Why You Can Suffer From Lower Back Pain When Youre Only A Few Weeks Pregnant:
When youre not pregnant, and in the first trimester or so of pregnancy, the uterus is contained within the bones of the pelvis.
Many women arent exactly sure what this means, so weve included a photo of the bony pelvis for you to get an idea. Can you see the hollow area in the middle of the ring of the pelvic bones? This is where your uterus normally resides when you are not pregnant, or in the first three months or so of pregnancy.
From the moment of implantation, your uterus will begin to expand in size, ever so slightly each day. Because everything sits quite snugly in this bony ring, this growth will cause displacement of the structures that surround the uterus, meaning that they can in turn start to put pressure on other local structures.
The two structures that are closest to the uterus are your bowel and your bladder. Pressure on these is the reason behind all of those extra trips to the toilet that you probably werent expecting yet, and is also the reason why some women experience lower back pain from such an early stage in their pregnancy.
Coping With Pregnancy Pains
If you are experiencing sharp or stabbing pain during pregnancy, there are some possible solutions that you can try to alleviate the pain:
- Pregnancy safe stretches
- Experiment with sleeping and sitting positions
- Go on a walk
Again, if the pain becomes too intense or prevents you from doing day-to-day activities, contact your health care provider immediately. Consult with your doctor for more pregnancy-safe pain management ideas.
Want to Know More?
Is Cramping And Lower Back Pain Normal In Early Pregnancy
First of all, you should know that, according to Clara Ward, MD, a Houston, Texas-based maternal-fetal medicine specialist with McGovern Medical School at UTHealth and UT Physicians, most women will experience some kind of lower back pain during pregnancy.
Under normal circumstances, in order for our body to move, all of the bones and tissues are flexible, Dr. Ward explains. During pregnancy, this feature is exaggerated due to physical changes and hormones, which can alter the way ligaments, muscles and bones work together, resulting in pain, and even injury.”
She also notes that during pregnancy, the uterus pushes on the abdominal muscles, causing them to separate and weaken. This causes the lower back muscles to pick up the slack, and these muscles are small and tend not to be strong either.
On top of this, weight gain, the weight and position of the growing baby, and posture changes associated with changes in the center of gravity all contribute to lower back pain, she says.
Fortunately, Dr. Ward assures us that most of the time, back pain will resolve after pregnancy, unless you have a history of back problems.
But along with the normal physiological changes of pregnancy that can lead to this type of pain and cramping, there are other possible explanations, including the following.
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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.
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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Other Symptoms That Can Occur During Early Pregnancy
Additionally, there is nothing to worry about with these symptoms:
- An increase in body temperature.
- An increased sensitivity to tastes and odors.
- Cravings, whether it be for the most random of things or not. It’s natural and all us mums-to-be go through it.
- Breast differences aside from tenderness. For example, a pregnant womans nipples will commonly turn a darker shade.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the authors knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Increased Sensitivity To Smells
This is a big early sign for lots of our forum mums. Can you suddenly smell damp? Does your pet have a new whiff about them? And have you started thinking your partner could do with a good wash and a splash of cologne?
Oh yes, your sense of smell may be so heightened that you can smell things that you didnt even know had a smell, as MadForNO5 experienced: Seven days after ovulating, I started to get a strong sense of smell. I could smell absolutely everything!
The downside? The slightest odour can make you feel queasy.
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Medical Conditions That May Cause Cramping And Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy
While many of the causes for lower back pain during pregnancy can be considered normal, there are a few medical conditions that could lead to lower back pain and/or cramping in early pregnancy. For instance, Dr. Ward explains that certain medical conditions, such as preterm labor and kidney infections, can be perceived as back pain but they should not be ignored.
Dr. Bohn adds that a kidney infection can result from bacteria in a pregnant womans urine that can travel to the kidneys and cause an infection.
This can occur if there is bacteria present in the urinary system that is not treated.
Preterm labor can feel like back pain that is rhythmic, while a kidney infection may feel like pain in either or both sides of the back, along with a fever and chills and sometimes nausea and vomiting. If you experience either of those symptoms, you should call your doctor right away.
Why Do I Have Back Pain
During pregnancy your ligaments loosen up and stretch to get your body ready for labour. This puts strain on your joints, which can cause back pain.
Pregnancy also affects your posture . When youre pregnant, the natural curve in your spine increases because its trying to cope with the extra weight of your baby bump. This can cause pain.
Many women say the pain is worse in the evening and after 28 weeks of pregnancy .
Some women with lower back pain also have pelvic girdle pain , which is a common condition in pregnancy. It describes the pain caused by the pelvic joints getting stiff or less stable during pregnancy.
Back problems can affect your sleep and make it harder to go about your everyday life. But there are a few things you can do to help ease the pain, sleep better and stay strong throughout your pregnancy.
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How Do You Relieve Upper Back Pain During Pregnancy
Upper back pain during pregnancy is usually caused by poor posture. You can get relief by paying attention to your body position and using stretches to improve your posture and mobility.
Its also important that you first address the root cause of why you are having back pain in the first place.
Lets discuss why.
Is Upper Back Pain Normal In Early Pregnancy
Upper back pain is common in the 2nd and 3rd trimester due to the growth of your uterus and change in posture.
However, if you have:
- Slouch while seated or standing, and/or
- Hunch over while seated or standing
you can experience upper back pain early on in the pregnancy.
