Is It Normal To Have Back Pain In Early Pregnancy
It is very common for the expectant mother to start feeling back pain at the beginning of pregnancy due to the increase in progesterone and relaxin hormones in the blood, which makes the ligaments of the spine and the sacrum relax, causing pain.
The risk of having back pain in early pregnancy is greater for women who have had back pain before, and it tends to get worse as the pregnancy progresses.
When To Worry About Pregnancy Back Pain
Low back pain that’s worse when you’re standing but eases once you sit or lie down is considered normal during pregnancy. But talk to your doctor if the pain starts to radiate down your legs into your calves or feet interferes with daily activities or causes fever, chills,weight loss, weakness, or sensory issues.
Wear A Maternity Belt
A maternity belt, which you can buy online and in many maternity clothing shops, is a supportive undergarment that helps hold up the belly so the pelvic girdle and lower back aren’t too strained. If your belly is protruding forward in a pronounced way, rather than with your weight diffused across your midsection, the belt can act as a substitute for your abdominal core muscles, which can struggle to prevent your lower spine from painfully exaggerating its curvature. Doctors generally advise women to try maternity belts and use them if they work, but the belts should be seen as a complement to other remedies rather than the only pregnancy back pain relief strategy.
Don’t Miss: Can You Get Lasik Eye Surgery While Pregnant
Postural Correction Helps Relieve Pregnancy Back Pain
Maintaining an ergonomically supported posture throughout the day can help take a considerable amount of stress and strain off the lower back tissues. Doctors also advise taking rest, limiting strain and high impact activities, and performing stretches and exercises to build strength in the pelvis, hip, and lower back. Pain-relieving medications such as NSAIDs are not considered safe during pregnancy and must be avoided.
Ways To Relieve Back Pain During Pregnancy
One quick and simple way of relieving back pain during pregnancy is to lie down , face up with your knees bent and your arms stretched on the sides of your body. This position helps remove pressure from the vertebra, which relieves back pain in a few minutes.
Back pain is very a common symptom during pregnancy, that tends to appear in 7 out of 10 pregnant women, but it especially affects teenagers, who are still in a growing stage, smokers, and those who had back pain before getting pregnant.
Some simple strategies you can use to eliminate back pain during pregnancy include:
Also Check: Is It Safe To Take Tums While Pregnant
Third Trimester Back Pain
Your third trimester is when lower back pain may be the worst. Your belly is heavier, putting considerably more stress on your back and your center of gravity shifts to the front of your body as baby grows and you will find yourself leaning backwards for relief. However, by continuing to lean backwards, you are adding strain on your lower back. Your body is preparing for labor and your joints are loosening, resulting in subtle posture shifts that can have a big effect.
You may also be more sedentary due to fatigue, and as your baby gets larger and runs out of room to move in your womb, it will put direct pressure on your abdominal muscles that help stabilize the spine and support the back depending on their positioning.
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.
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
Don’t Miss: Can You Use Vagisil During Pregnancy
The 4 Best Stretches To Relieve Back During Pregnancy
Back pain during pregnancy is one of the most common discomforts experienced by women who are expecting, and it is easy to see why! Growing a mini human is hard work, and pregnancy can be a huge adjustment for your body.
As baby grows, the load on the muscles and joints gradually increases and the hormonal changes during pregnancy increase the stretchiness of the ligaments around the pelvis – resulting in the surrounding muscles have to work pretty hard! This often results in the muscles getting tight and restricting movement, creating tension and pain in the back or pelvic girdle.
Having said that, pelvic and back pain during pregnancy – while common, is not necessarily normal and doesn’t have to be something you just put up with!
Encouraging easier movement of the pelvis and addressing the tension in the surrounding muscles through stretching can help to provide great relief from this pain, and can actually help prevent future pain as your pregnancy progresses – so do your stretches mums-to-be!
These are my top 4 stretches that I did all of the time during my own pregnancy and recommend most often to my pregnant patients when they come to see me with back or pelvic girdle pain issues.
Because theyre simple, can be done pretty much anywhere you can find a table, counter top, or chair, and are very easy to fit into your day. We have listed them here for you, or you can check out the video above to follow along!
What Causes Pregnancy Back Pain
– On average, a woman typically gains between 25-35 lbs during pregnancy. This weight is typically held in the abdomen, in turn, putting more weight on your back.
