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How Common Is Back Pain During Pregnancy? Tips From Experts To Feel Better

Lower back pain affects many women during pregnancy.
Published -10 Jan 2022, 11:27 ISTUpdated -10 Jan 2022, 11:42 IST
back pain pregnancy main

Experiencing severe back pain during pregnancy? You are not alone! Lower back pain affects many women during pregnancy.

Dr V Aruna Kumari, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Electronic City, Sarjapur, Bangalore says, “one of the obvious reasons is that you are carrying a lot of weight around your abdomen, affecting your back and posture. A woman goes through several physiologic changes that contribute to back and pelvic pain. Such changes can disrupt your normal day-to-day activities.” 

expert back pain pregnancy

Causes Of Back Pain 

Several physical changes among pregnant women explain the increased incidence of back pain. Here are a few causes of back pain as told by Dr V Aruna Kumari.

Weight Gain

weight back pain pregnancy

You must have gained a lot of kilos, especially around your belly, in your second and third trimesters. Weight gain is a known cause of back pain as your body’s centre of gravity changes. The pre-pregnancy weight also affects your body during pregnancy. For example, if you were obese before pregnancy, you are more prone to suffer from backaches.

Hormonal Changes

A pregnant body produces more progesterone in the first trimester. Because of this hormone, ligaments and joints near the pelvic area relax, causing issues in alignment. One of the hormones, called relaxin, is also produced to relax the ligaments and joints in the area. The hormone causes instability of the spine and a shift in posture, causing pain in the lower back.

Psychological Reasons

Along with physical changes, you might also face changes in your mental health. Women are more prone to stay stressed during pregnancy due to constant mood swings. Stress can sometimes cause fatigue, headache and backache. 

Muscle Separation

As the uterus expands, 2 parallel sheets of muscles (the rectus abdominis muscles), which run from the rib cage to the pubic bone, may separate along the centre seam. This separation may worsen back pain.

Round Ligament Pain Is Common And Normal During Pregnancy

As the uterus and surrounding ligaments stretch to make a room for the baby, it can cause short, painful spasms. Rest and other home remedies may help. But do call your healthcare provider if the pain won’t go away. 

Risk Of Preterm Labour

Among the most worrisome causes of pregnancy back pain is preterm labour. Women should watch for pain that is new and cyclical- which could be a sign of uterine contractions- along with vaginal bleeding or any change in vaginal discharge that could indicate cervical incompetence or preterm labour.

Tips To Relieve Pain

Here are some tips by Dr V Aruna Kumari to get some relief.

Hot And Cold Compression

Many people find comfort in applying heat or cold application on the area of pain. Heat application relaxes tight muscles and reduces inflammation.

Physical Exercise And Therapy 

excercise back pain pregnancy

Doing regular exercise and stretching your back regularly can give some relief. You can even take help from a physiotherapist, who can advise you on some exercises to relax muscles. Go for swimming and walking as they will increase your flexibility. At the same time, staying active will also help you remain healthy and fit throughout your pregnancy.  

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Correct Your Posture

Be careful with your posture while sitting, standing and sleeping. A pillow position can help you find relief. Putting a support pillow while sleeping at night between bent knees provides comfort. While sitting and standing, keep your posture upright. You can even put a pillow under your belly instead of lying flat.

Do Simple Stretches

Do some prenatal yoga and simple stretches to reduce back pain. You can try cat stretch, standing pelvic-tilt and fitness ball stretch. Also, try other mindfulness techniques like meditation to calm yourself physically and emotionally. 

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medicine back pain pregnancy

If you are suffering from severe back pain, your physician may prescribe you some pregnancy-safe medications. Do not take any painkillers without consulting the doctor. Avoid some oral anti-inflammatory and narcotic medications. Medicines are different for patients, depending on their health status.

Apart from these tips, avoid wearing high heels or improper shoes, which can create problems in the alignment of the pelvis. Wear comfortable flat slippers or shoes with good arch support and cushioning throughout your pregnancy. Also, some proper lifting techniques like squats can help with your back pain. But remember to use your legs instead of your back while doing squats.

Typically, back pain goes away after childbirth. To reduce the severity of the pain, you can try out these tips. If you want to seek help from your healthcare provider, do not hesitate. Your doctor can advise you on the best treatment, suitable till your childbirth. 

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Your skin and body like you are unique. While we have taken all measures to ensure that the information provided in this article and on our social media channels is credible and expert verified, we recommend you consult a doctor or your dermatologist before trying a home remedy, quick hack or exercise regime. For any feedback or complaint, reach out to us at compliant_gro@jagrannewmedia.com