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What Can I Take For Back Pain While Pregnant

What Causes Back Pain During Pregnancy

Relieving Back Pain During Pregnancy

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.

Treatment Of Back Injury During Pregnancy

If you injure your back while you are pregnant, simple exercises and using back support are usually enough to fix the injury. In very rare cases, pregnant women can have a serious injury such as a herniated disc. In this case you might need surgery. Back surgery is usually safe, however, both for you and your baby during pregnancy.

Many women have a pre-existing back condition before they become pregnant, such as scoliosis, spondylolisthesis or a lumbar disc condition. Sometimes your back problems get better during pregnancy, but sometimes they get worse. It’s important to mention any back problems to the medical team who are looking after you.

Talk to your doctor if you need to take medicine to control back pain. Paracetamol is one of the safest painkillers during pregnancy. Do not take aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as Nurofen while you are pregnant.

Your back injury should not affect labour or pain relief during labour. It is also usually possible to have an epidural if you have a back injury. Tell the hospital about your condition because there are different positions you can use to ease back pain during labour.

Strengthen Your Back Muscles

Since your back is at risk, it makes sense to strengthen it. Starting early in your pregnancy, engage in light weight-lifting exercises that can help to strengthen your lower back.

Some examples are:

  • Deadlifts: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Using light weights or even none at all, bend at your waist and allow your hands to hang toward the floor. Keep your core and pelvic floor tight, and maintain full control as you bend down and come back up. Deadlifts are also used by serious weightlifting competitors and are often done with heavy weights. If you are pregnant, remember to use light weights to avoid injury it doesnt take much to strengthen your lower back. Youre just trying to avoid back pain not win a weightlifting competition!
  • Arm and leg lifts: Get on all fours on the floor. Slowly extend one leg back and then up, maintaining full control the whole time. If you are able, lift the opposite arm and point it straight out. However, if you feel uncomfortable or if you are not able to maintain your balance, omit the arms or do them separately.

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A Pulled Back Muscle During Pregnancy

The muscles of the back are surprisingly strong but are meant largely to engage in continuous, low-intensity efforts. Requiring them to move quickly or contract strongly, as they must to lift a very heavy weight, can pull them, leading to painful aching and spasms. Most women don’t pull their backs during pregnancy, but for those who do, the experience is quite uncomfortable.

Strap On A Maternity Belt

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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.

Read more:

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When To Seek Treatment

Although back pain during pregnancy is normal, certain signs call for immediate medical attention. These include :

  • Unable to distinguish between labor pain and back pain. If the pain persists for more than two weeks, it may indicate preterm labor.
  • Numbness in the groin area, the feet or the pelvic region.
  • Acute and persistent pain may result from pregnancy-related osteoporosis, septic arthritis, and vertebral osteoarthritis.

Back pain is a common pregnancy problem that should not raise any concern. In most cases, the pain may not lead to serious complications. However, it is important to remain observant of ones condition, and if the pain aggravates or persists, it is recommended to consult your healthcare provider.


  • Back pain during pregnancy.
  • 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.

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    /8home Remedies To Reduce Pregnancy

    Back pain is very common during the early stages of pregnancy and is most prevalent during the fifth to seventh months of the pregnancy. The pain is usually localized to the lower back and spreads to the thighs, legs and buttocks. With day-to-day activities, the pain may even worsen, causing sleepless nights and painful days. If you had backaches even before pregnancy, chances are, they will worsen during this time.

    Almost 50-75 per cent of pregnant women experience aches. In fact, there is a reason for every ache in your body:

    • Lower back pain is caused due to instability in the pelvis and the lumbar spine. This pain can be sharp and burning in the lower spine or can even be one-sided. It may also worsen during sleep as a consequence of the expanding uterus.
    • Pelvic pain is quite normal during pregnancy as it occurs due to the changes in the pelvic bone to accommodate the growth of the uterus and help during birth.
    • Thigh pain in pregnancy can be caused due to the lack of blood supply reaching the thighs. The soft tissues swell up due to the pressure from the growing uterus.

    First Trimester Back Pain

    Chiropractic Treatments : How to Get Rid of Back Pain While Pregnant

    Early in your pregnancy, your uterus is just gearing up. Changing levels of hormones, specifically increasing levels of the hormone progesterone which is the hormone that maintains the pregnancy cause ligaments in the pelvic region to loosen a bit which results in your muscles adjusting leading to instability of your joints and this can result in back pain as your body shifts.

    Its also common to experience cramping during early pregnancy, which can often be lower back pain. Although pregnancy is known as a happy event, stress levels can increase during this time and present as physical symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, and muscle pain commonly presenting as back pain.

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    Taking Rest And Applying Heat Therapy Can Help Heal Sore Tissues

    Taking short periods of rest during the day helps ease muscle spasms and relieves acute pain. While taking rest, keeping both feet elevated can help bend the hips and decrease the curvature in the lower spine.2

    Using a heat patch in the lower back area and/or rear pelvis can help reduce soreness, decrease muscle spasm, and improve blood circulation. The heat source must be used for 15 to 20 minutes at a time and be of a tolerable temperature. Placing a barrier, such as a towel, is advisable to avoid burns.

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    Maintaining an optimal level of function throughout your pregnancy and having the least amount of discomfort are the main goals of treatment for back pain during pregnancy.

