Back pain during pregnancy is quite common and deserves special attention. It may be experienced during any point of your pregnancy; however, it most commonly occurs later in pregnancy as baby grows. Almost 50 to 70 percent of pregnant women experience back pain. Women who are most at risk for back pain are those who are overweight or had back pain prior to pregnancy. Common reasons are:
- Weight gain
- Change of center of gravity and relaxing effect of hormones on pelvic joints.
- Additional weight – Your developing pregnancy and baby create additional weight that your back must support.
- Stress – It usually accumulates in weak areas in the body, and because of the changes in your pelvic area, you may experience an increase in back pain during stressful periods of your pregnancy.
- Uncommon causes of severe back pain may be related to pregnancy-associated osteoporosis, vertebral osteoarthritis, or septic arthritis.
But it can be managed by good posture, some physical activity and complementary therapies.
Importance of the Right Posture: Support your back
As your baby grows, your center of gravity shifts forward. To avoid falling forward, you might compensate by leaning back, which puts a strain on the muscles in your lower back and contributes to back pain. What can you do?
- Stand up straight and tall.
- Hold your chest high.
- Keep your shoulders and back relaxed.
- Do not lock your knees.
Take a comfortable wide stance for support while standing. In case of prolonged standing, rest one foot on a low step stool and take frequent breaks.
Good posture also means sitting with care. Choose a chair that supports your back, or place a small pillow behind your lower back.
Choose your footwear
Wear low-heeled shoes with good arch support. Avoid high heels, which can further shift your balance forward and cause you to fall.
Ask for help and lift gently
When lifting a small object, squat down and lift with your legs. Don’t bend at the waist or lift with your back.
Sleep in lateral position: pregnancy pillows can be useful
Sleep on your side, not your back. Keep one or both knees bent. Consider using pregnancy or support pillows between your bent knees, under your abdomen and behind your back.
Hot or cold fermentation
While evidence to support their effectiveness is limited, massage or the application of a heating pad or ice pack to your back might help.
Include physical activity in your daily routine
Regular physical activity can keep your back strong and might relieve back pain during pregnancy. Gentle exercise like walking can be continued. A Physiotherapist can help out in some stretches and exercises that might help.
You should know when to consult your Gynecologist
If you have severe back pain during pregnancy or back pain that lasts more than two weeks, talk to your health care provider. She might recommend you some medication.
Back pain during pregnancy might also be a sign of preterm labor or a urinary tract infection. If you have back pain during pregnancy that’s accompanied by vaginal bleeding, fever or burning during urination, contact your doctor.