Many women experience back pain while they are pregnant. Some estimate that a quarter to half of all pregnant women have experienced this symptom at some point. There are several remedies to this problem that can help you prevent long-term discomfort. Some women find that pregnancy actually improves back pain that they experienced before. If you manage your symptoms properly, it is unlikely that your back pain will cause additional difficulties during labor. You can get answers of all your questions about backache during pregnancy in this article.
What Are the Causes of Backache During Pregnancy?
1. True Back Pain. True back pain is caused by the discs, ligaments, joints and muscles in the back becoming strained. This can occur due to injury, poor posture, lifting with bad technique or tight muscles. Those that had this before they are pregnant will be likely to continue these symptoms during pregnancy as well. This type of back pain will often become worse after being on your feet or at the end of the day when your muscles are tired from carrying your baby around.
2. Sciatica. Less than one percent of women experience sciatica, which causes inflammation in the back near the sciatic nerve which can cause pain to shoot down your leg or a pins and needles feeling. This is not caused by your baby pressing on this nerve, but is usually a symptom that you experienced before you were pregnant.
3. Pelvic Girdle Pain. The increases of hormones that occur during pregnancy are designed to allow the pelvic area to loosen to prepare for birth. These alterations can cause your back to become sore. Your center of gravity will also change as your baby grows, causing changes in your posture which can be uncomfortable. You may adopt poor posture as you try to manage your baby weight which can take its toll on your back. Similarly, gaining weight during pregnancy means that your back will have to support more which can cause you to become sore. Some women also find that all of these changes are stressful which can cause excess discomfort.
Pelvic girdle pain is specifically caused by pregnancy and will need different treatment methods. If you feel pain around the front of your body you could be experiencing a type of ligament trouble known as symphysis pubis dysfunction.
What Can I Do to Ease Backache During Pregnancy?
|As your belly grows it can pull your posture out of line. You may start to stand with a sway back without realizing it, causing pain in the muscles throughout your back. Work to stand up straight, pulling your muscles into a line from your head down, rolling hour shoulders back, lifting the rib cage and contracting the abdominal muscles to avoid this problem.|
Lower back extensions
|Lower back extensions can strengthen the muscles so it is easier to support your growing baby weight. Get onto your hands and knees on a mat for comfort. Flex the elbows slightly and pull your back straight. Extend one arm out to shoulder height while extending the opposite leg to hip height. Contract the abdominals and hold this position for a count of five. Perform 10-20 reps on each arm and leg.|
|Prenatal yoga helps to address the areas most affected by pregnancy. If you cannot attend a class, start a home routine that includes child’s pose. Kneel on the floor sitting on your heels. Tuck the chin to the chest and extend the arms until your forehead and forearms are on the floor. Hold this for a minute to relieve tension in the back.|
|Pelvic tilts can correct posture while releasing tension. Get on your hands and knees and contract the abdomen while rotating your pelvis. Try to get your tailbone pointing toward the floor. You can also do this move lying on your back until week 20 in your pregnancy. Repeat this exercise 10-20 times.|
Swimming /water exercise
|Swimming allows you to exercise while your body weight is supported. Your insurance company may cover the cost of visiting an exercise facility for this purpose. Many local gyms like the YMCA also offer pregnancy exercise swim classes.|
|Acupuncture is designed to trigger certain energy points to relieve pressure throughout the body. Studies have found this to be successful in managing pain for 60 percent of women. Be sure to visit an experienced acupuncturist or get a referral from your doctor. You will be asked to sit in a precise position for up to an hour while they insert needles into your skin, so you should be sure to be prepared for this as well.|
|Chiropractors can realign your spine and joints to relieve pain. This has been found to be effective in managing long term pain for 70 percent of people. They will use hands on pressure to address these alignments. Be sure to look for a chiropractor that is experienced in working with those that are pregnant to ensure a safe experience.|
Lumbar support pillows
|Sitting with a lumbar pillow can help to keep you upright to keep pressure off your back. Placing your feet on footstool to elevate them when you sit can help with this as well. This is a very simple way to relieve your backache during pregnancy.|
Supportive sleep environment
|Sleeping in a strategic position can help to take the pressure off your joints. Lie on your side with the neck in line with the spine. Placing a pillow between your legs can take pressure off your back and pelvis. Placing a pillow under your pregnant belly can also help stop pulling on your back.|
Angry cat stretch
|This stretch can release pressure on your upper spine and thus relieving backache during pregnancy. Start by getting on your hands and knees with a straight back. Lower your head and arch your back until you feel a stretch in your spine so you look like an angry cat. Hold this for around 10 seconds and repeat it if necessary.|
Maternity support belt
|These elastic belts can help add support to your bells so if you have to stand for long periods of time you won’t get worn out. These are available in a variety of fits from maternity supply companies.|
What Can I Do to Prevent Backache During Pregnancy?
If you are trying to get pregnant, work on getting in the best shape possible first. You can also work on your fitness levels if you are already pregnant to help your back support your growing body. You will be much less likely to feel discomfort if you exercise each week. If you have not been exercising, start slowly and avoid things like heavy lifting that could cause injury. Work to check your posture and make sure you are performing exercises correctly. If you will be lifting, keep these objects close to your body and lift with your knees rather than twisting your back.
When Should I Seek Help from a Specialist?
In most cases you should not need to contact your doctor about back pain. However, if your back pain is severe, abrupt, on one side or becoming increasingly severe, it is best to get your doctor’s opinion. You should also watch for rhythmic cramping in the back or abdomen as this could be a sign of preterm labor which will require medical assistance.