Back pain during pregnancy isn’t surprising; it’s very common during pregnancy. It can occur during any point in your pregnancy; however, it most commonly occurs later or the third trimester in pregnancy as baby grows and put more pressure on the body. Women who are overweight or had back pain prior to pregnancy are at a higher risk of having back pain during pregnancy.
What causes back pain during pregnancy?
Back pain typically happens where the pelvis meets your spine, at the sacroiliac joint. It is related to a number of factors. The most common factors of back pain during early pregnancy include:
- Hormones changes – The hormones,
relaxin, released during pregnancy allow ligaments in the pelvic area to soften and the joints to become looser in preparation for the birthing process. It also causes the ligaments in the spine to loosen up, resulting in instability, pain, and discomfort.
- Increased weight- Women typically gain weight between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy. The weight of the growing baby and uterus puts pressure in the blood vessels and nerves in the pelvis and back.
- Posture or position – Pregnancy shifts your center of gravity. As a result, you may gradually begin to adjust your posture and the way pregnant women move resulting in back pain or strain.
- Stress – Stress leads to muscle tension in the back resulting you may experience an increase in back pain during stressful periods of your pregnancy.
Treatment for Back Pain during Pregnancy
There are many ways to treat back pain during pregnancy or make it rarer or milder:-
- Avoid sitting or standing for a long time in a position.
- Making small changes in your postures can have a big impact on preventing back pain. Always stand straight with your shoulder relaxed.
- Sit on chairs that have supportive backs or use pillows at your back. Sit up straight and don’t lock your knees when you sit.
- If you need to lift small objects, squat down slowly and rise back slowly. Avoid lifting too much weight.
- Sleep on your side during the third trimester to reduce the risk of stillbirth.
- Use a pillow to make sleeping more comfortable. Place a pillow between your knees and another under your belly; this prevents you from back pain.
- Ask your gynecologist to recommend exercises like stretching and low-impact exercises that are safe for you. These regular exercises can boost your body flexibility and help ease back pain.
- Avoid high heels shoes and always wear soft and comfortable shoes which do not put any strain on your feet. You need to discontinue them for a few months; until your baby is delivered.
- Avoid wearing tight clothes during pregnancy as this may reduce the supply of oxygen to the muscles and can cause the blood flow to be restrained which is another cause of back pain during pregnancy.
- Wear the supportive maternity bra of the right size. Make sure the straps of the bra are wide enough and the cups are big enough to avoid extra strain cause pain.
- Get a gentle pregnancy massage if your doctor gives permission for it!
- Never take any medications without checking with your doctor first, it may cause complications in pregnancy later.
When to See a Doctor
Women who experience back pain during pregnancy should contact their healthcare provider or doctor if they experience any of the following symptoms:
- Increasingly severe pain or pain that lasts more than two weeks
- Cramps that occur at regular intervals
- Vaginal bleeding
- irregular vaginal discharge
- Burning during urination