Get A Prenatal Massage
A certified prenatal massage therapist can bring quick relief when back pain is acute, especially when it’s the result of muscular clenching that irritates nerves and sends pain signals to the brain. Research has shown that in addition to relieving pain, regular prenatal massage can help alleviate depression and anxiety in pregnancy.
Swedish massage is the most common and advisable method of prenatal massage because it is gentle and soothing, and it uses long, smooth strokes that won’t aggravate the joints or push fluid through the body in an unhealthy way. Women should first consult with their doctors to make sure prenatal massage is safe and then make sure the prenatal massage therapist is certified. To be comfortable on the massage table, a side-lying position is usually best.
Strengthening Exercises For Back Pain During Pregnancy
The strengthening poses can be held for 3 to 10 seconds and repeated 10 to 30 times. Breathe out during the exertion phase of the exercise and inhale as you relax. The following are suggested exercises for each of the major muscle groups mentioned:
- Pelvic Tilts : The simplest way to learn the pelvic tilt is to lie on the back with knees bent, feet resting on the floor. Place your hand in the small of your back, and you will most likely notice a space between your back and the floor. Now try to flatten the lower part of the spine against the floor, so that you feel no space between your back and the floor. The buttocks should be relaxed in order to isolate the abdominals. The pelvic tilt can be performed while lying on your back, standing, on your hands and knees, or sitting.
- Arm and Leg Raises : Kneel on your hands and knees with a straight spine. Do a pelvic tilt to keep your pelvis stable and then lift your right arm and left leg to form a straight line with your spine. Pause in this position and then slowly lower your arm and leg. Alternate lifting the opposite arm and leg. If you have difficulty keeping your balance in this position, modify the exercise by performing only the leg or arm raises separately.
Tips For Good Posture
Using good posture means holding yourself so that your spine is aligned and your muscles can work without strain. To use good posture:
Raise your chest and head. Try to keep your ears lined up over your shoulders.
Use your stomach muscles to pull in your stomach. This reduces the amount of weight your back must support.
Keep your pelvis level. Think of your pelvis as a bowl of water that will spill if it tips too far forward or backward.
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Causes Of Back Pain During Pregnancy
As many as 80 percent of moms-to-be experience back pain at some point during their pregnancy, and the causes can vary. The main culprit is often strain on the muscles of your back caused by pregnancy weight gain and by changes in your posture due to your growing belly. As your pregnancy progresses, there is more weight on the front of your body, making you bend slightly forward. To keep you balanced, your posture changes, and you might overcorrect and lean back a little too far. The extra strain can make your back feel stiff and sore.
Weak abdominal muscles can also cause back pain. As your baby grows, your tummy muscles can stretch and weaken. These muscles play an important role in supporting your spine, so as they weaken, your back can start to hurt.
Some pregnancy hormones can also play a role. Hormones that are meant to relax the ligaments and joints of your pelvis to help your baby pass through the birth canal more easily can also loosen the joints of your back, which can cause them to overextend, leading to soreness.
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During the pandemic, 24-year-old Seema moved to Koohi Goth, an urban slum on the outskirts of Pakistan’s largest city, to be closer to her parents. She had three daughters, the youngest of whom died as a newborn because of the lack of neonatal services in her former neighbourhood of Karachi City,
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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.
Stretch 3 Thoracic And Shoulder Stretch
How to do it:
With your hands on the counter/chair or even a wall, walk the feet a little further back till you can comfortably let your shoulders and chest lower down.
Feel free to bend the knees a little if there is too much sensation down the back of your legs. The aim with this stretch is to help open up the shoulders and get the upper back moving more freely.
Hold for 10-60 seconds, as often as you can throughout the day.
If you have any concerns with a large abdominal separation or feel a bit unsupported here, you may prefer to do this stretch with your hands on a wall, above shoulder height when you are standing.
How it helps
Allowing the upper part of the spine to move more easily takes more of the load off the lower back
Forward leaning again for baby’s position and to give mum’s back a break.
This stretch is SO great for new mamas who are doing a lot of carrying and feeding!