If you notice any significant pain early in pregnancy, definitely speak with your physician to rule out any other causes.
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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!
What To Expect Before You Miss Your Period
Missing your period may or may not mean you are pregnant. There are many reasons for this including medications, hormonal imbalance, weight loss or gain, illness, stress or even thyroid disorder.
Missing menstruation for women who are sexually active and not on birth control is usually suspected to be caused by pregnancy. If you are not sure, we have discussed below the very early signs that may indicate you conceived.
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Tips For Getting In And Out Of Bed With Back Pain
- Try to avoid lying flat for long periods of time. Its better for your back and your baby to lie on your side.
- You may find it more comfortable to have a pillow under your bump or between your knees to support your back. This can help you sleep better, too.
- Some women find pregnancy pillows can help, but they can be pricey. You may find a normal pillow does the trick.
- If you are getting pain in your hip from lying on your side, it may help to place a duvet under your sheet or use a memory-foam topper for a softer mattress.
Getting in and out of bed can get more difficult as your bump gets bigger. To take the strain off your back, try rolling onto your side moving your shoulders, hips and knees at the same time. Let your legs ease off the edge of the bed and put your feet on the floor. At the same time, use your arms to push yourself up to a sitting position.
Doing this all as one movement can be more comfortable. Try the movement backwards to get back into bed.
About Our Expert Obstetrician Dr Larisa Corda
Dr Corda is an obstetrician and gynaecologist who specialises in IVF. After working in Sydney at IVF Australia , she returned to the UK and was awarded membership of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. She now works as a gynaecologist and IVF consultant and is also Fertility Expert for ITVs This Morning show.
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Back Pain During Pregnancy
Studies report that more than fifty percent of women will experience some degree or another of pain in the lower back during the early stage of pregnancy. If lower back pain is accompanied by other symptoms, such as morning sickness, muscle cramping, and tenderness of the breasts, considered altogether, these can be signs of pregnancy.
Back pain that occurs early on in pregnancy is generally caused by the way that your hormones, particularly progesterone, affects your body. Progesterone softens the joints and the ligaments in a woman’s back. When these are stretched out, they don’t support the upper body as well as they should, and back pain occurs. The pain can be as simple as an ache but can turn into painful muscle spasms too.
Not all backaches are not caused by the muscles and bones in your back. Sometimes, back pain can be caused by a urinary tract infection. If the pain is accompanied by chills, fever, cramping or burning when you urinate, see your doctor as soon as possible.
Lower Back Pain In Pregnancy
Mechanical instability in the lumbar spine and pelvis commonly results in lower back pain in pregnant women.
- The lumbar spine undergoes compensatory lordosisan increase in the reverse C-shaped curvaturewhich causes excess strain on the lumbar joints, muscles, ligaments, and discs.
- The psoas muscle in the hip, which stabilizes the spine and helps in hip and leg movements, is shortened due to the compensatory lordosis, exacerbating the lower back pain symptoms.2
Lower back pain symptoms may start at any time during pregnancy. These symptoms may feel like:
- A dull ache or sharp, burning pain in the lower back area
- One-sided pain in the right or left area of the lower and/or mid-back
- Pain that radiates into the back of the thigh and leg, and sometimes into the foot
- Foot drop, a condition characterized by the inability to lift the front part of the foot while walking
Sciatica symptoms typically occur if a lower lumbar and/or upper sacral nerve root is impinged in the lower spine due to a lumbar herniated disc, spondylolisthesis, facet joint disorder, or muscle sprain and spasm.
Women with a history of back pain, pre-existing lower back disorders, multiple pregnancies, and/or those who are in the younger or older age-groups may be at a higher risk of developing lower back pain in pregnancy.2
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Sharp Pregnancy Pain Causes And Symptoms
It can be stressful, especially for first-time mothers, to discern between normal pregnancy pains and when there is a possible complication from a sharp pain during pregnancy. During pregnancy, your body will undergo many changes as it adapts to the growing life inside of you. You will gain weight and your body will grow to accommodate your new baby. While this is natural and necessary, it can cause some discomfort.
Is Lower Back Pain Before Period Sign Of Pregnancy Or Period Coming
Question: Is lower back pain before period sign of pregnancy or PMS?
At the age of 13, when a lot of girls will start having menstrual period, abdominal pain before or during your monthly period can be disturbing.
Sometimes, pain may get severe and prevent you from your normal academic or daily activities.
Ordinarily, before period starts, its common for girls to have both physical and emotional changes in their body.
Most of these body changes will starts within a week to your next period Nonetheless, some women may get premenstrual symptoms two weeks away from period.
In young girls, symptoms can cause severe discomfort, especially abdominal cramps. As women grow older, abdomen pain before period will begin to subside.
Low back pain before period may just be a new symptom you are getting for the first time. If youve had sexual intercourse weeks back and confused if youre having period sign or pregnancy, this guide explains what you must know.
Low back pain before period is normal and occurs because of hormone changes in your body as you get towards your next period date.
Pain is usually mild and subsides as your period commences. If you experience severe pain occasionally, it may not be abnormal. However, a persistent and severe back pain may indicate endometriosis, vaginal infections, or pelvic inflammatory disease.
On the other hand, these symptoms after weeks of unprotected sexual activity will suggest pregnancy.
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