– Joints become much less stable due to hormone production. This allows your pelvis to spread as your little one grows .
– As your body changes, your posture may be putting additional strain on your back.
Now, if youve landed on this page, youre one of the lucky ones! Not because you have the back pain , but because you can now do something about it!
While taking medication is pretty much out of question, there are simple, yet effective ways that can help your body feel more at ease at your last stretch. I promiseyoure almost there! And if you still have a bit to go, even better. Getting a head start on strengthening your muscles will only benefit you both during your pregnancy as well as postpartum.
Read Also: Can You Get Lasik While Pregnant
Lumbar Lordosis In Pregnancy
I spoke with Micheline Cerra, a PT with 30 years of experience. Micheline is the owner of Lands End Physical Therapy in San Francisco, and has three young sons. Over the course of her career, Micheline has worked with dozens of expectant moms.
“During pregnancy, a woman’s center of gravity shifts as the baby grows in the front of her body, Micheline explains. “This causes exaggerated lordosis and weakens the core which both contribute to the back pain.”
As the baby grows and the weight of the fetus increases, it takes up more space in the belly and moves the center of gravity forward. Some womens bodies accommodate this shift by hyper-extending the lower spine in an exaggerated forward curve.In addition, the weight of the babyespecially in the later monthspulls on the lower back, increasing the lumbar curve.
An exaggerated lumbar curve can tighten the long muscles that run down either side of the spine. The tighter a muscle becomes, the more painful it can feel. Tight muscles tend to be more dehydrated, and the fascia surrounding them can become stickycreating the painful muscular knots all of us have experienced at some point or another. During pregnancy, this tension can become chronic, and can persist postpartum.
Physical therapy can be really helpful. “Pregnant patients can be taught to have a stronger core, and better postureboth help with back pain, Micheline says.
Try Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
Another contributor to back pain is overly tight pelvic muscles. A pelvic floor physiotherapist can help you work on those internal muscles by doing whats basically a massage of your pelvic floor through your vagina. This type of treatment has added benefits, too, as Mickeler says it can reduce the incidence of tearing during delivery, and give you a head start for recovery after your baby is born.
A pelvic floor physiotherapist can also assess the shape of whats called your deep core, which consists of your pelvic floor, your diaphragm, your transverse abdominis and a muscle in your lower back. Mickeler explains that if one part of your deep core isnt working well, it can mean that other parts of your body will have to compensate, which may lead to pain. Aside from working internally, pelvic floor physiotherapists can also use exercise- and rehab-based techniques to help with low-back pain.
Don’t Miss: Lasik And Pregnancy
Taking A Prenatal Massage
Prenatal massages are a great way to lessen the aches of your body, including hip pain during pregnancy. This kind of massage helps to relax and loosen the muscles of your body and also reduce your stress. You should always schedule an appointment with a trained masseuse who will know your exact sore spots and provide the much needed relief.
Read More: 11 Benefits of Prenatal Massages Therapy
Limiting Standing And Walking Reduces The Occurrence Of Back Pain
If standing and/or walking causes or aggravates pregnancy back pain and leg pain, a maternity brace and comfortable walking shoes that provide shock-absorbing properties may be used. In general, any activity that includes long periods of standing and/or walking must be avoided and intermittent sitting must be performed.1
You May Like: Can You Donate Plasma While Pregnant
Wearing A Pregnancy Belt
Girdles or pregnancy belts are very useful to relieve hip joint pain and back pain. These belts stabilize the hip and offers support to the mid and lower back. They also relieve the pressure and thus reduce the pain. There are many brands of pregnancy belts found in stores. You should consult a doctor on which type of pregnancy belt will be suitable for you.
Read More: 8 Must Know Car Safety Tips During Pregnancy
When To Contact Your Doctor
Back pain is typically a normal part of pregnancy. But in some cases, it can be a sign of serious problems, like preterm labor or a urinary tract infection.
Back pain thats accompanied by fever, burning during urination, or vaginal bleeding shouldnt be ignored. If you experience these symptoms, contact your doctor right away.
Read Also: Can I Use Vagisil Cream While Pregnant
What Can I Do To Relieve My Pregnancy Backaches
I’m 7 months pregnant and my back is killing me! How can I get some relief? Fiona
Many pregnant women have achy backs as their bellies grow larger and their muscles and spine strain to carry the extra weight.
