Back Pain During Pregnancy

Back Pain in Pregnancy

Unfortunately back pain during pregnancy is a very common problem. There are a lot of physical reasons for back pain in pregnancy, some are the following:

  • In Pregnancy, hormones soften the ligaments causing joints to move more than usual. But in some cases the ligaments can be strained also.
  • Postural exertions caused by the growing uterus.
  • Position of the baby (particularly in the end of pregnancy) can compress nerves and cause back pain.

You need not to put up with the back pain. There are a lot of positive steps you can do to help reduce the pain and sometimes eliminate the problem. Firstly it is very important to understand that your body is changing during pregnancy. Then you can employ some simple strategies to manage the problem.

Good posture is very important to reduce back pain. You should avoid slouching wherever it is possible. To avoid slouching while sitting, place a rolled up towel or a cushion behind the lower part of your back. Other tips for proper posture include are:

  • Keeping your shoulders somewhat up and back.
  • Keep your chin up.
  • Your head should be centred over your shoulders.
  • Concentrate your abdominal muscles to slightly flatten your arch in your back (avoid exaggerating the arch in your back).
  • Keep your knees lightly bent.
  • Avoid high heel shoes.

Exercise is also very important during pregnancy because strong abdominal muscles reduce the possibility of back pain significantly. Consult your midwife or doctor about suitable abdominal exercises in pregnancy. Walking is a great exercise and a daily walk of 20 to 30 minutes can really help.

You also need plenty of rest. Your requirement for rest will increase as the pregnancy advances. When you sleep at night, try to sleep on your side. A pillow between your knees will help you a lot. Some women also purchase a body pillow to give additional support.

Back care is very central in pregnancy as it can help get rid of a lot of the discomforts that women feel particularly towards the end of the pregnancy. Possibly the number one rule is to avoid bending while placing excessive strain on your lower back. Pay much attention to lifting techniques. Crouch down or kneel down to pick up objects off the floor while keeping your back straight.

When doing housework, you should be particularly careful with vacuuming. Try lunging with your legs rather than bending your back. When washing on the line, you should place the laundry basket on a chair so you are not continually bending down to pick up the clothes. Place your feet to face the task you are doing and avoid winding your upper body. If you are carrying shopping bags or luggage then carry two light bags only rather than carrying a heavy one.

Ideally you have to consult your midwife or doctor first if you are suffering from too much back pain. They may be able to suggest and advice some simple strategies or exercises that will help you. If these strategies and exercises do not provide relief then they may refer you to one of the following practitioners:

  • Physiotherapist
  • Chiropractor
  • Osteopath
  • Acupuncturist

These practitioners will assess the causes of your back pain in pregnancy and the treatment will differ depending on the cause.


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