Experiencing lower back and or hip pain during your pregnancy? No worries, I got you covered. I put together a list of stretches that my pregnancy patients got the most symptom relief from and loved. Please keep in mind that stretching is only suppose to feel like a stretch, NEVER PAINFUL.
Before starting your stretching regimen, consider these helpful and safety tips.
- Stretching should never be painful as mentioned. You are always win control of intensity of the stretch so if it is painful trying backing off on the pressure you are applying. Still painful after you modified your pressure, then don’t keep doing the stretch, it’s is not the one for you.
- Research also shows that holding a stretch for 30 sec duration results in the best stretch aka the stretch actually takes place. I also suggest 2-3 reps at a time unless specified otherwise.
- Research also shows that completing them on frequently basis is a factor to effectiveness.
- If you have known issues, please consult with your MD or a physical therapist first to make sure these will not cause or irritate existing symptoms.
- Important to breathe while holding your stretches. If you are having difficulty breathing, count out loud.
Now I introduce to you the 7 Best Stretches for Lower Back and Hip Pain During Pregnancy! These stretches come in various positions so try them both to see which ones you like best.
- Piriformis Stretch ( Seated and Lying Down)
- Seated: Sitting up nice and tall in your chair, place the foot on top of the other knee to make “Figure 4”. You can either push down on the knee of the leg that is crossed over or bend your trunk forward from your hips (not slumping forward) to feel the stretch. (example: If you want to stretch your right piriformis, place the right foot on top of the left knee and push down on the right knee. You should feel the stretch in your glut region.)
- Lying down: Lie on your back and bringing one ankle to the top of the other knee. With a towel or your hands grasp around the uncrossed leg pulling to tolerance. You should feel the stretch on the side that the is crossed over.
2. Lateral Hip stretch (Standing or Lying Down)
Lying Down: Lying on your back. Bend one knee and keep the other one straight against the surface then with hand opposite of the bent knee pull that knee across to the opposite side (example: if the right knee is bent, you are going to pull the right horizontally to the left with the left hand.)
Standing Lateral Hip Stretch: Find a wall or a chair. Stand next to the wall with the painful side of the lower back or hip closest to the wall. Use the arm closest to the wall to support yourself and help keep balance while taking a step away from the wall with the leg closest to the wall. Then cross the opposite leg over and let the hip just slowly lean towards the wall/chair.
3. Standing Hamstring Stretch
I think this is easiest with a chair or a step/box to support the leg you want to stretch. Just place the leg up there and slowly bend forward bending at the hips, not slumping forward. You should feel the pull in the back of the thigh.
4. Sidelying Trunk Rotation
I think this is my favorite. While this stretch is not directly targeting your lower back or hips it does help lower back and or hip pain during pregnancy. This stretches helps improve the mobility of the mid back ( aka your thoracic spine) which means less demand on your lower back and consequently your hips.
So start by ling on a side, doesn’t matter which side because you would want to do both. Bend both knees to chest to at least 90 degrees with your hands together as the first picture shows. The with your top hand open like a book, head and neck following hand, just as the second picture shows. You should feel a good stretch in the mid to upper back. I recommend about 15 reps on each side nice and slow.
5. Modified Child’s Pose Stretch
Here is the picture of your typical version of Child’s Pose but depending on the size of the belly, you may not be able to complete the stretch this way.
So try this instead. Sitting in a chair with your knees apart and reach for the floor straight forward. You can also isolate stretching the left or right side of the lower back by reaching for the opposite foot. For example, say you want to stretch your right lower back, the reach with both hands to the left foot.
6. Cat and Cow
Here is the starting position, both hands placed under shoulders and knees under hips. Start by rounding your upper back and moving the head down then slowly start to arch your lower back while looking up as pictured in the second picture. Take nice slow deep breaths are you change between the 2 positions. I recommend 10 reps per position.
7. Single knee to chest
Lying on your back, grab behind one knee and pull towards your chest.