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How to Relieve Back Pain during Pregnancy

Robert Watkins IV';

By Robert Watkins IV

Posted on December 10th, 2019 in Spine Center

Back Pain while PregnantIt is very common to get back pain during pregnancy. In fact, 50 to 70 percent of pregnant women experience this type of pain. You are not alone in this situation. Women, who are most at risk, are those who had pre-existing lower back problems or are overweight. In some cases, it can begin with the onset of pregnancy, but in most cases, pain tends to arise between the fifth and seventh month of being pregnant. If you didn’t have chronic backaches before you got pregnant, your pain will likely ease gradually before you give birth. Let’s dig deeper into the subject. There is one good news for you! This is a sign that your baby is growing!

Back Pain Associated With Pregnancy Is Related to a Few Factors

  • Hormonal changes: In the early stages of your pregnancy, the hormones released by your body, especially the hormone named relaxin, soften the ligaments in your hips and stretch them to prepare you for labor. This can put a strain on the joints of your lower back and pelvis, which can cause back pain.
  • Weight gain: women typically gain between 25 and 35 pounds during a healthy pregnancy. This is an extra weight that the spine must support. The developing pregnancy and baby also strain muscles and put added pressure on the lower back and legs and the nerves in these regions.
  • Posture or position changes: as the uterus and the baby grow, the center of gravity can shift. This influences the way pregnant women move and walk. They need to adjust their posture to be able to carry the extra weight. This may result in extra strain on your back and can lead to pain.
  • Muscle separation: as the belly grows the rectus abdominis muscles stretch out and may separate. These two parallel muscles run from the rib cage to the pubic bone. This separation might worsen your back pain.
  • Emotional stress: muscle tension in the back can be increased by emotional stress. You may find that during stressful periods your back muscles may tense up which can lead to back spasms or increased pain. If you’re stressed, consider trying meditation, talking to a counselor, or taking a stress-reduction class.

There Are Several Ways to Treat Back Pain, No Matter What Semester You Are In!

In most cases it doesn’t go away completely, however, some ways can help reduce the severity and frequency of it, so you can focus on your coming baby.

1. Practice Awareness of Good Posture

The baby is growing in your belly and is shifting your center of gravity. You will have to adjust your posture to avoid falling forward and this can put a strain on your back.

Here are a few tips:

  • Stand up straight, keep your shoulders back, and hold your chest high. Slouching is not a good idea, it strains your back.
  • Wear flat shoes to distribute your weight evenly.
  • Avoid twisting your spine; try to turn with your feet.
  • Try to balance the weight between both hands when carrying something.
  • Use a comfortably wide stance when standing. Avoid standing too much on your feet.
  • When lifting something, do not bend from your waist. Keep you back straight and just squat by bending your knees. If it is something heavy, ask for help.
  • Sleep on your side, you can use a pillow between your knees or roll up a towel and tuck it under your belly, or use a body pillow. Anything that makes you sleep comfortably is a good idea! Having a good mattress can make a great difference also.
  • Good posture is also important when you are sitting. Make sure the chair offers good back support. You can use a lumbar pillow for additional support. Elevate your feet when sitting.
  • Consider wearing a supportive belt or garment to help take some pressure off your back.

2. Exercise

It is recommended to talk to your health care provider or a physical therapist to show you some pregnancy-safe exercises that can help strengthen the abdominal and back muscles. Regular physical activity is important during pregnancy. It can keep your back strong and can contribute to relieving your back pain.

Here are our tips:

  • Walking is generally safe during pregnancy. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes that provide good cushioning and are flexible. Walking can be a great exercise for relieving back pain!
  • Gentle stretching is always useful, especially for your lower back. For example: bend over slightly and rest your hands on your knees, keep your head straight, in line with your back. Just doing this posture can shift the weight from your lower back on your knees, and can help relax the tension. Pull in your stomach very gently and round your back slightly. Hold till is comfortable, and then relax your stomach and back. Try to keep you back straight. It can do wonders by relaxing your lower back! In quarters three and four do not pull your stomach anymore.
  • Doing prenatal yoga can be relaxing not just for your back.
  • Stationary cycling is another good idea.
  • Swimming or aqua natal classes (exercises in water).

3. Consider Complementary Therapies

You need to talk to your health care provider to see what kind of therapy can be a good fit for you.

  • Chiropractic care is safe during pregnancy. Just make sure your therapist knows that you are pregnant. A good spine adjustment session can make a great difference! Your chiropractor can also recommend gentle exercises and stretches that can be helpful for your unique situation.
  • Massage therapy can be helpful also. You can look for therapists specially trained to care for pregnant women.
  • Acupuncture can be a great aid in pain relief and is safe for pregnant women.
  • You can use ice-packs or apply a heating pad on your back, it might do wonders!
  • A warm bath may help also.

Take good care of your feet: Avoid wearing high heels or flats or other shoes with poor arch support. Some women wear compression stockings to keep their legs from getting tired and achy.

You need to keep in mind that severe back pain during pregnancy might be a sign of preterm labor or a urinary tract infection. If you have the following symptoms:

  • burning or pain during urination
  • vaginal bleeding
  • fever
  • loose feeling in one or both legs
  • have pain under your ribs or both sides of your hips
  • persistent, severe back pain

You need to contact your obstetrician-gynecologist (ob-gyn) right away.

If your pain is consistent and severe, you need to ask your health care provider for additional help. He or she might recommend a mild pain-killer such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or might need to rule out other causes of the pain.

Try to get plenty of rest and make sure to take care of yourself properly. After all, a beautiful baby is growing inside your belly! After the baby is born, most likely your back pain will go away.