    Physical therapy encompasses postural modifications, back strengthening, stretching, and range-of-motion exercises. Appropriate physical therapy and exercise for pregnant women instructed by a trained therapist can help strengthen the soft tissues and muscles around the lumbar spine .2

    • Flexion exercises help make the abdominal muscles stronger, improve core strength, and decrease the lumbar curve.2
    • Extension exercises help increase strength in the paraspinal muscles that provide stability to the spine.2

    Physical therapy and exercise to reduce back pain in pregnancy include low-impact options, such as pelvic tilts, knee-to-chest stretch, straight leg raise, curl-ups, side-lying leg raise, and the Kegel exercises.2

    Take Rest When Your Baby Sleeps

    Getting adequate rest and sleep is of prime importance for any mother, especially if you have delivered your baby recently. Taking out some quiet time for yourself may seem difficult but sneak out time and sleep or rest when your baby sleeps. It is often seen that a well relaxed and rested body is less likely to have problems such as back pain.

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    What Causes Back And Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy

    Posterior pelvic pain during pregnancy can be brought on or exacerbated by the following activities: Rolling in bed Climbing stairs Sitting and rising from a seated position Lifting, twisting, bending forward Running and walking.

    Chiropractic care may also be effective at minimizing back pain during all stages of your pregnancy. Are prenatal massages and chiropractic care safe during the first trimester of pregnancy?Chiropractic care and message therapy are usually OK during the first trimester of pregnancy.

    What Are Some Causes Of Back Pain During Pregnancy

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    There are several reasons why you may experience back pain during pregnancy. Sone of the most common causes include:

    • Weight gain: As you gain weight during pregnancy, the spine has to support that added weight. That change causes lower back pain. The weight of the growing baby and uterus can also put pressure on the blood vessels and nerves in the pelvis and back, causing pain.
    • Changes in hormones: During pregnancy, your body releases a hormone called relaxin that allows ligaments in the pelvic area to relax and joints to loosen in preparation for giving birth. The hormone can cause ligaments that support the spine to loosen as well. This, along with the shifting of joints, can lead to instability and pain.
    • Changes in posture: Poor posture, excessive standing or sitting, and bending over can trigger or increase your back pain. In addition, while youre pregnant, your center of gravity shifts forward as your uterus and baby grow, causing your posture and the way you move to change. This can result in strain and pain.
    • Stress: Stress can cause muscle tension in the back, resulting in back pain or back spasms. You may experience an increase in back pain during stressful periods of your pregnancy.
    • Chronic back pain prior to pregnancy.

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    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.

  • Focus on maintaining good posture when youre seated or standing. Stand straight, with your chest high, and your shoulders back and relaxed.
  • Try to avoid standing for long periods of time. If youre on your feet a lot, try resting one foot on an elevated surface.
  • If you need to pick something up, remember to squat instead of bending at the waist.
  • Avoid lifting heavy things.
  • Wear sensible shoes that offer support.
  • Try sleeping on your side, not your back, with pillows tucked beneath your belly and between your knees for gentle support.
  • Practice pregnancy-safe exercises designed to strengthen and support your abdomen and back.
  • As your abdomen grows, consider wearing a supportive garment or belt to help take some of the pressure off your back.
  • Research local chiropractors who specialize in pregnancy-related care and learn more about how an adjustment can help relieve back pain.
  • When seated, try to elevate your feet and make sure your chair offers good back support. Use a lumbar pillow for additional low back support.
  • Try to get plenty of rest.
  • 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.

    Ways To Ease Back Pain During Pregnancy

    Brian Levine, MD, MS, is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology as well as in reproductive endocrinology and infertility.

    Low back pain and pelvic pain are among the most common problems that occur during pregnancy if you are pregnant and experiencing these symptoms, read on, you’re not alone. About half of pregnant women will complain of significant low back pain symptoms. The changes your body experiences during pregnancy are dramatic, and these physiologic changes can cause unexpected pain and difficulty with seemingly normal activities.

    Contrary to popular belief, back pain is not only a problem later in pregnancy. In fact, the incidence of back pain during pregnancy peaks around 18-24 weeks. While the added weight of the developing fetus is a large component of why pregnant women develop these symptoms, it is not the only reason. A complex set of physiologic changes in the body can contribute to the development of lower back symptoms.

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    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

    What Are The Types Of Back Pain In Pregnancy

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    Pregnant women may experience back pain in different parts. The various types of back pain include:

    • Pelvic pain: This is the most common type of back pain most women experience during pregnancy. Also known as Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction or pelvic girdle pain , it occurs due to instability or rigidity of the joints in the pelvic area during pregnancy. Pelvic pain can be felt around the waist or in one or both of the buttocks. At times, the pain can be felt through the hips to the back of the thighs .
    • Sciatica: The longest nerve in the body, the sciatic nerve, stems from the lower region of the spinal cord, through the buttocks to the legs. Your growing uterus exerts pressure on the nerve leading to inflammation and pain. This can be felt as sharp shooting pain in the lower back, the buttocks, and throughout the legs .
    • Lumbar pain: The pain radiates from the lumbar vertebrae and is felt at the center of the lower back, in the lumbar region, and can shift towards the legs .
    • Thoracic pain:Upper back pain occurs in the thoracic vertebrae . Hence, it is also referred to as thoracic pain and commonly occurs in the third trimester.

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