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How To Stop Back Pain In Pregnancy

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Sitting all day long at a computer is bad enough when youre not pregnant. When you are pregnant, it can be one of the main causes of pregnancy back pain. To counteract sittings bad influence on your back, we recommend supporting your lower back with a lumbar pillow.Good posture is also critical to preventing back pain. Keep your shoulders relaxed and your forearms on your desk as you type. Place your feet flat on the floor or elevate them on a footrest to lessen low-back curvature. And be sure to take regular breaks. We suggest standing up, walking around, and even doing some light stretching or exercise to relieve the pressure on your low back.

Back Pain During Pregnancy: How To Stop The Pain

The following article was contributed by Natalie Michelle of Maternity At Home.

If you are experiencing back pain during your pregnancy, don’t worry this is a very regular occurrence that affects many pregnant women. In fact, research shows that the percentage of women experiencing back pain ranges from 50% to 70%.

Back Pain is one of the most common side effects of pregnancy. You may experience back pain during any stage of your pregnancy. However, this pain is most often experienced in the later stages of pregnancy as your little one grows in your womb.

Back pain can be super uncomfortable, and can often disrupt your daily routine. Sometimes it will also affect your sleeping patterns by disrupting a good nights rest. Thankfully, this pain does not spell gloom and doom to your life as a pregnant woman. There are many remedies you can try to stop the pain.

How Common Is Back Pain During Pregnancy

More than 60 percent of pregnant women experience lower back pain, particularly posterior pelvic pain and lumbar pain .

You might have back pain in early pregnancy, but it usually starts during the second half of pregnancy and can get worse as your pregnancy progresses. It may persist after your baby arrives, but postpartum back pain usually goes away within a few months.

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Physical Therapy And Exercise

Your healthcare provider or a physical therapist can recommend exercises to strengthen your low back and reduce pain. Regular exercise can strengthen the muscles of your low back, boost flexibility, and reduce the stress on the spine.

Safe exercises during pregnancy include walking, swimming, cycling, and low-impact aerobic exercises .

How To Stop Back Pain While Pregnant

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Change your position often to avoid over-stressing your joints.

You can also practice improving your posture by following these steps:

  • Keep your knees soft.
  • Stack your pelvis under your rib cage.
  • Tilt your pubic bone and breastbone towards each other.
  • Roll your shoulders back and down.
  • Tuck your chin.
  • Keep the back of your neck long.
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    Emotional Aspects Of Lower Back Pain In Early Pregnancy

    For most women, back pain is an uncomfortable part of pregnancy, and it is often connected to changes in hormone levels and stress during the first trimester if you are overweight. However, some women experience back pain even when they are not pregnant, and it is sometimes called premenstrual syndrome . This type of pain typically lasts for two weeks before the menstrual period starts and resolves after the period.

    In rare cases, lower back pain in early pregnancy can signify more serious problems like lumbar herniation or an intra-abdominal mass. If youre experiencing any unusual discomfort in your back, including severe pain that doesnt go away with resting or medications, you should seek medical attention.

    Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy: The Facts

    Did you know that lower back pain in early pregnancy can be a very good sign? According to Cornell University, it is often caused by ligaments in your pelvis being pulled taut and softening. As your uterus grows, pressure is placed on these soft spots, which causes muscle spasms. Because of these changes, theres a good chance that you may have less of a pelvic tilt. This extra flexibility will allow for more space when it comes time to deliver your baby!

    Although some discomfort during pregnancy is normal, if you find yourself consistently experiencing severe discomfort or if symptoms get worse as your pregnancy progresses, make sure to contact your doctor immediately. The most common causes of back pain during pregnancy are fibroids and sciatic nerve problems depending on what type of problem you are experiencing, treatment methods vary from self-care options like physical therapy or specific stretches to surgeries in extreme cases.

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    Correct Posture During Pregnancy

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    Change your position often to avoid over-stressing your joints.

    You can also practice improving your posture by following these steps:

  • Keep your knees soft.
  • Stack your pelvis under your rib cage.
  • Tilt your pubic bone and breastbone towards each other.
  • Roll your shoulders back and down.
  • Tuck your chin.
  • Keep the back of your neck long.
  • Think About Your Posture

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    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.

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    Things That May Cause Lower Back Pain In Early Pregnancy

    In early pregnancy, it is because your growing uterus can cause pressure on your spinal cord and nerves, according to. At first, lower back pain during pregnancy may be sharp or shooting and tend to occur at rest or first thing in the morning. As your pregnancy progresses, some women feel pain off and on throughout their day. Cramping may also accompany lower back pain during early pregnancy. You might notice it most often toward the end of your menstrual cycle .

    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 they’re 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.

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    Risk Of Bias Assessment

    The reviewers consensus assessment of the risk is detailed in Figure 2. The overall risk of bias across the studies was moderate. Most studies adequately stated the methods used for randomization and allocation concealment barring 4 RCTs . Blinding of participants and personnel was considered unclear in most studies barring low risk in only one study and high risk in 3 other studies . The blinding of outcome assessors was judged unclear risk in 17 studies and low risk in 12 studies . All trials barring one study were judged at low or unclear risk of attrition bias and selective reporting. Most studies were determined to be at unclear risk of other bias mainly due to lack of adequate details regarding blinding or outcome assessment. Finally, the overall bias was adjudged as low in 15 studies and as unclear in the remaining 14 studies.

