Back pain during pregnancy is common, and with good reason. Stand in front of a full-length mirror and imagine the joints and muscles of your back. Your spine is trying to remain straight and firm to support you as it should, but look what is happening.
Back Pain during Pregnancy – Causes
Your spine, muscles, tendons, and ligaments are all working overtime. They are trying to cope with several changes.
- added weight in front
- shift in your center of gravity
- reduced balance
- pressure on the spine
Back pain during pregnancy is to be expected when you consider the increased work load your muscles have. And while it can be experienced at any point in pregnancy, it is more common in late pregnancy when baby’s weight increases. As your posture changes to maintain balance, the muscles of the lower back are especially strained. For this reason, back pain during pregnancy is most often lower back pain.
Back Pain during Pregnancy – Obesity
Overweight women are more likely to experience back pain during pregnancy than are those of healthy weight. The back is already straining to support a load that is too heavy for its structure. When the load of pregnancy is added, muscles are easily strained to the point of injury and pain.
Prevention and Treatment of Back Pain during Pregnancy
You can use simple treatments for back pain during pregnancy. Your healthcare provider will tell you which to use, and how often. Most doctors recommend continuation of physical activity and exercise to strengthen your back.
In addition, ask him or her about the following:
- get sufficient sleep – on your side, with pillows under knees
- elevate your feet several times during the day
- avoid high heels
- wear support under your abdomen
- when picking something up from the floor, kneel on one knee
- lift with your legs
- alternate hot and cold compresses
- If back pain during pregnancy persists, visit your physician.