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Can Pregnancy Cause Back Pain

What Causes Severe Back Pain During Pregnancy 5 Causes

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

Hormone Changes

During pregnancy, your body produces a hormone called relaxin. This hormone is a very important hormone in pregnancy because it allows the ligaments in the joints of the pelvic area to relax and prepares your body for the whole birthing process.

The downside is that this same hormone can also cause the ligaments which support the spine to loosen and create instability, causing you severe back pain.

Weight Gain

Weight gain is a given in pregnancy. Women typically gain about 25 35 pounds, which is completely normal in a healthy pregnancy.

The side-effect of weight gain is that the spine has to make some serious adjustments in order to support the weight of your growing baby.

The baby and uterus also put added pressure on the nerves and blood vessels around the back and pelvis area, which can cause severe back pain.

Center of Gravity Changes

Your body is starting to gain weight which causes a change in your center of gravity.

As your baby grows, your center of gravity will start shifting forward . This puts a lot of strain on your back as you try to overcompensate your muscles to stay balanced.


So many things change in your body during pregnancy which can lead to emotional stress. Its been proven that our emotions can affect us physically too.

This can cause unnecessary tension in the back to where you may experience muscle spasms and back pain.

Muscle Separation AKA Diastasis Recti

As your uterus expands so does your rectal abdominal muscles.

Causes And 7 Symptoms Of Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy, where the embryo grows outside the womb, is fatal and a primary cause of pregnancy-related deaths during the first trimester.1

Its no secret that pregnancy is a precious experience. Yet, like all things related to health, pregnancies can run into problems. Lets take it back to the basics. In a normal pregnancy, the egg is fertilized in the fallopian tube. Then, it travels down to the uterus and attaches to the lining of the uterus in a process called implantation. If the egg is blocked or slowed down, implantation can happen outside the uterus. The outcome is an ectopic pregnancy, a fatal complication for the mother and almost always death for the embryo. If youre planning on getting pregnant, its important to be aware of the causes and symptoms of ectopic pregnancy.

Remedies For Severe Back Pain During Pregnancy

There is no need to suffer unnecessarily during pregnancy.

Learning to manage pain and comfort during those 9 months can make it a more enjoyable process.

It may not take it away completely, but it will help to ease the pain or at the very least keep it to a minimum.Below are a few helpful practices.

1. The right shoes

Pregnancy is the time to take a break from those high heels.

Of course, its perfectly okay to occasionally use a pair of heels on a night out or during the beginning stages of pregnancy when your body hasnt gained too much weight just yet.

One of the main reasons you want to stay away from high heels is the fact that they cause a further shift in your center of gravity. This can cause unnecessary severe back pain, and may even cause you to fall.

Wearing the right shoes can make a huge difference in the comfort of your entire body. Eliminating unnecessary back pain, offering you safe passage. Try to find a pair of comfortable low-heel shoes, with a good arch for support.

2. Sleep Support

Sleeping with a pillow between your legs can feel like heaven after a long day. It takes pressure off the back, and in between the hips.

You may find this as comfortable as I did and continue to sleep with a pillow well after pregnancy.

3. Gentle Stretches

Practicing gentle back stretches on a regular basis can strengthen your back, as well as ease back pains during pregnancy.

4. Get a Massage

5. Physical Activity

6. Prenatal Yoga

7. Use heating pads

10. Sleep On Your Side

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Risk Factors For Back Pain During Pregnancy

Back pain is incredibly common, but some risk factors do increase your chance of experiencing it .

Some of these risk factors are:

  • Previous experience with back pain before pregnancy.
  • Back pain during a previous pregnancy.
  • Weak abdominal muscles.
  • Pain in the center of the lower back.
  • A deep ache in the buttocks.
  • Pain that extends through the thighs and legs.

While sharp pains can certainly happen during pregnancy, this type of pain is much less common. Sharp back pain that shoots down the legs can also be related to nerve pain or a more serious condition. It is best to consult your doctor or healthcare provider immediately if you are experiencing sharp pains.

Lower Back Pain After Ovulation: Pregnant Or Not 4 Main Causes

Back Pain And Backache During Pregnancy

Question: Is lower back pain after ovulation a sign of pregnancy? Is it normal for women to experience back pain while ovulating?

After ovulation, there are many hormonal changes that will happen to a womans body. Some of these changes can result in abdominal cramps and back pain.

If you are expecting pregnancy, your back pain after ovulation could be a sign. However, its not abnormal the women will have Upper or lower back pain right after ovulation.

Most importantly is the timing of your pain, and also, the duration of your back cramps. Pain due to ovulation or pregnancy are not long-lasting So, its essential you inform your doctor if you are experiencing a severe back pain after ovulation that is lasting for days or weeks.

