Back pain is one of the most common discomforts experienced during pregnancy. Although back pain frequently goes away after the baby is born, for some women, it does not. About 40% of women who have back pain during pregnancy continue to have pain for months afterward. This blog will explain:

  • The causes of back pain during pregnancy
  • Tips for easing back pain
  • When to see your health care provider

Causes Of Back Pain

Back pain in pregnancy has many possible causes. The main cause is strain on the back muscles. As your pregnancy progresses, your uterus becomes heavier. Because this increased weight is carried in the front of your body for balance, your posture changes. You may find yourself leaning backward, which can make the back muscles work harder. This extra strain can lead to pain, soreness and stiffness.

Weakness of the abdominal muscles also can cause back pain. The abdominal muscles normally support the spine and play an important role in the health of a back. During pregnancy, these muscles become stretched and may weaken. These changes also can increase your risk of hurting your back when you exercise.

pregnancy hormones may contribute to back pain. To prepare for the passage of the baby through the birth canal, a hormone relaxes the ligaments in joints to become more flexible, but it also can cause back pain if the joints become too mobile.

What You Can Do

To help prevent or ease back pain, be aware of how you stand, sit and move. Here are some tips that may help:

  • Wear shoes with good arch support. Flat shoes are not recommended. They usually provide little support unless they have arch supports built in. High heels can further shift your balance forward and make you more likely to fall.
  • Get regular exercise. Exercise has many benefits for pregnant women and is one of the best ways to relieve back pain.
  • Consider investing in a firm mattress. A firm mattress may be more supportive for your back during pregnancy.
  • Do not bend over from the waist to pick things up, squat down, bend your knees, and keep your back straight.
  • Sit in chairs with good back support, or use a small pillow behind the low part of your back. Special devices called lumbar supports are available at office and medical supply stores.
  • Try to sleep on your side with one or two pillows between your legs or under your abdomen for support.
  • Try applying heat or cold to the painful area.

When To Contact Panhandle OBGYN

If you have severe pain, or if pain persists for more than 2 weeks, you should contact us. Do not try to treat yourself. Back pain also can be caused by other problems. Back pain is a symptom of preterm labor, and it also can be a sign of a urinary tract infection. Contact your health care provider right away if you have a fever, burning during urination, or vaginal bleeding in addition to back pain. These can be signs of other pregnancy complications.

Once other causes are ruled out, your health care provider may recommend seeing a rehabilitation specialist or a physical therapist to treat your pain. He or she also may recommend maternity girdles or braces to support the weight of your abdomen and ease the tension on your back.

Contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.