What If I Continue To Have Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy
Let your provider know if your back pain doesn’t respond to the measures above. She can evaluate your situation, discuss treatment options, and refer you to a specialist if necessary.
Some options to consider and discuss with your provider:
- Acupuncture may reduce the intensity of back pain during pregnancy. Some studies have demonstrated acupuncture to be superior to physical therapy alone and more effective than standard treatment in many cases. Make sure, however, that the practitioner you choose knows how to do prenatal acupuncture and the areas to avoid.
- Physical therapy can relieve pain and prevent recurring episodes of lower back pain.
- Chiropractic care may be helpful, although there isn’t much evidence that it helps with pregnancy-related back pain.
- A “sacral belt” lessens pain when walking for some women, although the device doesn’t help others at all. It may even increase pain for some women. Various maternity support garments have also been shown to improve low back pain in some cases.
- Prescription medication may be necessary for severe pain.
What Are Some Symptoms Of Back Pain During Pregnancy
The symptoms of back pain during pregnancy are very similar to the symptoms of back pain prior to pregnancy. Some of the symptoms include:
- Pain in the center of your back
- Pain above or at the sides of the waistline
- Pain over the pubic bone
- Pain in the buttocks or thighs
- Pain that can radiate to the legs
- Stiffness or discomfort after sitting or standing for long period of time
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.
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Lower Back Pain In Pregnancy
Its possible to feel a little lower back painmostly aching or crampingwhen you first become pregnant, says Greves. But, as things progress, lower back pain in pregnancy is most likely from the load in front, she says.
Pregnancy causes a boost of different hormones in your body, like relaxin and progesteroneboth of which cause your muscles and joints to relax, Greves explains. You may notice it more in the second or third trimester given that the baby is enlarging, she says. Your abdominal muscles weaken a little and that can directly affect the back.
How To Avoid Or Ease Back Pain During Pregnancy
There are many things you can do to avoid or ease back pain during pregnancy.
Move with care and attention
During pregnancy, it can be easier to fall or hurt yourself. Use these tips to help you support yourself better and prevent back pain.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects. If you have to lift anything at all, avoid bending at the waist. Bend your knees with your heels close to your buttocks. Use your legs and not your back to lift the object.
- Move your feet when you have to turn to the side so you dont twist your spine.
- Split light shopping into two bags and carry one bag on each side so youre not straining either side too much.
- Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time. Take breaks. If you have to stand a lot, keep one foot at a time on top of a stool or a box. This helps to take the pressure off your back.
- When youre standing, practice good posture to avoid straining your back. Stand with your back straight. Your stomach should not be leaning forward too much.
Pay attention to the way you sit, stand, sleep or walk at all times to prevent the risk of injury and help ease back pain.
Extra support can be helpful to prevent injury and prevent or ease back pain.
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How Can Back Pain During Pregnancy Be Treated
Back pain is very common in pregnancy and is usually not serious. While it may not be completely preventable, there are some changes you can make to reduce the severity or frequency of your back pain. Some treatments for back pain include:
While these treatments can help reduce symptoms of back pain, some small changes in your habits can also help prevent triggering or worsening back pain. Some changes are:
- If you need to pick something up from the ground, squat down instead of bending over.
- Avoid wearing high heels or other shoes that do not provide adequate support.
- Avoid sleeping on your back.
- Elevate your feet often, especially when sitting for a prolonged period of time.
- Wear a support belt or support hose, if needed.
Unless you experienced chronic back pain prior to pregnancy, your pain will most likely ease gradually before you give birth.
How Your Muscles Can Cause Back Pain
It can be hard to imagine that muscle tightness causes your sacroiliac pain orlower back pain during pregnancy. The fact is: From walking to sitting to running, the iliopsoas muscles are involved. They are engaged during almost every bodily movement that you make.
When the iliopsoas muscles are too tight, your joints and bones are pulled out of alignment. This in turn leads to more issues and pain over time.
Theiliopsoas muscle is made up of two muscles: the psoas and the iliacus. The psoas originates at the vertebrae of your lower spine, and the iliacus originates on the inside of your pelvic bowl. The muscles both cross the hip joint and attach to the top of your femur . Both the spine and the pelvis are responsible for lower back and sacroiliac joint alignment.
This relationship of the iliopsoas to these integral bone structures and joints means that when there is trauma or stress around the pelvis, the iliopsoas muscles step in to protect it. Their primary job is to stabilize, so if there is an irritant threatening to cause your hip region instability, they tighten to reinforce balance.
However, this also happens in reverse. When your hip flexor muscles start too tight, they can cause trauma or stress in that area. It is a domino effect: If one aspect is out of whack, it creates issues elsewhere. Thats why you experience lower back pain during pregnancy in addition to other bodily traumas.
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Find The Proper Shoes
You may be a fashion maven who receives regular compliments on your pregnancy style, but if you’re wearing high-fashion shoes, you’re not doing your back any favors. “High heels increase the curvature of your back and create pressure” that drives the weight of your growing uterus directly into your lower spine and hip joints, says Dr. Rosser. You may also lose your balance , and heels may cause you to be less stable.
But walking in flats isn’t the answer either, as they can leave your feet, which tend to spread during pregnancy because of hormonal changes, unsupported. Poor foot position can manifest itself as imbalance and pain all the way up your legs and back.
To get the best supportâand to relieve the most pressureâDr. Rosser advises a low-heeled shoe that is comfortable with either built-in arch support or an orthotic insert. The slight rise of the low heel will help distribute the weight that’s on your legs in a more stable and back-supportive way.
