What To Use For Back Pain During Pregnancy

Chiropractic Care Treatment And Acupuncture

Managing low back pain during pregnancy

Lower back pain and even knee pain can also be treated by using complementary therapies. These include acupuncture and chiropractic treatment. Before going to have these complementary therapies, tell your doctor that you are expecting a baby.


Acupuncture is considered beneficial in pregnancy-related back pain. The acupuncturist will insert needles at different pressure points of your body to remove blockages and relieve pain. Lower back pain points are present in your hands, foot, lower back, hip, and back of the knees.

When these points are stimulated, pain-relieving chemicals get released from the spinal cord that helps relieve pain. The stimulation of nerves and other tissues helps release endorphins that can change the way your body treats pain.

Chiropractic Treatment

Many pregnant women go for chiropractic treatment where the Chiropractors use spinal manipulation and a range of other techniques to treat lower back pain. The Chiropractors focus on the proper alignment of your musculoskeletal system. The purpose of this treatment is to provide relief from nerve compression and muscle tightness.

Chiropractic treatment helps your body deal with back pain symptoms in a better way by developing spinal health and nervous system function and increasing the mobility of your joints.

When To Call Your Healthcare Provider

While some low back pain and discomfort are normal during pregnancy, there will be instances where you should reach out to your obstetrician or another healthcare professional.

Contact your healthcare professional for the following low back symptoms:

  • Any severe pain in your back
  • Low back pain that lasts more than two weeks
  • Low back pain accompanied by abdominal cramping that gets gradually worse
  • Pain or other difficulties with urinating
  • Numbness or tingling in the legs
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Any abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Fever and/chills

These symptoms are concerning and require immediate medical attention. Back pain in pregnancy might be a sign of preterm labor or a urinary tract infection. If back pain is accompanied by vaginal bleeding, fever, or burning with urination, you should reach out to your healthcare provider right away.

Exercise Most Days Of The Week

Research shows that compared with not exercising, prenatal exercise decreases the severity of low back pain during and following pregnancy. A review that included 135 studies concluded that prenatal exercise is safe and beneficial for the fetus. Try to spend 20 to 45 minutes on most days of the week walking, swimming, or cycling on a stationary bike at a mild to moderate intensity level.

A strong core can also relieve pressure on your back and support proper posture during pregnancy.

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Using A Lumbar Roll Helps Avoid Pregnancy Back Pain While Sitting

Using ergonomically supported posture while sitting for extended periods can help decrease the frequency and intensity of back pain.

  • Sitting up straight and aligning the ears, shoulders, and hips in a vertical line is recommended.
  • Using a lumbar roll in the small of the back can help support the spinal curvature.1
  • This roll may also help reduce pelvic pain that occurs from a sit-to-stand position.1
  • Inflatable lumbar rolls are best suited for pregnant women to accommodate the change in body size and posture.1

Taking short breaks every hour and briefly stretching or walking a short distance is typically recommended.

Back Pain In The Second And Third Trimesters

Back Pain During Pregnancy: Find Natural Relief Fast

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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Management Of Back Pain In Pregnancy

The treatment of back pain in pregnancy depends on the stage of pregnancy, underlying cause, aggravating factors, and the presence of other medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart problems. Both medical and psychological treatments may be warranted in some cases when the ability to perform daily activities and participation in social events is significantly affected, impairing the quality of life.

The management approach is typically multidisciplinary and may include treatments from an obstetrician, orthopedic specialist, neurologist, and/or neurosurgeon. Physicians evaluate the posture, range of motion in the lower extremities, leg-length inequality, tendon reflexes, gait pattern, joint pain, and the degree of curvature in the lower spine. Maintaining an optimal level of function throughout the gestation period and having the least amount of discomfort are the main goals of treatment for back pain during pregnancy.

After the warning signs and symptoms are ruled out, treatment options typically include postural correction, physical therapy, medical management, and/or surgical intervention.

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.
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    What Influences Pain Intensity During Pregnancy

    While age and smoking status has been not been shown to increase pain levels, higher body mass, more pregnancies, a previous history of back pain, and a previous history of pain during pregnancy have been connected to an increase in peripartum pain.

    Also, younger women tend to have more intense pain when compared to older women. Studies have reported that approximately 10% of women said back pain during pregnancy prevented them from working, and more than 80% said it affects their ability to do daily tasks.

    Looking After Your Back During Pregnancy

    How to manage back pain during early pregnancy? – Dr. Teena S Thomas

    4-minute read

    Backache during pregnancy is very common, especially in the later stages when your ligaments loosen and the growing baby affects your posture. The stress on your body caused by pregnancy also puts you at greater risk of back injury.