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Think About Your Posture
When youre standing up, keep your head up and your shoulders back as much as you can.
When sitting on a chair, try to keep:
- your hips level with or slightly higher than your knees
- your bottom at the back of the chair
- your back supported by the chair
- your feet resting flat on the floor.
If you work in an office, the top of your computer screen should be set up just below eye level. Your keyboard should be at a comfortable height so your forearms are flat. Try to get up regularly so you dont get stiff.
Try not to slump when youre sitting on the sofa. Use cushions to support your back and have your feet resting on the floor. It may help to lie on your side if you are watching TV or relaxing.
Back Pain In The Second And Third Trimesters
You might experience back pain during the second or third trimester. In addition to the potential causes listed above, back pain can result from a condition called sciatica. As the uterus expands, it can put pressure on the sciatic nerve. This causes pain that runs from your lower back down one leg to the knee or foot. Seeking medical help, taking warm showers, getting physical therapy, and taking pain-relief medication may help reduce the pain. The good news about sciatica is that it will likely resolve itself once your baby is born.
Toward the end of your pregnancy, a dull ache in your back and lower abdomen, together with pressure in your pelvis, may be a sign you are going into labor.
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Other Causes Of Back Pain There Might Be Other Causes Of Your Increasing Back Pain Like:
The posture of the body
As the uterus expands, two parallel sheets of muscles , which run from the rib cage to the pubic bone, may separate along the centre seam. This separation may worsen back pain.
Round ligament pain is common and normal during pregnancy
As the uterus and surrounding ligaments stretch to make room for the baby, it can cause short, painful spasms. Rest and other home remedies may help. But do call your healthcare provider, if the pain wont go away.
After Consulting Back Pain Experts This Yoga Instructor Discovered What Worked For Her Here She Shares Her Favorite Stretches And Exercises
I came into my first pregnancy long and lean after years of teaching and practicing yoga. I discovered while navigating pregnancy, birth, and early motherhood how intense the weight gain was, particularly on my back, neck and hips. Between gaining the baby weight, losing the baby weight, hunching over to nurse and feed, and the repeat movements of lifting, swaying, and bathing a baby, I experienced discomfort I never expected Id feel. Luckily, I got active again and found strength and momentum.Pregnancy is a common cause of low back pain, Photo Source: 123RF.com.Into my second pregnancy, the discomfort came back, this time targeting my hips and once again, my neck and shoulders. Im not going to lie all the back pain made me feel pretty discouraged and unhappy.
As the second pregnancy progressed and my frustration with pain mounted, I realized that I was sick of feeling uncomfortable, that it was time to find a solution I could bring home and use every day. Since knowledge is key, I surrounded myself with skilled professionals, absorbed their know-how and brought many of their tips and tools into my daily life. The daily part is key, but more on that later.
To help reduce my back pain during my second pregnancy, I consulted with a team of experts to help me, and then used what made sense for my body.
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Try Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
Another contributor to back pain is overly tight pelvic muscles. A pelvic floor physiotherapist can help you work on those internal muscles by doing whats basically a massage of your pelvic floor through your vagina. This type of treatment has added benefits, too, as Mickeler says it can reduce the incidence of tearing during delivery, and give you a head start for recovery after your baby is born.
A pelvic floor physiotherapist can also assess the shape of whats called your deep core, which consists of your pelvic floor, your diaphragm, your transverse abdominis and a muscle in your lower back. Mickeler explains that if one part of your deep core isnt working well, it can mean that other parts of your body will have to compensate, which may lead to pain. Aside from working internally, pelvic floor physiotherapists can also use exercise- and rehab-based techniques to help with low-back pain.
Keep Changing Your Posture
Change your position often to avoid over-stressing your joints.