During pregnancy, the body also produces the hormone relaxin, which helps prepare the body for childbirth. One of the effects of relaxin is the loosening of ligaments throughout the body, making pregnant women less stable and more prone to injury, especially in their backs.
Here are some ways to help ease your back pain:
Back pain also can be a sign of something else, like labor starting or a urinary tract infection . If you have any questions or concerns, severe pain, pain that isn’t getting better, or other symptoms, talk to your doctor.
Exercise To Do During Pregnancy
I personally did a lot of exercise throughout my pregnancy and miraculously my journey was so smooth without any complication.
Benefits of exercise:
Exercise helps a pregnant woman healthy pregnancy ,prevent further complication such as diabetes ,blood pressure ,thyroid and mood swings.
You May Like: Can You Smoke Weed While Being Pregnant
Second Trimester Back Pain
Second-trimester back pain typically occurs during the latter half of this trimester, after 20 weeks Just to keep in mind, this can be a bit confusing due to the fact that mothers come in different shapes and sizes.
Patients who I have seen that are already overweight during pregnancy can have second trimester back pain even before 20 weeks. By this time, youve likely gained enough weight that its starting to put stress on your body, resulting in back pain.
Arnica Gel And Pregnancy
Some health stores recommend the use of arnica during pregnancy. However, this is not safe. If someone recommends you to use arnica to alleviate lower back pain during pregnancy, you should not take them up on their advice.
The herb arnica is available in different forms. Unfortunately, many websites recommend its use. But, this otherwise safe herbal alternative, should not be used during pregnancy.
Arnica is, unfortunately, associated with miscarriages. It is not clear why this may happen but ongoing studies are trying to find the link between arnica and miscarriage.
There is also another a couple of no-nos expectant mums should be aware when it comes to lower back pain treatment during pregnancy. Smoking is the top one. When you smoke, harmful chemicals can attack the nervous system and cause pain. Also. the tar in cigarettes will restrict the blood flow in arteries and this can lead to severe inflammation.
Try to stick to a naturally healthy lifestyle and exercise as much as you can. A pregnancy support belt or maternity support belt will make this easier and more comfortable for you and your baby. In fact, you will probably come across a lot of other expectant mums who have learned how vital a little bit of support help is during pregnancy.
Both a pregnancy support belt and a maternity belt will also help to improve your posture which can, in turn, lower the risk of fluid retention and other physical problems you can expect to experience during pregnancy.
Also Check: Can You Donate Plasma When Pregnant
Exercises To Help Relieve Hip Pain During Pregnancy
Some experts refer to it as sciatica, a condition where your sciatic nerve becomes pinched and sends pain to your buttocks, thighs, and hips, or pain in the round ligament in your groin area that is due to the ligaments stretching around allow pregnancy and childbirth.
If you find yourself at the end of this pregnancy ailment, here are eight exercises to help ease the pain and stretch. As always, please check with your doctor before trying new exercises.
When To Call Your Doctor
Sometimes back pain during pregnancy is indicating something else is wrong and it is a good idea in some cases to call your doctor right away. Here is what you need to look for when it comes to back pain and warning signs to look for. As always if you have questions always call your doctor for help!
Also Check: Getting Braces While Pregnant
Exercises To Support The Lower Back & Strengthen The Core
Here are three exercises that I relied on while pregnant, and I continue to use regularly with pregnant clients. They should be suitable for any pregnant woman since the range of motion is small and they are gentle motions. These movements shouldn’t hurt. If they bother you or increase your pain, stop immediately and consult a physical therapist who can offer other exercises better suited to you.
#1. Whole Abdomen StrengtheningSit up tall on a chair, hands clasped behind your head. Take deep breaths, and as you exhale, practice pulling your entire abdomen back toward your spine. Imagine your lower spine lengthening and softening as your abdominal muscles contract.
If you do not feel pain, add a small tilt backward as you exhale. Keep your spine straight, and try to feel the increased strength required of your abs to support your lower spine. The tilt can be super tinya little goes a long way.
#2. Standing Glute StrengthThis exercise is especially good for instability and pain in the SI joints. Stand up tall, with your heels together and your toes turned out in a V shape .
As you exhale, squeeze your glutes together, and feel how this helps you externally rotate your legs. At the same time, gently bring your abdomen back toward your lower back, imagining your lower back lengthening and softening.
Pregnancy is a great adventure, topped only by what comes after!