Back Pain During Pregnancy – Causes, Prevention and Treatment

4 min read

Pregnancy-and-Back-PainPregnancy can be tough on your back! Backaches are one of the common problems that will wear you out in pregnancy. Some women have periodic back pain, generally starting towards the second trimester of pregnancy, while others suffer from constant pain for the whole nine months. The good news is that in most cases, it eases soon after birth. This is due to the hormones which relax the ligaments, joints, and muscles that attach your pelvic bone. Gaining that extra weight during pregnancy can add to the problem by aggravating stress on your joints, making it painful to walk, stand, or sit continuously for longer periods.

What Causes Back Pain During Pregnancy?

Following are few important factors that trigger back pain during pregnancy:

  • Weight gain: The extra weight that you put on and the baby’s weight that causes pressure on the uterus and blood vessels makes it a tough job for the spine to support the same. This can also cause pain in the lower back.
  • Posture: During pregnancy, your center of gravity undergoes a change, hence you may start changing your posture accordingly. Sometimes the posture may seem comfortable at first but may end up causing stress or strain the back muscles.
  • Stress: Pregnant women undergo many stressful situations, and though it is best to keep stress at arm’s length, it seems impossible sometimes. Stress can cause muscles to strain and thus translate into back pain during pregnancy.
  • Hormonal Changes: Pain in the lower back can be due to the growing uterus or hormonal changes. You may experience pain or discomfort in your shoulders, ribcage, and upper back and in between your breasts.
  • Sciatica: A sharp shooting pain down in your legs and buttocks indicates your experiencing sciatica. You might also feel the pain in the front of your pelvis. It might get worse if you sit or stand in the same position for a longer duration.
  • Back pain history: If you had any pain in your back, pelvis or neck before conceiving can make it worse during pregnancy. Due to an old fall or injuries if any pain caused due to small fractures can also be flared up. Taking enough rest is the only solution to this.

What Can Be Done To Prevent Back Pain During Pregnancy?

You can prevent back pain during pregnancy by:
Following Good Posture- Watch your body position. Try to stand up tall and straight. Do not stand for too long; keep changing your foot from one to another. Sit down where ever and whenever possible, go for short walks. Use chairs that provide good support to your back and arms. Read on to know more.
Avoid heavy lifting- We’d suggest that you refrain from lifting heavy objects, and in case you have to, then try doing to slowly and steadily. Widen your legs, bend on your knees and use your arms and legs to lift – do not strain your back. Shop online to avoid carrying heavy groceries.
Stick On To Healthy Weight Gain- Keep an eye on that extra weight you are gaining. Gain weight only where it is required. The extra weight is hard on the back.
Wear Right Size Bra- Wear a maternity bra that is of the right size and is supportive, preferably with a wide strap and big cups. Similarly, with shoes, wear the ones that are comfortable. The much-desired high heels are out of the question.
Support in bed– Use plenty of soft pillows around yourself and between your legs. Get a new firm mattress if possible.
Do not stretch- Do not try to reach for the stars. To get things from the top shelf, use a low stool to reach for them to avoid strain on your back. As far as possible, keep things near your reach.
Relax- Keep your self calm and relaxed. Indulge in prenatal yoga and meditation to relax your back and mind.

How To Treat Back Pain during Pregnancy At Home?

  • Hot and cold compresses- To soothe soreness and stiffness, apply warm and cold compresses at regular intervals.
  • Massage- Taking a gentle massage from a masseuse who is trained in prenatal massage can ease back pain, although it can be temporary, but will still make you feel better or warm water bath will relax those muscles.
  • Exercise- Regular, light exercises during pregnancy will help muscles relax and hence treat back pain during pregnancy.
  • Counseling- If you are stressed, speak to someone about it and release the tensions.

Talk to your doctor to clear any further doubts if –

  • You suffer severe back pain, and it does not subsidize.
  • Pain begins abruptly or suddenly.
  • Rhythmic Cramping Pains that are also sudden.

Some More Tips To Avoid Back Pain During Pregnancy:

  • Do not bend; use your legs to squat.
  • Do not wear high heeled shoes.
  • Sleep sideways, and do not sleep on your back.
  • Always wear the right size bra and support hose.
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