lines up with the weakest part of her abs. Improving her diastasis usually fixes her back pain in these cases.

Have you ever had a baby, even if it was years ago? Do you have back pain that won’t go away? Pelvic health physio might be the missing piece of the puzzle! 

Learn more about pelvic health and diastasis at one of my FREE virtual workshops:

Pelvic Floor 101 on Saturday March 27th at 11:30am

Diastasis 101 on Tuesday April 20th at 7:30pm

Need answers sooner? Book a free, one-on-one consultation to discuss your particular pelvic health concerns.

Email ntetreault.physio@gmail.com to reserve your workshop spot or consultation today!

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