You can also practice improving your posture by following these steps:
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How To Reduce Back Pain
You can prevent back pain or reduce it by:
- wearing comfortable, supportive, low-heeled shoes
- not standing for long periods of time
- sitting with your bottom against the back of a chair and sitting up tall – put a small cushion at your lower back if needed
- tucking your hands under your bump for support if standing for long periods
- not lifting heavy objects – if you need to lift anything, bend your knees and keep a straight back
- staying active with gentle exercises and stretching
- being aware of your posture
Check In With Your Breath
One thing I talk about with ALL of my patients is breathing – its so important for pelvic floor and core health, especially during pregnancy. The health of pelvic floor depends on the movement of the diaphragm as you breathe, so use these stretches as an opportunity to tune in to your breathing and try some longer, deeper breaths which also helps to address pain and calm down the sympathetic nervous system.
Stretch 1 Standing Hamstring Stretch
How to do it:
Stand with your forearms resting on a kitchen counter or back of a chair .
Walk your feet back till you can let your spine soften and relax into a gentle curve
Move your bum backwards and allow your tailbone to float upwards to feel a pull sensation down the back of your legs.
Hold for 10-60 seconds, as often as you can throughout the day.
How it helps:
Lengthening and releasing tension down the back of the legs decreases the load on the spine
It also allows the pelvis to open and move more freely during birth
Forward leaning positions help to relieve the pressure on your back, and are great for encouraging optimal foetal positioning – giving baby a chance to move and change position if they need to
Stretch 2 Standing Groin Stretch
How to do it:
Rest the upper body onto a counter/chair as above, but this time take the feet further apart.
Gentle move your hips toward one side till you feel a pull on the inside of the opposite leg, ensuring no pain is felt during the movement.
Repeat on the other side.
How it helps:
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Use Heating Pads To Apply Some Heat In The Area
A good way to get relieve abdominal pain during pregnancy is to use heating pads. Heat applied to the area where you feel the discomfort can help you get decrease the pain and it can help you be more relaxed. Therefore, you can take a hot bath when you’re feeling this pain or you can also put a clean cloth in warm water and then let it sit on your belly.
Treat Yourself To A Massage
A massage therapist can offer relief for back pain, though they might not be focused on your back itself. One of the things that we joke about here is that we spend 50 to 75 percent of our time rubbing moms bums, says Mickeler. The glutes often contribute to back pain because the shift in the pelvis causes women to tuck their tailbones under, which tightens those muscles. A massage therapist will be able to loosen them up, which will offer you some relief. Rebong says moms-to-be can also use a foam roller at home to loosen up their glutes, hamstrings and calves so those muscles dont pull on the lower back.
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Treatments For Back Pain In Pregnancy
More good news: Unless you had chronic backaches before you got pregnant, your pain will likely ease gradually before you give birth.
Meanwhile, there are many things you can do to treat low back pain or make it rarer and milder:
- If you need to pick something up from the ground, use your legs to squat rather than bend over.
- Don’t wear high-heeled shoes. Choose low-heeled shoes with good arch support. Remember, as hormones loosen joints, you may need to buy a larger shoe size.
- Don’t sleep on your back.
- Wear support hose.
If your back pain persists, you may want to consult your doctor to see what else you might try. Be sure to consult your doctor before taking pain medications. Acetaminophen is safe for most women to take during pregnancy. Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen are not advised. In some cases, your doctor may recommend other pain medicines or muscle relaxants that are safe during pregnancy.
Sleep In The Right Position
This is a big factor in pregnancy back pain.
As your body grows, it becomes difficult to find good, comfortable positions that wont make your back pain worse.
Sleeping on your back is not a good option as the baby can place too much pressure on essential organs and blood vessels, and may cause difficulty breathing and stomach upset.
Its recommended that pregnant mamas sleep on their left sides to avoid medical complications.
The American Pregnancy Association states sleeping on your left side will increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby.
To sleep correctly during pregnancy, place a pillow between your legs when youre sleeping on your side.
Keeping your knees apart and aligned with your hips will ease pressure on your back.
Also, try placing a pillow underneath your belly.
The weight of your pregnant belly may be causing strain on your back and a support pillow will keep things level and balanced without placing tension on your back muscles.
Theres also something magical that helps pregnant mamas get amazing sleep. Its a pregnancy pillow.
Basically, some genius invented a pillow that helps mamas get comfortable while sleeping.
It helps craddle the areas of your body to alleviate pressure and ease strain related pains. Seriously, you will thank me.
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