Go For Massage Therapy
Research shows that massage therapy during pregnancy can not only reduce back pain but also alleviate leg pain and improve mood and sleep. One study even found that women who had massage therapy had reduced urinary stress hormone levels and experienced fewer complications during delivery. Many different techniques can be used for massage during pregnancy but typically a gentle massage is recommended. And once again, its best to avoid lying flat on the back for your massage.910 Approach an experienced masseuse or ayurvedic practitioner so you get the right care. A medicated ayurvedic oil like mahanarayana taila can also be used for the massage and can bring relief from the pain. This is a medicinal formulation containing sesame oil, milk, and a multitude of beneficial herbs like bilva, ashwagandha, brihati, and shatavari.
Exercise The Pain Away
Staying mobile can really help with back pain as it keeps your muscles from getting too tight, says Cynthia Rebong, a midwife at Midwifery Care North Don River Valley and a yoga and Pilates instructor. Some forms of phsycial activity can become uncomfortable during pregnancy, but Rebong recommends swimming as a pregnancy-friendly way to keep moving.
Can a maternity belt solve your pregnancy pains? Mickeler suggests focusing on your glutes when you exercise. We have this anterior shift in the pelvis, and now were tucking our butt under, so our butts getting really tight, and super, super weak, she explains. And weak glutes can wreak havoc with your lower back because they force other muscles, like your hip flexors, to do the work for them. Mickeler says exercises like squats, lunges, glute kickbacks or bridges can all help support your posture by strengthening not only your glutes but your back, hamstrings and calves, which will help prevent back pain.
If you already have low-back pain, manual osteopathic practitioner Riki Richter, co-owner of Synergy Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation in Toronto, recommends doing squats against a wall, which will give you support at the same time as minimizing that lower back bend. She also suggests cat pose, which will help keep that low-back area flexible. And if you have pain around the dimples in your low back, butt, hips or pubic bone, choose fitness classes that dont involve forward bending, as that can be painful, says Mickeler.
Final Thought On Back Pain During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is not always a pleasant experience for everyone, especially back pain because it is ongoing and doesnt go away on its own without some help. By following these suggestions above you will find relief and be able to enjoy your pregnancy without being in pain all the time.
Another suggestion that I have is to take frequent breaks and lay with your feet up, this will take some strain off of your back for a little while and allow it to relax. Watch a cute movie or tv show that you wanted to watch and try to enjoy the time without thinking about your to-do list.
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Strap On A Maternity Belt
If you have pelvic girdle pain around your middle lower back and hips, a maternity belt may relieve your pain. This support garment does the work of the ligaments, muscles and fascia of the girdle area, explains Richter. But, she cautions, it should not be worn all of the time, because those muscles will stop working and will need to be retrained after you have your baby. I usually recommend that clients wear them during more taxing activitiessuch as activities with lots of bending, lifting, walking or standingjust so theyre not in discomfort, she explains. And then I give them exercises to try and resolve the issue.
Mickeler warns against wearing the belts too tightly, which can contribute to pelvic organ prolapse. Because of this, its best to have a practitioner guide you on how to use one.
Postural Correction Helps Relieve Pregnancy Back Pain
Maintaining an ergonomically supported posture throughout the day can help take a considerable amount of stress and strain off the lower back tissues. Doctors also advise taking rest, limiting strain and high impact activities, and performing stretches and exercises to build strength in the pelvis, hip, and lower back. Pain-relieving medications such as NSAIDs are not considered safe during pregnancy and must be avoided.
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How Can You Prevent Or Minimize Back Pain During Pregnancy
Back pain may not be prevented completely, but there are things that you can do to reduce the severity or frequency.Here are a few steps you can take to help reduce the back pain you are experiencing:
- Use exercises approved by your health care provider that support and help strengthen the back and abdomen.
- Squat to pick up something instead of bending over.
- Avoid high heels and other shoes that do not provide adequate support.
