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What Helps Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy

Bend And Lift Properly

Managing low back pain during pregnancy

Bending and lifting incorrectly can irritate spinal nerves. Its important to maintain good balance and center of gravity whenever possible.

  • Avoid lifting anything heavy.
  • If you must lift something, bend your knees and hinge your hips back. Never bend over with straight legs.
  • Try to bear equal weight in each hand when carrying groceries, items for work, etc. A backpack worn over both shoulders might be helpful, too.
  • Hold any objects youre carrying close to your body.

When To Contact Your Healthcare Provider

Back pain is often one of the many normal aches and pains of pregnancy, but sometimes, it can indicate a more serious problem. It can be a symptom of preterm labor or a symptom of a urinary tract infection , for example. Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • The back pain is severe

  • The backache lasts more than two weeks

  • Your feet are numb

  • You have severe pain in your calves

  • You have vaginal bleeding

Strengthen Your Abdominal Muscles

Sit-ups arent exactly a pregnancy-friendly exercise. To strengthen your abdominal muscles, do the following exercises a few days a week. Remember that lightweight is recommended, and you should never push yourself too hard during pregnancy.

Simply using and moving your muscles will help to strengthen them sufficiently.

  • Abdominal twists: Place your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees so you are in a half-squat. Do not squat too deeply, and if you feel any discomfort, make your squat more shallow. Holding a lightweight in each hand against your chest, twist at the waist from side to side. Do not wildly swing your body, but instead maintain control and squeeze your abdominal muscles as you twist back and forth.
  • Upper cuts: Standing again in a partial-squat position with light weights, make an upper-cut punching motion while twisting slightly at the waist. Keep your abs tight. You can also do this exercise without weights.
  • Knee lifts: Stand up with your hands on your hips. Raise your knee in a slow and controlled motion, making sure you are lifting with your abdominals. If you can do so comfortably, crunch forward slightly as your knee comes up to work your abs harder. If you have trouble with balance, you can do this exercise while standing against a wall.

Remember to always consult with your doctor before attempting these exercises and make sure you do not have any risk factors that could prevent you from performing these exercises.

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Back Pain Is Common During Pregnancy But Can Be Lessened

Back pain is a common part of pregnancy, especially in the later months. If youre pregnant, back pain may be making your life miserable.

Dont dismiss the aches and pain as simply part of your condition, however. Consider the many things you can do to avoid or relieve back pain during pregnancy.

Many pregnant women can ease their back pain through postural awareness and exercises that relieve back strain, says Kerrie Adams, MD, an OB-GYN at Scripps Clinic Hillcrest. But if your back pain persists, seek medical attention. Your doctor can help determine the cause of your pain and ways to address it.

Women should consult with their health care provider before starting any new medications or treatments for any pregnancy-related discomfort, Dr. Adams adds.

Causes of back pain during pregnancy

Several factors can contribute to back pain during pregnancy, including weight changes, pregnancy hormones, and a shift in posture.

The hormonal changes that occur in pregnancy cause ligament laxity, especially where the pelvis and spine connect. This happens to prepare passage of the baby through the birth canal but can lead to joint instability and cause back pain.

As the weight of the baby increases, so does the pressure on the spine and pelvic areas. Women typically gain between 25- and 35-pounds during pregnancy.

There is also a change in your center of gravity during pregnancy due to your expanding uterus, which can cause postural changes and put stress on your back.

Help Both Lumbar Pain And Pelvic Girdle Pain

Lower Back Pain during Pregnancy: 10 Yoga Poses to Relieve It

Everything we have described so far works to help relieve all kinds of back pain that’s a result of pregnancy. This means it can help both LP and PGP. Other types of treatment methods usually focus on one symptom at a time that can be attributed to either, but not both, types of pain.

But some women experience both LP and PGP. For those who do, a back brace can help with symptoms and causes of each of them at once for maximum relief.

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So Should I Just Put Up With It Or Can I Actually Do Something About It

You can definitely do something to help this!

So many pregnant women think that they have to put up with this because its to be expected during pregnancy no!

Whilst it may be common, that doesnt mean it cant be treated.

Besides, if you had a choice, I dont know a woman that wouldnt want to rid herself of pain.

Lets work together to keep you mobile and strong in your third trimester and then give you the energy, strength and mobility to power on through labour and birth!

To improve pelvic pain you should

Here Bodytonic Clinic Share Their Top 13 Ways That Women Can Alleviate The Symptoms Of Pregnancy

It is very common for pregnant women to experience back pain, especially during the early trimesters of their pregnancy. In fact, 50% of women will experience back pain during pregnancy, in some capacity. Unfortunately, back pain can be very irritating and uncomfortable to deal with, especially whilst managing your other pregnancy symptoms too. To help you through this time, Bodytonic Clinic has brought you their top tips for dealing with back pain through your pregnancy.

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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!

  • Back Pain In The Second And Third Trimesters

    Exercises for Lower Back Pain during Pregnancy

    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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    Focus On Your Posture

    As your uterus expands, the way you stand and walk may change. Your body is naturally accommodating for the shift in your center of gravity and the laxity of your ligaments. At night, you may be most comfortable sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs. Also, your lower back might curve more inward while your pelvis tips forward. To straighten up, work on regularly strengthening your pelvic floor and core muscles.

    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.

