The ligaments that stabilize the SI joints stretch to allow for delivery of your baby. While they usually return to normal after giving birth, if they remain loose it may result in back pain after pregnancy and eventually can lead to SI Joint Dysfunction. There are a number of potential reasons that this pain occurs, including:
- Posture Changes & Weight Gain–A growing and heavy abdomen can shift your center of gravity, temporarily causing you to change the way you move without evening knowing it. These changes can result in pain or strain on the back and SI.
- Hormonal Changes –Soft tissues supporting the SI joint loosen due to increased levels of the hormones estrogen and relaxin. Though this is a normal human process, it can put abnormal wear and excessive stress on the SI joints and may predispose the SI joint to sprain and cause back pain after pregnancy.
For most women, pregnancy-related SI joint pain will resolve with time and restoration of the body’s muscles after pregnancy. Pelvic supports and ice/heat therapy relive discomfort, but for some, the pain may linger well after baby is born. If your back pain after pregnancy has become chronic, it is important to speak with a physician about a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.