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Back Pain In Pregnancy: 5 Causes And How To Beat It

Care24 Administrator Physiotherapy, Pregnancy Care

Various factors, such as the changes that take place in your body and the growing baby in your uterus are responsible for the same. While you may not be able to completely avoid pregnancy related back pain, understanding the cause and using a few prevention tips will help.

5 Causes For Pregnancy Back Pain And 5 Ways To Fight It

Studies suggest that almost 50 percent pregnant women suffer from low back pain, or LBP, at some point in their pregnancy, while at least one-third of them will suffer from severe back pain.

While each pregnancy is different, here are some of the most common causes that lead to back pain, and how you can take care:

1. Hormonal Changes

While you are pregnant, your body releases a hormone known as relaxin. As the name suggests, it relaxes the various ligaments in your pelvic area and helps the joints to become loose. All this is your body’s way of getting ready for the birth that will take place in a few months. The hormone relaxin also loosens the ligaments that are present in your spinal area. As a result, your spine and back do not get the support they were earlier receiving, which can then cause pain.

Fight It:Use the heat and cold compress method to ease pain. You can use a heating pad and place it on the affected area. Keep it till you feel the heat easing out the pain, but don’t keep it on for too long as it could lead to itching. If you don’t have a heating pad, heat a tawa and place a hand towel over it to make it warm, and then use the same to ease the pain. Do this for 2 days. Next, take an ice bag and place it on the same area for the next 2 days. If you don’t have an ice bag, place frozen items in a hand towel and use. Remember to keep the heat and cold compress on the back, and not on your abdomen.

2. Weight Gain

As you progress through your pregnancy, you will start gaining additional weight. Most women who have a healthy pregnancy can gain anywhere between 10 to 15 kg of additional weight. Most of this weight will be centred around your waist area, which puts additional pressure on the spine. With the passing weeks and months, as your unborn baby grows, you will feel more pressure on your spine, which can aggravate the back pain. Your uterus will also start to expand, to provide more space to your growing baby. As a result, it will exert pressure on the various nerves and blood vessels in the pelvis area and the back, and cause pain.

Fight It: Exercise on a regular basis so that you can keep your weight in control, and not gain more than you need to. Talk to your doctor about what form of exercise you can go for, such as walking, cycling or swimming.

3. Change In Posture

When you are pregnant, you will slowly notice a shift in your posture. As your tummy expands, your centre of gravity will also change. Standing straight and walking the way you did earlier will become difficult, and you will unknowingly start walking or standing in such a way that it puts pressure on your spine and back.

Fight It: Maintaining the right posture will no doubt get difficult as your pregnancy progresses. Try to stay upright as much as you can, instead of slouching or putting all your weight on your back. If you have to sit for long hours at a stretch, roll up a towel and place it on the lower back area for added support. You can also speak to your doctor and wear a maternity support belt.

4. Stress

You are going to have a baby, and it is possible that the thought is making you anxious, scared, confused, and completely stressed out. While it may not seem immediate, the results of stress on your body can often show up in the form of back pain. Stress can trigger the pain, or if you already are in pain, being stressed can make it worse.

Fight ItStress during pregnancy can lead to various health issues for both you and your unborn baby, as well as trigger or worsen your back pain. If possible, talk to your partner about what is bothering you. If you are worried about how your life will change or how you will manage the baby, speak to other friends who have babies. Try and do activities that interest you and make you happy. You could also speak to a professional counsellor to fight the stress, or use meditation and yoga therapy.

5. Separation Of Muscles

There are two sheets of muscles, known as the rectal abdominis muscles, which go from your rib cage to your pubic bone area. When you are pregnant, your uterus starts growing in size, and can create a separation in the two muscles that run parallel. When that happens, you could experience severe back pain.

Fight It: Make sure you first speak to your doctor and only then go for an acupuncture or chiropractic session. For acupuncture, a professional will insert needles at various pain points to help relieve the pain. For chiropractic, a professional will help to align the joints in the right way and relieve the pain.