Pregnancy and back pain seem to go hand in hand, but it shouldn’t have to be a part of the experience. Back pain usually starts by the fifth month of pregnancy. However, some women have pain during most of their pregnancy. Some pregnant women may have chronic pain, while others only have pain on and off. Oftentimes, women with chronic back pain before becoming pregnant will continue to have significant pain as the pregnancy advances.
Oftentimes, women suffer from back pain due to being overweight; thus, they suffer from back pain in the later stages of pregnancy. Some women work jobs that cause back strain while they are pregnant; these women may have other children to care for. So many women don’t have any help and have to work right up to near their due date. Back pain is a constant reminder that pregnant women rarely have time to look after themselves.
What causes back pain in pregnancy?
Your body goes through changes during pregnancy; there are hormone changes which tell the ligaments to loosen up as the baby grows with the advancing pregnancy. As the pregnancy advances, your posture will change as the uterus takes up more space within the body. Your weight plus your baby’s weight causes tremendous pressure on your back and hips, because your center of gravity changes. Fatigue and stress can worsen a pregnant woman’s back pain; it’s important that you get enough rest and relaxation to help reduce back pain. Staying in one position for too long can also induce back pain; therefore, if you have been sitting for a long time, get up and walk around. Conversely, if you have been standing too long, take time to sit or lie down. Women must be proactive about their health and wellbeing, which includes taking care of their backs.
The following are some ways to prevent back pain during pregnancy:
Do not suddenly bend down or crouch down (squatting) to pick up something – this may result in heavy muscular cramps and pulls, which in turn, would aggravate your back pain.
Exercises as prescribed by your Gynecologist should be done daily.
Try not to sleep on your back – it may increase your back pain. Try sleeping on your left side instead.
You can try wearing a support garment such as a back support brace, or maternity pants with supportive waist bands – these really help in back pain relief. Ask your doctor for ideas for back support.
Try not to sit in one position all the time. It’s easy to lose track of time working on your laptop or PC, or watching TV; try to get up every 10 to 15 minutes to walk around.
Try taking plenty of rest – this will improve your back pain.
Ask your doctor about heating pads or ice packs to relieve your back pain.
Even after doing all of the above, you may still suffer from back pain. Pain seems to be a part of pregnancy that we have to accept. We can make ourselves more comfortable, but you may not be able to resolve all of your back pain during pregnancy. When I was pregnant, my hips hurt terribly. I had back pain, but that was nothing compared to the hip pain I suffered. There was nothing I could do but endure it. The back and hip pain went away as soon as I delivered my child.