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Can Early Pregnancy Cause Back Pain

Frequency And When It Presents

Back Pain During Early Pregnancy : Causes And Super Easy Treatments | Back Pain During Pregnancy

Research shows that around 50% of people who are pregnant will experience low back pain during pregnancy or in the postpartum period. Low back pain during pregnancy can be mild or associated with specific activities. For some people, it can be chronicthat is, pain is persistent and lasts more than three months.

One-third of pregnant people will suffer from severe low back pain that reduces their quality of life, while 10% report that low back pain affects their daily routine and ability to work. For most people, low back pain starts between the fifth and seventh months of pregnancy, but for some, low back pain may occur earlier.

As Your Belly Grows So May Your Spine Pain Woes

About 50 to 80% of pregnant women experience back pain. Because the connection between back pain and pregnancy is not fully understood, access to the right treatment can be a challenge. Fortunately, pregnancy-related spine pain typically has a short life spanmost cases go away shortly after your babys birth.Women typically experience pregnancy-related pain in the lower spinethe low back, sacrum, and pelvic regions. Photo Source: back pain is often localized to a specific area of the spine and not widespread. Back pain tends to arise between the fifth and seventh months of pregnancy, though it can begin much earlier.

When To Immediately Consult The Physician

If you feel the cramping to be on one side of your lower abdomen then you must consult your doctor to be on the safe path. You should do that even if the pain or cramping is not severe.

If can observe a type of vaginal bleeding along with early pregnancy lower back pain and cramps then you should consult your physician as soon as possible as it may also be a chance of a miscarriage but it doesnt always mean a miscarriage. Your physician may also ask for your blood test or maybe an ultrasound to figure out the problem.

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When Should I See My Doctor For Back Pain During Pregnancy

Even if you experience only mild back pain, it is important to inform your doctor. He or she can recommend the best methods for you to manage those symptoms and can then monitor you throughout your pregnancy for worsening symptoms.

If your symptoms are severe, become severe, and are persistent or prolonged, call your doctor right away.

You should call your doctor and seek immediate medical care if your back pain is accompanied by:

  • Numbness or weakness: Severe pain, numbness or weakness in the legs may be a sign of a condition called sciatica. While sciatica is not common, its symptoms can be similar to normal back pain. However, sciatica can cause leg pain that is more severe than your back pain. You will likely feel it below the knee and in your foot and toes, along with a tingling sensation, numbness or weakness. Call your doctor immediately if you feel weakness in one or both legs, or lose sensation in your legs, groin, bladder, or anus.
  • Fever and dull ache: A fever accompanied by a dull ache across your lower back or along the sides of your back could be a sign of a kidney or bladder infection, or urinary tract issues. This would require immediate attention and treatment with antibiotics. Call your doctor immediately if you feel back pain accompanied by painful urination, blood in the urine, chills, or fever.

Abdominal And Pelvic Pain

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The initial symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy may be experienced by 6 weeks from your last period. A pregnancy test at home may not confirm the pregnancy. If the symptoms aggravate to one-sided abdominal pain, bloating, and vaginal bleeding or spotting, its essential to visit a doctor.

Pain in the lower abdomen or the pelvic area, especially on one side, is a symptom of ectopic pregnancy. The pain may be dull or sharp and will increase with movement, passing stool, or coughing anything that puts pressure on your abdomen. You may also experience a sense of bloating and heaviness when lying down. This is especially seen in women who have had a child before.9 If the area around the implantation ruptures, you would experience sharp pain and cramps.

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Causes Of Back Pain During Early Pregnancy

One of the major culprits of back pain during pregnancy is the action of hormones. The function of these hormones in pregnancy is to prepare the ligaments and joints in your pelvis for childbirth, but they can act on any joint in your body too. Bob explains back pain during early pregnancy is really due to hormonal changes particularly with progesterone and relaxin. Their job is to prepare the pelvic cavity for pregnancy. These hormones help to relax the pelvic muscles and loosen the ligaments and soft tissues, which can lead to the back being overburdened.

For some newly expectant mothers, back pain is an early sign of pregnancy. Early pregnancy back pain can be exacerbated by worries about the baby and the pregnancy and related stress which can increase muscle tension and cause discomfort. Other stresses such as family, work or other issues, coupled with the release of progesterone and relaxin which are helping your joints and ligaments get ready for the process of giving birth, are bound to contribute to an aching back.

Ways To Ease Back Pain During Pregnancy

Brian Levine, MD, MS, is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology as well as in reproductive endocrinology and infertility.

Low back pain and pelvic pain are among the most common problems that occur during pregnancy if you are pregnant and experiencing these symptoms, read on, you’re not alone. About half of pregnant women will complain of significant low back pain symptoms. The changes your body experiences during pregnancy are dramatic, and these physiologic changes can cause unexpected pain and difficulty with seemingly normal activities.