Heres an email I received from Chloe

Just like Chloe, if you are expecting and get a lower back pain during or after ovulation, you may feel its due to pregnancy. But, its not entirely true.

During ovulation, there are changes to your ovaries that may cause some women to experience cramps and lower back pain.

Having said that, the timing is important, and if you have back pain right after ovulation, its likely still due to ovulation.

Its important you see your doctor if the duration and severity of your pain seem abnormal. Endometriosis, Adenomyosis, peptic ulcer disease, pelvic inflammatory disease, and uterine fibroid can result in abnormal back pain.

Also Check: How To Relieve Back Pain From Herniated Disc

Obstetrical Conditions That May Cause Back Pain

While not common, certain obstetrical conditions, such as spontaneous abortion, ovarian cysts, pelvic or uterine adhesions, fibroids, or collection of fluid, may cause lower back pain in pregnancy.

Back pain may also result as a sign of labor and is typically associated with uterine contractions that gradually increase in intensity.

Upper Back Pain During Pregnancy

There is a lot of focus on pre-natal lower back pain, but clinically I treat many women in this population that experience upper back pain as well. Upper back pain during pregnancy can occur at any point, but is most common in the third trimester. This occurs for several reasons.First, as pregnancy progresses, the growing size of the baby and the uterus shifts the center of gravity forward placing increased pressure on the muscles in the back.Secondly, a woman can gain 25-30% of their body weight in a relatively short period of time, which also places increased stress on the muscles in the back.The changing hormones in the later stages of pregnancy can also have an effect.As the body prepares for delivery, hormones are released that loosen the ligaments and muscles in the body.When this occurs there is less inherent stability in the pelvis and back, which causes the muscle to work harder, and sometimes this increased demand on the muscles can cause muscle spasm.Lastly, the enlargement of breast tissue during pregnancy can alter posture and increase strain on the neck, shoulders, and thoracic spine.

While upper back pain during pregnancy is common there are some steps that you can take to prevent this from occurring and relieve symptoms when they do occur.

Also Check: How To Soothe Lower Back Pain

Cauda Equina Syndrome During Pregnancy

Rarely, around 2% of pregnant women who have herniated lumbar discs may progress into a serious medical condition called cauda equina syndrome.13 In this syndrome, the herniation directly affects the cauda equina nerves that progress down from the spinal cord, disrupting nervous system signaling in the legs.

Typical symptoms of this condition include one or more of the following:

  • Inability to pass urine, a reduced urinary sensation, a loss of desire to pass urine, or a poor stream
  • Reduced or complete loss of bowel and/or bladder control
  • Worsening neurological symptoms with intolerable pain
  • Numbness in the groin, buttocks, and/or genital area

Cauda equina syndrome must be treated on an urgent basis to preserve leg function. Optimal management requires a multidisciplinary approach with several specialists, including the obstetrician, orthopedic specialist, neurologist, and/or neurosurgeon.

See Treatments for Cauda Equina Syndrome

The many causes of lower back pain in pregnancy relate to biological, mechanical, postural, hormonal, and vascular factors. In most cases, several factors act together, resulting in pain. While pregnancy-related back pain typically subsides on its own, if the symptoms and signs worsen over time, consulting a doctor is advised.

But How Does This Pressure Cause Lower Back Pain

What Causes Pregnancy Pains Video

Your bodys response to the increase in size of the uterus, and the resultant pressure on the intestine and bladder, is to posteriorly rotate your pelvis. Here is one of our favourite videos for explaining exactly what this means:

In a nutshell, this means that the curve in your lower back actually slightly. Due to the anatomy of the bones in this area, this flattening of the curve results in a slight stretch of the tissues in between these bones. If your body struggles to adapt to this stretch, you can develop lower back pain.

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The Number 1 Reason You Have Lower Back Pain In Early Pregnancy

So youve just found out that youre pregnant- congratulations!!!

If youre like many women, then for now, its probably only you that know this exciting little secret.

The only problem with this is- early pregnancy can bring with it a whole host of challenges- morning sickness, frequent trips to the bathroom, fatigue like youve never, ever felt before, and sometimes, lower back pain.

but its only heavily pregnant woman that suffer from back pain, right?


Whilst weve all seen and felt for those about-to-pop ladies who are clearly waddling their way towards their due date whilst managing lower back pain, the truth is, lower back pain can affect women at all stages of pregnancy.

But before we get to the reasons why youre experiencing this pain, we need to make it clear exactly what we mean by lower back pain, and explain the prevalence and risk factors for it.

How Common Is Back Pain During Pregnancy

Back pain is incredibly common during pregnancy, in fact, it affects more than two-thirds of pregnant women and is experienced in varying degrees of severity by most expectant women.

