If you experience pregnancy related low back pain, call us on (03) 9571 6888 or fill in our online form

Back pain during pregnancy


Current research indicates that up to 70% of women experience low back pain at some point during pregnancy.  This can be a burden on expectant mothers when it begins to impact on daily tasks, work or sleep.

The combination of hormonal and physical changes results in increased laxity and reduced stability around the back and pelvic areas.  This resultant instability can lead to increased susceptibility of low back pain.  If you experience back pain during pregnancy, here’s several things you can do to reduce and prevent back pain.

Keep moving

Staying in one position for too long increases the risk of pregnancy related back pain.  Good habits include moving at least every half an hour.

Try standing up during the ad breaks of your favourite television show.  At work, consider a stand up desk.  Alternately, get up at regular breaks and try walking to the kitchen or doing a lap of your workstation or office.

When doing daily tasks try to alternate positions.  For example, when cooking, alternate between standing at the kitchen bench and sitting at the kitchen table.

Be careful lifting

Avoid lifting without bending your knees.  Bend from your knees, pushing through your feet.  Ensure that you try and lift objects directly in front rather than having to twist or rotate during lifting.

Be mindful of lifting with regular tasks.  For example, consider placing heavier and bulkier items closer to the edge of the car boot in order to allow easier access and avoid having to stoop over when lifting.

If you have young children, try alternating sides that you lift and carry them on.


Appropriate exercise is crucial during all phases of pregnancy.  It is important to prepare the body for childbirth.  Maintaining appropriate core strength and conditioning has been proven to reduce the likelihood of injury post partum.  Safe and beneficial exercise options during pregnancy include clinical pilates or water based exercise.

Key points to remember include:

  • Avoid high intensity exercise.  Due to an increased heart rate at rest, it is important to monitor heart rate and intensity of exercise.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Perform exercises in a cool environment to avoid overheating.
  • Monitor the position of exercises.  Exercising for sustained periods lying flat on your back should be minimised and monitored.

Tell us

It is important to seek help early.  Pregnancy does not mean that you have to accept back pain as being inevitable.  Your physiotherapist is well placed to address your back pain and provide a range of safe exercise options.

At Malvern East Physiotherapy, we can assess your back pain by performing a series of simple tests and provide a tailored treatment approach to manage your pregnancy related back pain.