- Avoid sleeping on your back.
- Wear a support belt under your lower abdomen.
- Consider having your back adjusted by a chiropractor.
- Get plenty of rest. Elevating your feet is also good for your back.
How Can You Treat Back Pain During Pregnancy
There are a number of things you can do to treat back pain during pregnancy. Some of the steps you take to avoid back pain may also be used to treat current back pain.Here are some other common interventions:
- Ice or heat
- Medications used to treat inflammation
- Sleep on your left side, and use a support pillow under your knees.
- Schedule an appointment with a licensed health care professional such as a chiropractor or massage therapist.
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Tips On How To Deal With Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy
When youre pregnant, the chance of you having to deal with lower back pain are up to an estimated 50%. That is about the percentage of women in the US that have a significant backache during their pregnancy at least once.
Even when the pain in your lumbar region only lasts for a day or two one of the problems women face is that doctors usually only recommend paracetamol as a pain relief medication.
Here are seven ways you should consider when you are suffering from lower back pain during pregnancy:
Avoiding And Easing Back Pain In Pregnancy
Try these tips:
- bend your knees and keep your back straight when you lift or pick something up from the floor
- avoid lifting heavy objects
- move your feet when you turn to avoid twisting your spine
- wear flat shoes to evenly distribute your weight
- try to balance the weight between 2 bags when carrying shopping
- keep your back straight and well supported when sitting look for maternity support pillows
- get enough rest, particularly later in pregnancy
- have a massage or a warm bath
- use a mattress that supports you properly you can put a piece of hardboard under a soft mattress to make it firmer, if necessary
- go to a group or individual back care class
You can take paracetamol to ease back pain while you are pregnant, unless your GP or midwife says not to. Always follow the instructions on the packet.
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Hot And Cold Compresses
To ease your back pain, you can try using a hot and cold compress on your back. Applying first hot and then cold compresses to the area that is sore, can lower the body temperature helping to constrict the blood vessels, reduce swelling and decrease inflammation in your muscles. However, make sure to consult a health professional such as your GP or midwife before trying this, because it is not safe to apply heat to certain parts of the body such as your abdomen whilst pregnant.
Exercises To Relieve Back Pain During Pregnancy
The heaviness that builds up in your body during pregnancy can lead to a whole host of unpleasant symptoms and conditions. One of those conditions is back pain. While it may not seem like it, its possible to relieve this pain with a few simple exercises to strengthen your muscles. These exercises will not only relieve your current back pain, but will help you avoid future pain before it begins.
If youre experiencing lower back pain while youre pregnant, youre not alone. When youre pregnant, your body changes, and you can experience lower back pain as well as additional pain. Although pregnancy back pain is normal and can be relieved, there are activities that you should be careful about while youre pregnant.
For example, high-impact exercises such as running are not recommended during your pregnancy. While some people find relief from back pain through yoga, you may be disappointed to know that certain yoga poses are not recommended for your pregnancy. In general, exercises that focus on the core and abdomen muscles are best during pregnancy.
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Chiropractic Care Treatment And Acupuncture
Lower back pain and even knee pain can also be treated by using complementary therapies. These include acupuncture and chiropractic treatment. Before going to have these complementary therapies, tell your doctor that you are expecting a baby.
Acupuncture is considered beneficial in pregnancy-related back pain. The acupuncturist will insert needles at different pressure points of your body to remove blockages and relieve pain. Lower back pain points are present in your hands, foot, lower back, hip, and back of the knees.
When these points are stimulated, pain-relieving chemicals get released from the spinal cord that helps relieve pain. The stimulation of nerves and other tissues helps release endorphins that can change the way your body treats pain.
Many pregnant women go for chiropractic treatment where the Chiropractors use spinal manipulation and a range of other techniques to treat lower back pain. The Chiropractors focus on the proper alignment of your musculoskeletal system. The purpose of this treatment is to provide relief from nerve compression and muscle tightness.