Though most women experience some level of general discomfort during pregnancy, 50 to 70 percent of women specifically report struggling with back pain during pregnancy.

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Sites Of Ectopic Pregnancy

Over 98% of ectopic pregnancies occur in some part of the fallopian tube. Very rarely, the egg may implant itself in the abdomen, ovary, or even a C-section scar.

If the egg isnt in the uterus, where does it go? More than 98% of ectopic pregnancies happen in some part of the fallopian tube including:

  • Ampulla: the part that curves above the ovary
  • Isthmus: bordering the ampulla
  • Fimbria: finger-like projections at the end of the fallopian tube

Sometimes, the embryo ends up in a part of the fallopian tube that penetrates the muscular layer of the uterus, leading to interstitial or cornual ectopic pregnancy. Interstitial pregnancies are rare but riskier. In fact, their mortality rate is twice as much as any other fallopian tube ectopic pregnancy.

In very rare cases, an ectopic pregnancy may implant in locations outside the fallopian tubes, such as the abdomen, liver, spleen, cervix, ovary, or even a Cesarean section scar.2

Causes Of Back Pain In Pregnant Women

Lower back pain during pregnancy

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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Is Lower Back Pain In Early Pregnancy A Sign Of Miscarriage Or Ectopic Pregnancy

While most cramping and lower back pain in early pregnancy is nothing to be concerned about, both can be signs of serious problems. Contact your medical provider immediately if youre concerned.

Back pain and abdominal pains in early pregnancy can sometimes be the first thing women notice if theyre suffering from a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy

Abdominal pain in early pregnancy is predominant with both of these conditions, but it is often confused with lower back pain.

If youre experiencing cramping and lower back pain in early pregnancy that will not let up, increase in intensity, or occur at regular, close intervals like contractions, call your OB or midwife.

Also contact your doctor if your stomach pain is accompanied by bleeding or spotting, especially heavy bleeding with bright red blood.

Its easier said than done, we know, but try not to worry too much until you talk to your healthcare provider. Always call your doctor if your cramping and lower back pain are accompanied by other symptoms, especially vaginal bleeding or passing tissue.

But feel free to contact them anytime youre concerned. Thats what theyre there for!

What Are The Best Options For Pregnancy Back Pain Relief

Once youve determined that a critical problem is not causing your cramping and lower back pain in early pregnancy, the fun part beginstrying to figure out how to find pregnancy back pain relief!

A sad reality of pregnancy is that cramping and lower back pain can continue throughout the entire pregnancy.

This means looking for ways to alleviate the problem since many medications are not recommended during pregnancy.

Talk to your doctor about relief methods that are safe for you. Here are some that the mothers in our community have found to be the most effective for pregnancy back pain relief.

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Back Pain In Pregnancy

Pregnancy-related changes typically involve the joints and connective tissues, making them loose, pliable, and soft. These changes result in increased stress and strain on the spinal and pelvic joints in the lower back and hips. Back pain may develop as early as the first trimester and typically increases as pregnancy continues.1

The pain can vary from intermittently minor discomfort, to chronic and debilitating. The pain may originate in the mid and/or lower back area and typically includes the pelvis and hips. The lumbar spine and sacroiliac joints are most commonly affected due to changes in posture, joint stability, body weight, and shape.2

While in most cases back pain is self-limiting, resolves after delivery, and does not cause lasting issues,3 some women may continue to be affected by pain in the lumbar and/or pelvic region for several months or years.4 In general, women who receive postural and activity-related counseling during pregnancy are less likely to develop severe back pain symptoms.

This article describes the causes and types of pregnancy-related lower back pain in detail, including insights on treatment options and the occurrence of back pain after birth.

What Causes Lower Back Pain After Ovulation

Pregnancy back pain Definition

After the start of your menstrual period, your menstrual cycle hormones, Estrogen, and follicle stimulating hormone continue to rise for days.

As the name suggests, follicle stimulating hormones trigger the growth of follicles in your ovaries, and as these follicles grow, they secrete estrogen hormones.

Estrogen hormone causes these follicles to further increases in size till a single follicle grows bigger than the others and contains the egg to be released during ovulating.

If youve occasionally noticed back pain before ovulation, this increase in follicular size is the cause.

During ovulation, there is a rupture of this very big follicle resulting in the release of egg, fluid, and blood into the intrabdominal space. This is the reason you will feel abdominal cramps and back pain during your ovulation.

Right after ovulation, the released egg is pushed from the Very big follicle into the fallopian tube, whose function is to transport the egg to the uterus.

The fallopian tube is made of up smooth muscles cells that causes contractions, and in addition to the ciliary action of lumen cell, the egg is pushed to your womb. This movement can cause abdominal and back pain after ovulation.

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