Contrary to popular belief, back pain is not only a problem later in pregnancy. In fact, the incidence of back pain during pregnancy peaks around 18-24 weeks. While the added weight of the developing fetus is a large component of why pregnant women develop these symptoms, it is not the only reason. A complex set of physiologic changes in the body can contribute to the development of lower back symptoms.

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Laxity Of Soft Tissues And Joints

The concentration of the relaxin hormone rises considerably during pregnancy, which increases tissue and joint flexibility in the lower back. The sacroiliac joints may become increasingly lax under the influence of this hormone. Since the sacroiliac joints are responsible for maintaining pelvic stability and transferring loads from the spine to the legs, the loosening of these joints may add to postural problems and increase the risk of back pain.1

Slow Rise Of Hcg Can Indicate Ectopic Pregnancy

How to manage back pain during early pregnancy? – Dr. Teena S Thomas

Fortunately, early detection of an ectopic pregnancy is totally possible. It calls for a transvaginal ultrasound and a test of the womans blood human chorionic gonadotropin levels. This hormone, which is produced by the placenta after embryo implantation, shows up pretty early in pregnancy and doubles every 3 days for the first 811 weeks. If a blood test finds that hCG levels arent rising fast enough, an ectopic pregnancy is suspected.10

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Sore Sensitive Heavy Boobs

Soreness or tenderness in your breasts can be one of the very earliest pregnancy symptoms. Changes to the breasts can actually start as early as 1 to 2 weeks after conception, says Dr Larisa Corda, obstetrician, gynaecologist and IVF consultant. Pregnancy hormones can make breasts swollen and sore. Or they may feel heavier or fuller or more tender to touch.

Its certainly a symptom many of the mums on our forum recognise. I started getting really sore boobs and sore nipples 7 to 10 days after my last period finished, says DemWatson. I thought it was due to my period because I was also experiencing cramping. I took a pregnancy test around 2 weeks later and it was positive!

I tested because I had really sore boobs, adds ErinDsoontobeB. They were that sore, I had to wear a bra in the bath!

Is Lower Back Pain First Trimester Sign Of Pregnancy

In the first trimester, more than 10 20 percent of women will have a miscarriage. A common symptom is vaginal bleeding. However, you may experience abdominal cramps, vomiting, body weakness, lower back pain and absent pregnancy symptoms.

Are you worried your back pain early pregnancy is due to a miscarriage? Ask Us!!

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When To Contact Your Health Care Provider

Experiencing back pain is usually not a reason to contact your health care provider, but there are situations where contacting your provider is necessary.You want to contact your health care provider if you are experiencing any of the following:

  • Severe back pain
  • Increasingly severe or abrupt-onset of back pain
  • Rhythmic cramping painsThis could be a sign of preterm labor.

Severe back pain may be related to pregnancy-associated osteoporosis, vertebral osteoarthritis, or septic arthritis. These are not common, but it is something your health care provider will examine for if you are experiencing severe back pain.

Causes Of Back Pain In Pregnancy

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There are several physiologic changes that occur in a pregnant body that can explain the increased chance of developing back pain. The most notable is the weight gain that occurs during pregnancy which is typically 25-35 pounds, with at least half of that weight gain occurring in the abdominal region. The weight change also shifts the posture of the spine and changes your body’s center of gravity.

The second major change that occurs is hormonal. These hormone levels that are raised increase the laxity of joints and ligaments in the body. One of these important hormones, called relaxin, has been shown to correlate with symptoms of back pain. Studies have found that women with the highest levels of relaxin often have the most significant back pain.

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Is Lower Back Pain Early Pregnancy Sign Of Miscarriage

Because there are many causes of low back pain when pregnant, its important you understand whats normal and whats not.

Firstly, having lower back pain in the lower back is common after your third month of pregnancy and may continue till you are term

Secondly, having low back pain is possible in the first trimester and may not mean a miscarriage if youve experienced a severe pain before your pregnancy.

Thirdly, a mild or severe lower back pain with vaginal bleeding and stomach cramps is not normal in pregnancy.

The truth is back pain in early pregnancy with vaginal bleeding is a sign of miscarriage. If you are bleeding with back pain in early pregnancy between 4 and 8 weeks of pregnancy, you must inform your doctor.

Miscarriage is very common especially if you are in your 4th week of pregnancy. At four weeks, the likelihood you may end up with a miscarriage is as high as 22 to 75 percent. The rate at 5 and six weeks is lower, about 10 and 5 percent respectively.

Subsequently, as you get towards your second trimester, it becomes less likely you will get a miscarriage.

Other symptoms you experience if back pain is due to a miscarriage are

More Hungry Or More Thirsty

While some mums-to-be suddenly cant bear the thought of eating, others suddenly find theyre so ravenous, eating is all they can think about.

For forum mum MsDodger, her appetite went through the roof. I eat a lot normally but this it was a massive leap, she says. I could not stop snacking all day and eating large meals.