Tip #4 The Right Kind Of Exercise
I know it may sound a little off to say that exercise can help your lower back pain during pregnancy, but it really does. Spine Health says it best, Although it may seem enticing to rest when experiencing pain and not undertake an exercise routine, gentle stretching and movement will often decrease muscle spasm and restore improved spinal function, resulting in decreased pain. They also suggest doing any cardiovascular exercise, like biking, walking and swimming. Days that I feel absolutely exhausted I try to at least go on a 10 minute walk. Without fail my lower back pain during pregnancy begins to feel better.
This is one of the most exciting times in your life! Can you believe that you have a living person growing inside of you?? I find it hard to fathom most of the time. Take care of yourself and your baby by helping your lower back pain during pregnancy! If you follow my special tips and tricks above, I promise your back will start feeling better! Take it from someone who knows ð
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Extra Tips To Prevent And Ease Back Pain During Pregnancy
In addition to ensuring your shoes are supportive, there are a few habits and practices you can take to prevent and easy back pain in pregnancy:
- Bend your knees and ensure your back remains straight when lifting something up from the floor
- Avoid lifting heavy objects
- Keep you back straight and well supported when sitting – seek out maternity support pillows
- Get extra rest, especially towards the end of your pregnancy
- Take warm baths and get massages
- Make sure that your mattress supports you properly
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.
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.
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How To Do Glute And Piriformis Stretch With A Foam Roller
Learn To Sleep Like A Rock
Sleeping while pregnant is a beautiful, yet painful exercise. Beautiful because you are so excited to get the rest your exhausted body needs, and painful because of the list below:
- Increased Bathroom visits
LOWER BACK PAIN!
Its exhausting to think about but itâs not unusual for pregnant women to experience back pain. My first two tips to help your lower back pain during pregnancy that have worked for me is to find the right support and sleep in the right position.
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Do Not Drop Over Your Desk
When sitting in an office chair, utilize the same good posture methods you make use of when standing. Its crucial to keep excellent posture and support your when sitting down, particularly if you do it for a number of hours per day. Select a high quality chair that provides strong assistance for your lower back, as well as see to it your knees are a little bit greater than your hips when you rest. How To Get Relief From Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy
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Book A Physical Therapy Appointment
Physical therapists, in addition to treating acute injuries, can help pregnant people work through back pain by manipulating joints, muscles, and nerve pressure points and providing exercises that expectant parents can continue at home. Rick Olderman, M.S.P.T., a Denver-based physical therapist and the author of Fixing You: Back Pain During Pregnancy, says that one of his goals is to educate patients by “teaching them how to walk, sit, stand, bend forward, lie down, and exercise” in a healthy, back-supporting way.
One thing Olderman does is place tape on the backs of pregnant people’s knees to “remind them to unlock their knees,” a habit that can put pressure on the large muscles of the legs and hip joints and the back, he says. Because pregnant people’s joints become lax as a result of hormonal changes, Olderman also helps show them the importance of limiting their joints’ ranges of motion to about 75%. “It may feel good to stretch, but the tissue stress becomes greater,” he says, and can actually exacerbate pain. Some health insurance plans cover physical therapy, which is not always the case with other complementary therapies.
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When To Worry About Pregnancy Back Pain
Low back pain that’s worse when you’re standing but eases once you sit or lie down is considered normal during pregnancy. But talk to your doctor if the pain starts to radiate down your legs into your calves or feet interferes with daily activities or is associated with other symptoms such as fever, chills, weight loss, weakness, or sensory issues.
Consider Acupuncture Of Chiropractic Treatment
If youre really struggling to stay comfortable during pregnancy, it might be time to call in the professionals.
Chiropractors and acupuncturists have been known to help treat lower back pain during pregnancy, but make sure you clear these methods of low back pain treatment with your doctor. Never seek these treatments without the prior approval of your healthcare provider.
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Frequently Asked Questionsexpand All
Once other causes for your pain are ruled out, your ob-gyn or other obstetric care provider may recommend that you see a rehabilitation specialist or a physical therapist. He or she also may recommend a maternity girdle or brace if you arent already using one.
Yes, exercises for the back can:
Strengthen and stretch the muscles that support your back and legs
Promote good posture
When To Seek Treatment From A Doctor
Back pain, by itself, usually is not a reason to call your doctor. But you should call your doctor right away if you experience any of the following:
- Increasingly severe pain or pain that begins abruptly
- Rhythmic cramping pains
Difficulty urinating or âpins and needlesâ in your extremities
In rare cases, severe back pain may be related to problems such as pregnancy-associated osteoporosis, vertebral osteoarthritis, or . Rhythmic pains may be a sign of preterm labor. So if you are experiencing any of these problems, it’s important to be checked by your doctor.
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Pregnancy Stretches To Relieve Back Pain In Pregnancy
Combat common pregnancy aches and pains with this guided stretch routine for pregnancy.
This 10-minute pregnancy back stretches routine combines exercises designed to release tight muscles in the lower back, hips, glutes quads, neck and spine which can all contribute to low back pain.
I suggest adding this stretching routine to your prenatal workout plan 1-2 times a week for pregnancy back pain relief.
Simple Ways To Reduce Pain In The Upper Back While Pregnant
If youre worried that learning how to relieve upper back pain during pregnancy could require a major lifestyle change, rest assured that a few simple changes can go a long way. You will need to focus on avoiding activities that can strain your back muscles, and on keeping your spine neutral while standing, sitting, and sleeping:
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Happy Feet Support The Back
When youre expecting, every step contributes to how your body feels. Your back needs all the help it can get to stay aligned and supported throughout your pregnancy. A conscious focus on proper posture with supportive shoes can relieve lower back pain during pregnancy and help you through a special time in your life.
Learn more about Fulton insoles here.
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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