    Fig. 2

    How To Prevent Hip Pain In Pregnancy

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    Want to prevent hip pain before it starts? Here are a few things you can try. Keep in mind that preventive measures may not work for everyone.

    • Stay active in your pregnancy: Low impact exercises, like walking, cycling, and swimming, may be best for avoiding hip pain.
    • Keep weight gain in check: You generally only need to consume around 340 extra calories each day to support a healthy pregnancy.
    • Wear flat, supportive shoes: A good arch support may help relieve hip pain during exercise and everyday activities. And stay off your feet for extended periods of time as much as you can if you start to notice pain.
    • Practice good posture: Maintain good posture while sitting, standing, and lifting or carrying items. Try to avoid lifting heavy items if you can.
    • Avoid certain activities: For instance, avoid activities that may aggravate pelvic pain, like crossing your legs, standing for long periods of time, vacuuming, or lifting heavy objects.
    • Purchase a pregnancy support belt: These belts help to support your hip joints throughout the day.
    • Get a massage: Consider scheduling regular prenatal massages with a licensed therapist to keep muscles loose.

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    When To Contact Your Health Care Provider

    Experiencing back pain is usually not a reason to contact your health care provider, but there are situations where contacting your provider is necessary.You want to contact your health care provider if you are experiencing any of the following:

    • Severe back pain
    • Increasingly severe or abrupt-onset of back pain
    • Rhythmic cramping painsThis could be a sign of preterm labor.

    Severe back pain may be related to pregnancy-associated osteoporosis, vertebral osteoarthritis, or septic arthritis. These are not common, but it is something your health care provider will examine for if you are experiencing severe back pain.

    Prepare A Complete Medical History

    Let your provider know your history of any traumatic back or pelvic injuries, herniated discs, chronic back pain, scoliosis or surgical treatments . This information is not only important for managing low back pain during pregnancy.

    It is also very important for your anesthesiologist, should you need spinal anesthesia or an epidural. (This has nothing to do with whether you want pain control for labor or not.

    This is in the event that you need anesthesia you want your Anesthesiologist to be prepared.)

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    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.

    What Causes Back Pain During Pregnancy

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    Back pain during pregnancy is related to a number of factors. Some women begin to have lower back pain with the onset of pregnancy. Women who are most at risk for back pain are those who are overweight or had back pain prior to pregnancy.Here is a list of potential causes of back pain or discomfort during pregnancy:

    • Increase of hormones Hormones released during pregnancy allow ligaments in the pelvic area to soften and the joints to become looser in preparation for the birthing process this shift in joints and loosening of ligaments may affect the support your back normally experiences.
    • Center of gravity Your center of gravity will gradually move forward as your uterus and baby grow, which causes your posture to change.
    • Additional weight Your developing pregnancy and baby create an additional weight that your back must support.
    • Posture or position Poor posture, excessive standing, and bending over can trigger or escalate the pain you experience in your back.
    • Stress Stress usually accumulates in weak areas in the body, and because of the changes in your pelvic area, you may experience an increase in back pain during stressful periods of your pregnancy.

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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.

    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.

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    When Should You See A Doctor For Pregnancy Back Pain

    Experiencing back pain without other symptoms doesnt typically warrant a call to your doctor. However, certain types of back pain and symptoms can indicate the development of more serious problems. You should make an appointment if you are experiencing:

    • Rhythmic cramping, which can indicate preterm labor
    • Back, thigh, leg, or hip pain that persists, despite attempting to treat your pain with the above strategies
    • A sudden increase in back pain or severe pain that occurs suddenly or becomes increasingly severe, as this may be related to a serious condition called septic arthritis, or another condition requiring immediate medical care
    • Pins and needles in the extremities or problems urinating, which can indicate that nerves and blood vessels are being put under pressure

    Crystal Run Healthcare has several locations for Womens Health across the Hudson Valley, which allow for easy access to our health system from your home or work. Our highly-trainedOBGYNs offer a full range of prenatal and obstetrical care to support you through a safe and healthy pregnancy.

    How To Prevent Back Pain

    Tips to Relieve Back Pain During Pregnancy

    You may be able to prevent or minimize your pregnancy back pain by incorporating any or all of the strategies listed below:

    • Performing health care provider-approved exercises to support back and abdominal muscles
    • Stretching your back on a regular basis
    • Sleeping on your side whenever possible
    • Receiving chiropractic treatments to maintain alignment of your hips, back, and pelvis
    • Wearing a device on your lower abdomen for support
    • Keeping your stress in check to prevent additional discomfort and pain during stressful periods
    • Ensuring you elevate your feet regularly to relieve back strain

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    Back Pain During Pregnancy

    Back pain or discomfort is common during pregnancy and should be expected to some degree by most women. Back pain may be experienced during any point of your pregnancy however, it most commonly occurs later in pregnancy as baby grows.Back pain can disrupt your daily routine or interfere with a good night of sleep. The good news is there are steps you can take to manage the back pain that you experience.

    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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