    One reason why your back is at particular risk of injury is that you gain a lot of weight in your abdomen. This puts extra strain on the arch in your lower back and it can also strain the joints.

    The changes to your hormones during pregnancy cause your ligaments to relax, which can aggravate your lower spine and pelvis.

    If you are unfit, overweight or if you smoke, you are more likely to experience backache or sciatica during pregnancy. Regular exercise can reduce this risk.

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    Types Of Back Pain And When They Might Occur During Pregnancy

    There are many types of pain, and different people experience pain in different ways and at different times. For example, you might notice sharp jabs when you make certain movements, like getting out of a car or walking up a flight of stairs. Or, you might have muscle cramps or spasms when you sit or sleep in certain positions. Pain can come on suddenly or slowly, and you might feel anything from a sharp pain to a constant dull pressure or a throbbing ache that comes and goes. You might even experience a combination of these sensations. Sometimes it can be tricky to pinpoint the exact site of the pain. For example, you might have trouble distinguishing back pain from soreness in your pelvis or hip.

    How Is Back Pain Diagnosed During Pregnancy

    Upon manifestation of back pain, your healthcare provider may carry out a physical examination and a review of your medical history. They may also perform an MRI scan to check for signs of a possible slipped disc causing the pain. Radiation imaging modalities, such as X-rays or CT scans, are not suggested during pregnancy to avoid adverse effects .

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    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.

    Natural Ways To Relieve Back Pain During Pregnancy

    Tips To Manage Your Back Pain During Pregnancy

    When your baby bump is causing back pain, there are plenty of things you can do to feel better without taking over-the-counter pain killers.

    During pregnancy, that bowling ball, a.k.a. baby, inside your uterus changes your whole centre of gravity, which results in your pelvis arahifting forward. This can lead to a common form of back pain known as pelvic girdle pain , which spans from the middle lower back area all the way around to your hips and pubic bone, says Sarah Mickeler, chiropractor and founder of West End Mamas, a clinic in Toronto that specializes in pre- and postnatal care.

    At the same time, in order to compensate for this forward shift in their pelvis, many women naturally lean backward, which increases the curve of their lower back, potentially leading to low-back pain. Ouch!

    All of this can add up to a lot of aches and pains, but the good news is there are a number of ways to prevent and treat it. Pregnancy does not have to hurt, says Mickeler. Here are some ways to find relief from pregnancy-related back pain.

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    As Your Belly Grows So May Your Spine Pain Woes

    About 50 to 80% of pregnant women experience back pain. Because the connection between back pain and pregnancy is not fully understood, access to the right treatment can be a challenge. Fortunately, pregnancy-related spine pain typically has a short life spanmost cases go away shortly after your babys birth.Women typically experience pregnancy-related pain in the lower spinethe low back, sacrum, and pelvic regions. Photo Source: 123RF.com.Pregnancy-related back pain is often localized to a specific area of the spine and not widespread. Back pain tends to arise between the fifth and seventh months of pregnancy, though it can begin much earlier.

    Wear A Maternity Support Belt

    A maternity support belt is designed for those suffering from lower back pain during pregnancy. It wraps around your belly and waist to lessen the burden of pregnancy weight, support your lower back, and help you get relief from pelvic or sacroiliac pain. A maternity support belt is especially helpful when youre going to be on your feet for a prolonged period of time.

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    How To Manage Back Pain During Pregnancy

    Some simple remedies and treatments that help relieve back pain during pregnancy include :

    • Hot and cold compresses: You can first start with a cold compress applying an ice pack around the affected area for about two to three days. After that, use a hot compress such as heating pads or a hot water bottle wrapped inside a towel to avoid burns. These can gradually ease and reduce the pain.
    • Warm bath: Draw a warm bath and sit in the tub for some time. This acts as a warm compress that can ease the pain. You may also take a warm shower to cope with the pain.
    • Exercise: Try incorporating some pregnancy-friendly exercises, such as swimming, brisk walking, and cycling, in your daily routine. This increases the flexibility and strength of the muscles. Prenatal yoga involving rhythmic breathing and stretching can also help relieve the pain.
    • Massage: Pamper yourself by scheduling a massage with a trained pregnancy massage therapist. Osteopathy is a massage technique that targets the affected area of the back and relieves pain by stretching and massaging the area. You can try this after consulting your healthcare provider.
    • Correct posture: Maintain a correct posture while standing or sitting. You can use a supportive belt around your waist to help with the strain on your lower back or use a pillow while sitting. It is recommended to sleep on your side during back pain with a pillow placed under the knees. This can eventually reduce the pain.

