Most pregnant women experience some sort of back pain with pregnancy. The good news is its natural and means your baby is growing, the even better news is you can seek back pain relief during pregnancy.
What causes Back Pain during Pregnancy?
Most women don’t experience back pain during early pregnancy, but kicks in overtime. Most women suffer from low back pain; upper back pain during pregnancy is uncommon.
There are a variety of reasons you may experience back pain while you’re pregnant. Here are a few of the likely causes:
Women gain between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy. This can cause stress on your spine, which triggers lower back pain.
Because of weight gain, your center of gravity begins to shift. Without even noticing, you may adjust your posture and the way you naturally move.
Having a baby is an exciting but stressful time. Stress can cause muscle tension in your back, which may cause back spasms or back pain.
As the uterus expands, your muscles, which run from the rib cage to the pubic bone, may separate along the center of the seam. This separation may worsen back pain.
In preparation for the birth process, your body makes a hormone called relaxin that allows ligaments in the pelvic area to relax and the joints become looser. This also causes the ligaments that support the spine to loosen, leading to instability and pain. This is commonly referred to as sciatica.
How to Manage Pregnancy-related Back Pain?
Regular exercise keeps your body strong and boosts flexibility, which can ease the strain on your spine. There are many types of exercises that are safe during pregnancy, including walking, stationary cycling, and swimming.
One thing you can take note of is your posture during pregnancy. Slouching strains your spine, so take note of how you are sitting while sitting, sleeping, and working.
Applying Heat and Cold
If your back is particularly painful, applying a cold compress and using a heating pad can help. Use a cold compress for twenty minutes 2-3 times a day. Then, switch to putting heat on the pained area. (Remember: do not put heat on your abdomen during pregnancy.)
It will help if you toss out the heels and wear comfortable, sensible shoes during pregnancy. Look for shoes that have a nice arch-support to them to help protect your back.
Be careful when you bend down to pick up something- you actually do not want to bend at all, if you can help it. Instead, try to squat with your legs to pick up something. Also, be sure to avoid back sleeping altogether. Not only does this protect your baby, but it will protect your back from receiving extra pressure on it.
Wear a maternity belt
A maternity belt is a supportive garment that will help hold up your pregnant belly so that your pelvis and lower back aren’t too strained. You can generally find maternity belts and maternity clothing at stores or online.
Finally, the good news is that if you did not have back pain before getting pregnant, you will most likely not have it after pregnancy either. Also, you may even begin to feel a reprieve from back pain towards the end of your pregnancy!
Which Professional to Visit for Pregnancy-related Back Pain?
A physiotherapist is a highly skilled professional who can help you to minimize and alleviate back pain and dysfunction during pregnancy. Physio management of back pain generally includes:
- Identification and addressing the cause of back pain
- Joint and soft tissue mobilization
- Performance of appropriate and specific exercise
- Education on use of proper body mechanics
Individually tailored, supervised physiotherapy is reported to be more effective for treating back pain in pregnancy than general back and pelvic pain therapies. So always visit a Physiotherapist before managing low back pain.
Best Exercises to prevent Pregnancy-related Back Pain:
- Core set
- Lying March
- Prayer stretch on Gym ball
Dr. Mansi Parikh (PT),
B.P.T; MSc (MSK), U.S.A.
co-founder EndoRush App.