And this ravenous urge can apply to drinking as well, as eating, as bleurgh discovered. Thirst! I wondered how much I could actually drink before drowning myself. Even my hubby said he nearly asked if I was drinking for two before I tested.

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Lower Back And Abdominal Pain With Cramping

Sudden onset of severe abdominal pain and cramping may indicate a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. In this condition, the egg fertilizes and grows in a place other than the uterus, most commonly inside the fallopian tube, which ruptures due to the growing size of the fertilized egg.7

The symptoms of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy may also include severe lower back and/or groin pain. This condition is a medical emergency and must be treated with surgical intervention on an urgent basis.

Causes Of Back Pain In Pregnant Women


Pregnancy back pain typically happens where the pelvis meets your spine, at the sacroiliac joint.

There are many possible reasons why it happens. Here are some of the more likely causes:

  • Weight gain.During a healthy pregnancy, women typically gain between 25 and 35 pounds. The spine has to support that weight. That can cause lower back pain. The weight of the growingbabyand uterus also puts pressure on the blood vessels and nerves in the pelvis and back.
  • Posture changes.Pregnancy shifts your center of gravity. As a result, you may gradually — even without noticing — begin to adjust your posture and the way you move. This may result in back pain or strain.
  • Hormone changes.During pregnancy, your body makes a hormone called relaxin that allows ligaments in the pelvic area to relax and the joints to become looser in preparation for the birth process. The same hormone can cause ligaments that support the spine to loosen, leading to instability and pain.
  • Muscle separation.As the uterus expands, two parallel sheets of muscles , which run from the rib cage to the pubic bone, may separate along the center seam. This separation may worsen back pain.
  • Stress. Emotional stress can cause muscle tension in the back, which may be felt as back pain or back spasms. You may find that you experience an increase in back pain during stressful periods of your pregnancy.

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Abdominal Pain Or Discomfort

Sharp, shooting pains on either side of your stomach may result from the stretching tissue supporting your growing uterus. These pains may also travel down your thigh and into your leg.


  • Change your position or activity until you are comfortable avoid sharp turns or movements.
  • If you have a sudden pain in your abdomen, bend forward to the point of pain to relieve tension and relax the tissue.
  • Apply a hot water bottle or heating pad to your back, or take a warm bath or shower.
  • Try a massage.

Follow My Babys Growth

If something feels out of the ordinary, contact your health care provider as soon as possible. Understanding the signs and symptoms of early pregnancy cramps, can help you figure out what is normal and when to call your health care provider.

Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms during early pregnancy:

  • Normal cramping pain Normal pregnancy cramps are very similar to period cramps, which are usually not very severe. In early pregnancy, you may experience short cramps in your lower abdomen.
  • Light bleeding Light spotting during early pregnancy might be linked to implantation bleeding.

If youre not sure if youre pregnant and experience cramping along with nausea, vomiting, breast tenderness, and spotting, make sure to take a pregnancy test. These can be early symptoms of pregnancy.

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Treatment For Early Back Pain During Pregnancy

No matter what stage of your pregnancy youre in, there are ways to treat back pain. You probably wont be able to prevent it completely, but you can help to minimize the pain.

Follow these tips for reducing back pain throughout your pregnancy.

  • Focus on maintaining good posture when youre seated or standing. Stand straight, with your chest high, and your shoulders back and relaxed.
  • Try to avoid standing for long periods of time. If youre on your feet a lot, try resting one foot on an elevated surface.
  • If you need to pick something up, remember to squat instead of bending at the waist.
  • Avoid lifting heavy things.
  • Wear sensible shoes that offer support.
  • Try sleeping on your side, not your back, with pillows tucked beneath your belly and between your knees for gentle support.
  • Practice pregnancy-safe exercises designed to strengthen and support your abdomen and back.
  • As your abdomen grows, consider wearing a supportive garment or belt to help take some of the pressure off your back.
  • Research local chiropractors who specialize in pregnancy-related care and learn more about how an adjustment can help relieve back pain.
  • When seated, try to elevate your feet and make sure your chair offers good back support. Use a lumbar pillow for additional low back support.
  • Try to get plenty of rest.
  • If your back pain seems to be linked to your stress levels, things like meditation, prenatal yoga, and extra rest can all be helpful ways to manage your stress levels.

    Cramping In Late Pregnancy

    Early pregnancy cramps, abdominal pain during pregnancy ...

    Cramping in the second or third trimester could be harmless or concerningit depends on the situation.

    • Preterm labor: Cramps occurring at regular intervals may indicate preterm labor. More than six cramps or contractions in 1 hour, a change in vaginal discharge such as bright red vaginal bleeding, a sudden gush of clear fluid, a low, dull backache, or intense pelvic pressure are all possible signs. For any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately.
    • Round ligament pain: You may experience shooting pains in the lower abdomen or around your hips due to a phenomenon called round ligament pain, which occurs as your body accommodates your growing uterus. These types of pains are normal and will pass, but you should discuss them with your doctor.

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