Back Pain During Pregnancy: Causes and Relief Tips
Pregnancy is a difficult time for everyone and with it comes small and uncomfortable situations that give you pain. Back pain is one of them, specially the lower back pain which is considered bothersome by many expectant mothers.
Needless to say, back pain is very common during pregnancy due to all the changes in your body. The hormonal level changes, stretching of muscles, weight gain and moreover, the overall shift of your center of gravity is what causes back pain basically.
While you are having a hard time growing a baby inside you, the recurring back pain adds to your misery. Lower back pain is pretty common during pregnancy and not very severe so there’s no need to worry. And the good thing is, you can use some tricks at the comfort of your home to prevent back pain.
What causes back pain during pregnancy?
There are many factors that can be accounted for back pain during pregnancy. Some of the major causes are pointed below.
1. Pregnancy Hormones
A woman’s body need to adapt to changing body environment during pregnancy and this is where the hormonal growth takes place. The pregnancy hormone also called as the hCG or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin starts to be secreted more so as to relax and loosen up the muscles and ligaments.
And as your backbone, like any other bones in your body, is connected to other bones (in this case, pelvic girdle), the loosening of ligaments triggers pain in the lower back.
2. Weight gain
During the second and third trimester of pregnancy, you obviously gain a lot of weight because of the growth of your baby. The increased weight gives your backbone a lot of pressure and the stress can result in back pain during pregnancy.
3. Shift of center of gravity
As your baby grows in second and third trimester, the bump starts appearing which pushes your center of gravity a little forward. This shift requires you to change your position while walking or even standing. Failing to do so can clearly affect your backbone, thus triggering pain in the region.
4. Old injuries resurfaced
If you have had some injuries in your back before pregnancy, the pain from those injuries can resurface during pregnancy causing back pain.
5. Prolonged positions
Your habit of staying in the same position for a long time can turn out to be very painful during pregnancy. If you sit or stand in the same position for prolonged period, the muscles as well as your backbone starts getting tensed and triggers pain in the area.
6. Lack of exercise
If regular exercise is not a part of your daily schedule, back pain will not be very surprising during pregnancy. Lack of exercise can lead your muscles to be lazy and whenever there is a little stress, your back tends to get painful.
Any type of stress or pressure on your back bone can trigger back pain during pregnancy. Lifting heavy things, some positions like bending over and others can put stress on your back which results in back pain.
Symptoms of back pain during pregnancy:
During pregnancy women feel pressure in their back bone and this is one of the major reasons for back pain. Specifically, pregnant women feel pain in the lower side of their back and in the area around pelvic region.
The pain you feel around your pelvic region is medically denoted as Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP). Also, for the low back pain, there are two medical conditions namely, Lumbar pain and posterior pelvic pain.
In lumbar pain, you feel pain in and over your spinal cord around the waist area. The pain sometimes radiates towards your legs. This type of pain is also common for those not pregnant and is caused mostly due to stress. Prolonged positions can trigger lumbar pain which usually tend to become more intense during the later-half of your day.
Posterior pelvic pain is denoted by pain felt deep inside your buttocks which can radiate to the back of your thighs. This type of pain is more common during pregnancy and is triggered by stress causing activities including walking, running, climbing stairs. twisting, lifting and others.
Pelvic girdle pain is caused by the loose joints which is the result of lax ligaments in your pelvic area. This triggers pain in the back of your pelvis and in sacroiliac joint which is the joint between hip bone and bottom bone in your spine. The pain is shooting, stabbing or dull and can be confused with another medical condition Sciatia.
All of the above mentioned types of back pain show the following symptoms:
- Shooting or dull pain in the spine.
- Pain is intense in the lower back which also radiates to your legs.
- The muscles in the pelvic area are tensed.
- Difficulty in walking, running, sleeping, lifting and other activities.
- Difficulty in sitting in the same position for a prolonged time.
Relief tips for back pain during pregnancy
As much as back pain is common during pregnancy, it is also easy to prevent it by using the following relief tips:
1. Take care of your positions
You should be aware of what positions trigger back pain for you. It may be while lifting things, or bending over, while walking or sitting and avoid those positions as much as possible. If you have to bend over to lift something up, try squatting.
Also, while sleeping, never sleep on your back and opt to your side. You should use as many soft pillows as you want so that you could sleep better without any back pain.
2. Avoid carrying heavy loads
During pregnancy, stop doing works that puts a lot of pressure on your back. Walking all day or standing or sitting on the chair all day long can cause back pain, So, it is better to avoid these types of work during pregnancy.
3. Wear good undergarments
Your body size changes during pregnancy and you need to be well aware to change your undergarments. Bras that support the breast during pregnancy specially tighten up and if used tight, it can be a factor for back pain.
Maintaining proper sized undergarments ensure good posture, thereby preventing back pain during pregnancy.
4. Take help for household works
Hours of hard work in your kitchen and household can be very stressful to your body as well as mind. This can obviously trigger your back pain, which is why; taking help for your household work can be a far better option for your pain.
5. Use lumber support for your chair
You can also use lumbar support for your chair and bed whenever you feel like sitting down. This helps you relax your back and prevents back pain during pregnancy.
6. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise can be very beneficial to prevent back pain during pregnancy. Exercises like swimming, Pilates and yoga can be very relaxing for pregnant ladies. If you were not exercising regularly before pregnancy, start from easy and basic exercises.
7. Take plenty of rest
Taking plenty of rest is one of the easiest and enjoyable things you can do to prevent back pain during pregnancy. This helps you destress and relaxes your body which can amazingly prevent back pain.
How to relieve back pain during pregnancy?
If you get back pain anyhow, these are some of the methods you can use to ease your pain during pregnancy.
When you have back pain, ask anyone to gently massage your back where you feel the pain. The massage should be very gentle and during the time, avoid putting pressure right in the area of pain.
Putting drops of lavender essential oil in your warm bath tub can be very relaxing while also easing your back pain. Take care not to put more lavender oil in water as excess of it can result to contractions of muscles, which you do not want.
When you feel back pain, putt off everything and take rest. This can help you relax your back and ease back pain.
You can also take help from your chiropractic and use their methods to help you ease your back pain.
If you suffer from back pain quite often during pregnancy, you can always opt to take physiotherapy from a licensed therapist.
6. Wear supportive belt
Wearing supportive waist belt can also help you ease your back pain during pregnancy. The belt works to keep your posture prefect and helps you get rid of unnecessary back pain.
Have you been affected by back pain during pregnancy ever? What did you do to get a relief? Write us in the comments below!