Pregnancy is an extraordinary experience filled with joy and anticipation. However, along with the miraculous changes happening inside your body, there can also be some discomforts, such as back pain. It is estimated that about 50-70% of pregnant women experience back pain at some point during their pregnancy. In this blog post, we will explore the causes of back pain during pregnancy and provide some tips and remedies to alleviate the discomfort.
Causes of Back Pain During Pregnancy:
- One of the primary risk factors of back pain is dysfunction of the muscles and joints in the core, hips, and lower body.1 Another risk factor is a history of previous pregnancies. Studies also find that lack of belief in improvement in back pain and dissatisfaction with work are also risk factors for back pain. All of these can be addressed and remedied with integrative Pelvic PT at Resilient Motherhood.
- Weight gain: As the baby grows, the extra weight can strain your back, which can contribute to back pain..
Tips to Relieve Back Pain During Pregnancy:
- Practice good posture to give your core an advantage to work well for you: Be conscious of your posture throughout the day. Imagine you have a marionette string on the top of your head, pulling your spine long. When sitting, use a cushion or a rolled-up towel to support your lower back. Change positions frequently to prevent back stiffness and back pain.
- Exercise regularly: Engage in gentle exercises specifically designed for pregnant women, such as prenatal yoga or swimming. Motion is lotion and can help prevent stiffness. Walking can also be wonderful to help prevent or relieve pain.
- Wear supportive footwear: Choose shoes that provide good arch support, which can help support the feet and the whole body to reduce back pain.
- Use heat or cold therapy: Applying a warm compress or taking a warm bath can help relax the muscles and reduce discomfort. Alternatively, using an ice pack wrapped in a thin cloth can help reduce inflammation.
- Sleep on your side: When lying down, especially during the later stages of pregnancy, sleep on your side with a pillow placed between your knees. This can help reduce pull on your hips and back, which can help reduce back pain.
- Use proper lifting techniques:Remember to squat down using your legs, exhale as you stand up to allow your pelvic floor and core to help.
- Consider maternity support belts or belly bands: These can provide additional support to your lower back and abdomen, alleviating some of the strain.
When to Seek Medical Advice:
If your pain is severe and/or persistent, see a pelvic floor physical therapist who specializes in pregnancy (like us!) They can evaluate your condition and provide appropriate guidance and treatment.
Back pain during pregnancy is a common complaint, but it doesn't have to overshadow this magical journey. By implementing posture changes, exercise, and self-care techniques, you can reduce and manage back pain. Prioritizing your well-being is essential for you and your baby. Learning techniques to calm pain now can help you enjoy your pregnancy, stay active to prevent problems like gestational diabetes, and work to prevent pelvic floor and mental health problems postpartum.
If you want expert guidance in back pain during pregnancy, book a free consult with us virtually, in Wexford, PA, or Greensburg, PA to work with our pelvic floor Physical Therapists.
Clinton SC, Newell A, Downey PA, Ferreira K. Pelvic Girdle Pain in the Antepartum Population: Physical Therapy Clinical Practice Guidelines Linked to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health From the Section on Women’s Health and the Orthopaedic Section of the.. Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy. 2017;41(2):102-125. doi:10.1097/JWH.0000000000000081