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    Back Pain Has A Trigger

    While not always the case, you can often identify what you were doing earlier in the day that may have triggered back pain. You may have been on your feet for too long, slept poorly, or lifted something that resulted in a muscle tear. Labor pains tend to come on without a specific trigger, whereas back pain is a chronic condition.

    Low Back Pain In Pregnancy: Investigations Management And Role Of Neuraxial Analgesia And Anaesthesia: A Systematic Review

    5 Best Pregnancy Lower Back Pain Relief Exercises


    Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Management and Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, University Health Network-Toronto Western Hospital, McL 2-405, 399 Bathurst St. Toronto, ON M5T 2S8

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    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.)

    Strengths And Limitations Of This Systematic Review

    This systematic review employed a comprehensive search strategy covering all aspects in the management of LBP in pregnancy with evidence-based recommendations. However, due to the absence of high-level evidence in all areas, a significant proportion of evidence came from cohort studies, case series and case reports, and this increases the possibility of bias. The RCTs included in this review were of moderate quality and included several single blind studies that may influence the outcomes, particularly in interventional studies. Evidence regarding the use of neuraxial analgesia and anaesthesia is largely from non-pregnant patients. Unique anatomical and physiological changes of pregnancy suggest that inferences based on studies on non-pregnant patients may have limited applicability in pregnancy.

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    Multimodal Management Including Patient Education Exercise And Psychological Therapies

    Six RCTs and one non-randomized trial studied multimodal management often as integrated antenatal classes for management of LBP in pregnancy . Bastiaenen et al. studied the effectiveness of a tailor-made program modifying biopsychosocial factors in women with PLBP, and found it to be effective in improving the limitations in activities as compared to the control group . While 3 other studies reported better analgesic and functional outcomes when compared with the standard care for LBP , the rest reported no difference .

    Perform Progressive Muscle Relaxation

    Pregnancy: Tips to Reduce Back Pain

    With the amount of stress that can accompany pregnancy, its no wonder mind-body techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation have been shown in studies to be effective for reducing low back pain during pregnancy. Start by laying in a comfortable position with relaxing music playing in the background. Tense the muscles in your feet for a few seconds and then release, simultaneously relaxing all other muscle groups in your body. Continue in the same manner for about 15 to 20 minutes in the calf, thigh, gluteal muscles, abdomen, chest, hands, forearms, shoulders, neck, face, and finally the forehead.

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    Complementary And Alternative Medicine

    Eleven RCTs, 2 cohort studies and 2 case reports evaluated the role of complementary therapies . In a cohort study, the use of pelvic belts was found to reduce SIJ mobility, thereby providing relief from LBP . In one RCT, support devices were found to be effective in reducing PLBP . OMT reduced LBP and the progression of back-specific dysfunction in pregnancy and postpartum in 3 studies . Water gymnastics and yoga were also found to be effective in reducing pain intensity.

    Two case reports and 6 RCTs studied the role of acupuncture . Two of these RCTs demonstrated analgesic benefit when compared to controls . Acupuncture, as an adjunct to standard treatment, was found to be better than standard treatment alone for reduction of pain and improving the ability to perform daily activities in pregnancy-related PGP . However, timing of acupuncture during pregnancy or its intensity did not alter its benefit for LBP . One study compared no treatment to 3 intervention groups and found TENS to be as effective as exercise and acetaminophen .

    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.

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    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

    A Diagnostic Investigations For Lbp During Pregnancy

    Treating Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy: How ...

    Of the 32 studies concerning diagnostic investigations, there were 3 prospective and 2 retrospective observational studies, 26 case reports, and 1 review of literature . Most patients were investigated when the intensity of pain was moderate or severe, or associated with neurological compromise.

    Table 1

    Summary of studies of diagnostic investigations performed to evaluate low back pain in pregnancy

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    Avoiding Backache In Pregnancy

    There are several things you can do to help prevent backache from happening, and to help you cope with an aching back if it does occur.

    It is important to avoid lifting heavy objects. When lifting or picking up something from the floor, be sure to bend your knees and keep your back straight.

    These tips listed here can also help you to protect your back try to remember them every day:

    • move your feet when turning around to avoid twisting your spine
    • wear flat shoes as these allow your weight to be evenly distributed
    • work at a surface high enough to prevent you stooping
    • try to balance the weight between two bags when carrying shopping
    • sit with your back straight and well supported
    • avoid standing or sitting for long periods
    • make sure you get enough rest, particularly later in pregnancy
    • try to have good posture

    A firm mattress can also help to prevent and relieve backache. If your mattress is too soft, put a piece of hardboard under it to make it firmer.

    Some other activities that may help ease your back pain include:

    • aqua aerobics
    • acupuncture

    Tips For Getting In And Out Of Bed With Back Pain

    • Try to avoid lying flat for long periods of time. Its better for your back and your baby to lie on your side.
    • You may find it more comfortable to have a pillow under your bump or between your knees to support your back. This can help you sleep better, too.
    • Some women find pregnancy pillows can help, but they can be pricey. You may find a normal pillow does the trick.
    • If you are getting pain in your hip from lying on your side, it may help to place a duvet under your sheet or use a memory-foam topper for a softer mattress.

    Getting in and out of bed can get more difficult as your bump gets bigger. To take the strain off your back, try rolling onto your side moving your shoulders, hips and knees at the same time. Let your legs ease off the edge of the bed and put your feet on the floor. At the same time, use your arms to push yourself up to a sitting position.

    Doing this all as one movement can be more comfortable. Try the movement backwards to get back into bed.

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