    When Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy Is Serious

    Pregnancy Tips : How to Avoid Back Pain During Pregnancy

    Although many women who experience abdominal pain have healthy pregnancies, there are times when abdominal pain can pose a serious risk. If you exhibit any severe symptoms, such as those discussed below, please consult your medical care professional immediately.

    • Ectopic Pregnancy: Occurring in 1 out of 50 pregnancies, an ectopic pregnancy is when the egg is implanted anywhere other than the uterus. Most often, the egg is implanted in the fallopian tube. Sadly, an ectopic pregnancy cannot continue to term and requires medical treatment. In the unlikely event that you have an ectopic pregnancy, you may experience intense pain and bleeding between your 6th and 10th weeks of pregnancy. Women at increased risk for ectopic pregnancies include those who have had an ectopic pregnancy in the past or have had endometriosis, a tubal ligation, or an intrauterine device in place at the time of conception. Learn more about Ectopic Pregnancies.
    • Placental abruption: Placental abruption is a life-threatening condition in which the placenta separates from your uterus before the baby is born. One symptom of placental abruption is constant pain that causes your stomach to stay hard for an extended period of time without relief. Another sign is bloody fluid or premature breakage of your water. Additional symptoms include tenderness in your abdomen, back pain, or fluid discharge that includes traces of blood. You can access the complete Placental Abruption article here.

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    Frequency And When It Presents

    Research shows that around 50% of people who are pregnant will experience low back pain during pregnancy or in the postpartum period. Low back pain during pregnancy can be mild or associated with specific activities. For some people, it can be chronicthat is, pain is persistent and lasts more than three months.

    One-third of pregnant people will suffer from severe low back pain that reduces their quality of life, while 10% report that low back pain affects their daily routine and ability to work. For most people, low back pain starts between the fifth and seventh months of pregnancy, but for some, low back pain may occur earlier.

    Why Do You Get Back Pain In Pregnancy

    Pregnant women can experience back pain due to different reasons. However, women who are overweight or have a history of back pain may be at a higher risk. Some common causes of back pain during pregnancy include :

    1. Hormonal changes: During pregnancy, the body releases hormone called relaxin. This protein hormone causes the pelvic area ligaments to loosen and relax in preparation for delivery. The loosening of the joints in the pelvic area, in turn, can affect your back and lead to pain.

    2. Weight of the baby: As your pregnancy progresses and the baby grows, it can lead to different changes in the body.

    • The weight of the baby inside your growing belly will eventually shift the bodys center of gravity to the front leading to stretching of the abdominal muscles, thus putting a strain on your back muscles.
    • The additional weight can cause the spine to get curved and result in a change of posture. Your attempt to stand or walk upright against the added strain on the spine can induce back pain. An incorrect posture can also result in backache.
    • Maintaining balance while doing household chores, walking or any other activity with the additional weight of the growing uterus constantly pulling you downwards can cause you to feel a strain on your back.

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    Lower Back Pain Is One Of The Most Common Reasons For Women Taking Leave From Their Work Or Their Daily Routine Also This Leads To Increase Chances Of Ceaserean Sections Said Dr Shivani Sabharwal

    Around 50 per cent of women, at some point during their pregnancy or even the postpartum period may encounter back pain. But most women feel it is normal discomfort and an inevitable part of pregnancy, making it one of the most neglected issues, said Dr Shivani Sabharwal, gynaecologist, Apollo Spectra Hospital, Karol Bagh, Delhi.

    Low back pain in pregnancy has been reviewed extensively, however, there is still much ambiguity with regard to identifying appropriate investigations, considering safe treatment options, and decision-making pertaining to the use of neuraxial analgesia and anaesthesia during labour and delivery.

    LBP is one of the most common reasons for women taking leave from work or their daily routine. This also leads to increased chances of ceaserean sections, said Dr Sabharwal. Pain can be either hormonal, stress-induced, mechanical, or because of associated pathological disorder like underlying disk herniation. Mechanical pain can be due to weight gain in pregnancy, and shifting of the central cavity, which makes women lean backward. The abdominal muscle in a pregnant lady stretchesto accommodate the growing uterus. This causes muscle fatigue and puts an extra load on the spine which pressurises the back. An important hormone that is released 10 times more during pregnancy, called relaxin, causes laxity and discomfort not only in the joints but the entire back.

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