Back Pain During Pregnancy: Navigating the Challenges and Finding Relief

Subarna Debbarma (BPT, DNHE)

Pregnancy lower back Pain

Published: 09/08/2023, 11.26 PM IST

Pregnancy lower back pain

Table Of Content


Trimester by Trimester Guide

why pregnant individuals might experience lower back pain?

How to relief lower back pain during pregnancy?

What Exercise to do during pregnancy?

Between 50% and 70% of expectant women suffer from pregnancy related back and pelvic girdle pain, leading to one of the most common reasons for lost work time,early initiation of maternity leave, and decreased ability to perform activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, and recreational activities.

Causes are thought to be related to loosening of the pelvic ligament as the body prepares for childbirth, and recommended treatment include exercise therapy, back support, massage,and education.

Lower back Pain During Pregnancy: Trimester by Trimester Guide

First Trimester: The Prelude of Change

During the first trimester, lower back pain is less common and is often attributed to hormonal changes, ligament stretching, and postural adjustments. As your body starts to adapt to the changes of pregnancy, you might experience mild discomfort.

Second Trimester: Embracing Transformation

Lower back pain often becomes more noticeable during the second trimester as your belly grows and shifts your center of gravity. The expanding uterus and hormonal changes can contribute to increased discomfort.

Third Trimester: The Final stretch 

During the third trimester, lower back pain can become more intense due to the additional weight of your growing baby and the further changes in your body. As your body prepares for childbirth, you may also experience increased ligament laxity.

why pregnant individuals might experience lower back pain?

The body's architectural adjustments during pregnancy are awe-inspiring. The uterus expands, the pelvis tilts forward, and hormonal changes encourage ligaments to loosen in preparation for childbirth. This symphony of shifts can lead to changes in posture, muscle imbalances, and increased pressure on the spine, all contributing to the familiar sensation of back pain. Moreover, the weight gain associated with pregnancy can further exacerbate these discomforts.Here are some reasons are:

Weight Gain: As the baby grows, the body's center of gravity shifts forward, putting extra strain on the lower back.

Hormonal Changes: During pregnancy, the body releases hormones like relaxin, which helps relax the ligaments in preparation for childbirth. However, this can also lead to increased joint instability and contribute to back pain.

Posture Changes: The growing belly can cause changes in posture as the body adjusts to the weight distribution, potentially leading to strain on the lower back.

Muscle Imbalances: Weakened abdominal muscles and stretched-out pelvic muscles can lead to muscle imbalances, which can contribute to lower back pain.

Stress: Emotional and psychological stress can exacerbate physical discomfort, including back pain.

How to relief  lower back pain during pregnancy?

Here some managing tips for lower back pain during pregnancy

1. Maintain Good Posture: Try to stand up straight and avoid slouching. Consider using a pregnancy support belt to help support your belly and alleviate some of the strain on your back.

2. Exercise: Engage in gentle exercises approved by your healthcare provider, such as prenatal yoga, swimming, or walking. Strengthening your core and back muscles can help support your spine.

3. Proper Lifting Technique: When lifting objects, bend your knees and keep your back straight. Avoid twisting your body while lifting.

4. Rest and Sleep: Make sure you're getting enough rest and sleep, and use pillows to support your body while sleeping.

5. Heat and Cold Therapy: Applying heat or cold to the affected area can provide temporary relief. Make sure to follow guidelines for safe use during pregnancy.

6. Massage: Gentle prenatal massage from a qualified therapist can help alleviate muscle tension and promote relaxation.

7. Pregnancy Pillows: Use pillows to support different parts of your body while sleeping or resting.

8. Footwear: Wear comfortable, supportive shoes that provide proper arch support.

9. Hydration: Staying hydrated can help maintain the elasticity of your muscles and reduce the likelihood of cramps.

What Exercise to do during pregnancy?

Exercising during pregnancy can help alleviate back pain, improve posture, and promote overall well-being.

1. Prenatal Yoga: Yoga poses that focus on gentle stretching, relaxation, and strengthening can be beneficial. Cat-Cow, Child's Pose, and Pigeon Pose are often recommended for relieving back discomfort.

2. Pelvic Tilts: Lie on your back with knees bent, and gently tilt your pelvis upward, flattening your lower back against the floor. Hold for a few seconds, then release. This exercise helps strengthen abdominal muscles and improves posture.

3. Kegels: Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which can help alleviate lower back pain and improve core stability.

4. Swimming: Swimming and water aerobics provide low-impact cardiovascular exercise while supporting your joints and relieving pressure on your back.

5. Walking: Walking is a simple and effective way to stay active and reduce back pain. Ensure you have proper footwear and walk on even surfaces.

6. Stationary Cycling: Cycling on a stationary bike is a low-impact way to strengthen leg and core muscles without putting excessive stress on your back.

7. Prenatal Pilates: Modified Pilates exercises can help strengthen core muscles, improve posture, and reduce back pain.

8. Gentle Stretches: Gentle stretches for your back, hips, and legs can help relieve tension. For example, the hamstring stretch, calf stretch, and hip flexor stretch can be beneficial.

9. Wall Angels: Stand with your back against a wall, feet slightly away from the wall. Slowly raise your arms overhead, keeping them in contact with the wall. This exercise helps improve posture and shoulder mobility.

10. Seated Spinal Twist: Sit on the floor with your legs crossed. Gently twist your torso to one side, using your arm for support. This stretch helps release tension in the lower back.

Remember to:

- Listen to your body and avoid overexertion.

- Stay hydrated before, during, and after exercise.

- Warm up and cool down properly.

- Use proper form and technique to prevent injury.

Before doing exercises consult with your healthcare provider and Physiotherapist. They can provide personalized guidance based on your individual circumstances and health status.

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