Chiropractic treatment helps your body deal with back pain symptoms in a better way by developing spinal health and nervous system function and increasing the mobility of your joints.
When To Call Your Doctor
Sometimes back pain during pregnancy is indicating something else is wrong and it is a good idea in some cases to call your doctor right away. Here is what you need to look for when it comes to back pain and warning signs to look for. As always if you have questions always call your doctor for help!
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Causes Of Back Pain In Pregnancy
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.
When Should I Worry About Back Pain In Pregnancy
For the following signs and symptoms, you should contact your health care provider immediately:
- If the back pain is associated with abdominal cramps.
- The pain is persistent for more than two weeks.
- If the pain gets severe day by day.
- If there is numbness, tingling, or sharp pain in the lower limbs or buttocks.
- If there are contractions or bleedings associated with it.
- If you feel uncomfortable in all postures.
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How Bad Is Cramping In Early Pregnancy
During the first trimester, your body is preparing for the growing baby. These changes can cause cramping that would be considered normal . It is typically mild and temporary . Once you become pregnant, your uterus will begin to grow. As it does this, youll likely feel mild to moderate cramping in your lower abdomen or lower back .
A Final Word About Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy
While lower back pain during pregnancy is common, it isnt unavoidable. There are plenty of ways to help relieve pain while your body is changing.
Unfortunately, once your baby is born, lower back stress doesnt stop. Caring for an infant comes with its own set of unique physical challenges.
Luckily, the advice listed in this article can help with lower back pain after pregnancy, too.
*None of what you read on this website should be considered medical advice. If you make any changes to your life or health regimen because of something you read here, please do so under the guidance of a licensed health professional.
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Reasons Behind Back Pain During Pregnancy
The back pain typically originates from the sacroiliac joint- where the pelvis meets the spine.
There are a number of reasons why that happens:
- Posture Changes Since pregnancy changes your center of gravity, as a result your posture also changes, causing stress to your back muscles or strain.
- Weight Gain During pregnancy, a woman gains around 12-18 kgs which ultimately leads to back pain. Since the body has to adjust with the growing size of the baby and the uterus it puts pressure on the lower side of the back, causing discomfort.
- Hormonal Changes During pregnancy, a hormone called relaxin is released in your bloodstream that causes your blood vessels and joints to ease to prepare your body for childbirth. This causes the ligaments that support your spine to loosen, which leads to back pain.
- Stress As you are going through intense physical and emotional changes, it is only normal to get overwhelmed by it all. This causes your experience of pain to increase as stress levels in your body increase.
- Muscle Separation During Pregnancy Since the uterus expands to accommodate your growing baby, muscle separation between the sheets of muscles that run from the rib cage to the pubic bone aggravates back pain.
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.
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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.
How To Treat Or Ease Back Pain During Pregnancy
Maintain a good posture
As the centre of gravity shifts forward due to the increasing growth of the baby, women have to lean back to avoid falling forward, which can strain their back muscles. To improve your posture, you should try to stand straight and tall. While sitting, you can place a rolled cloth or towel behind your back for support. Keep your shoulders and back relaxed. If you are standing, try to pull your hips forward.
Massage your back
In case of a backache, you can apply a heating pad or ice pack and massage. After consulting your doctor, you can put cold compression on your back for a few minutes. After 2-3 days, you can switch to a heating pad and apply it to the area.
Your sleeping position during pregnancy makes a lot of difference. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Do physical activities
Do some gentle physical activities, but only after consulting your doctor. Try to do some pregnancy-safe stretching exercises which can give you relief from back pain. Stretch your lower back as well.
Always remember to sleep on your side and not on your back. You should keep your knees bent and put pillows between your knees for support.
Lift things in a proper way
Avoid lifting any heavy objects. If you want to lift something, do not bend at the waist. Instead, squat down and lift the object with your legs, and not with the back.
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