How to Deal With Back Pain During Pregnancy

Sep 01, 2023
 How to Deal With Back Pain During Pregnancy
Back pain is a common complaint for pregnant women, especially during the second and third trimesters. Fortunately, you can take some simple steps to relieve pregnancy-related back pain and even prevent it.

Pregnancy is an exciting time, but that doesn’t mean it’s all a bed of roses. In fact, pregnancy can involve a fair amount of discomfort, especially as the developing baby grows. For many women, that discomfort comes in the form of nagging back pain.

In Oxon Hill and Clinton, Maryland, the Metro Spine PC team helps women manage back pain symptoms during pregnancy with tailored pain management plans that are both safe and effective. In this post, learn what you can do to help ease your aching back, so you can focus on the joys of pregnancy.

Pregnancy and your back

Back pain is pretty common among the general population, but it’s especially common during pregnancy. One of the biggest causes of back pain is your expanding belly. As your baby grows, the added weight puts pressure on your spine, throwing your center of gravity off balance. 

That extra strain tugs on back muscles, ligaments, and tendons, resulting in nagging aches and pains during the latter months of pregnancy. It can also cause nerve compression, along with pain in your back, buttocks, and legs.

At the same time, your body produces special hormones to help your pelvis “relax” during delivery. These hormones “loosen” ligaments, reducing the natural support for your back and increasing the risk of discomfort. 

Many pregnant women also have sleep difficulties, which means your body doesn’t have time to recover from your daily routine. And of course, the added emotional stress of pregnancy can take a toll, too.

What you can do to find relief

Back pain may be common during pregnancy, but fortunately, you can do lots of things to feel better.

Keep moving

Low-impact exercises, like walking, swimming, or yoga, can help strengthen the core muscles that support your lower back. Regular exercise can also help you maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy, which is good for you and for your developing baby.

Do some stretching

Gentle stretching helps strengthen your lower back, improve circulation, and relax stiff muscles. Look for stretches that strengthen your pelvic muscles for back pain relief and perhaps an easier delivery.

Mind your posture

As your belly gets bigger, your lower back naturally “sways” forward. 

As your baby bump grows, it's easy to shift your center of gravity and adopt poor posture, which can contribute to back pain. Focus on maintaining good posture by standing tall, keeping your shoulders back, and avoiding slouching. When sitting, use a chair with proper lumbar support, and consider using cushions to support your lower back.

Invest in a pregnancy pillow

Pregnancy pillows are curved to support your body while you sleep, resulting in less back pain during the day and the night, too. If you aren’t interested in buying a new pillow, try using the pillows you have to support your belly, lower back, and legs.

Use heat and cold

A warm compress or heating pad applied to your lower back can work wonders for relieving tight muscles and so can a warm bath. Cold packs are great for reducing inflammation and related soreness.

Get a massage

Prenatal massage is designed to relieve muscle tension that commonly occurs at different stages of pregnancy. Plus, it’s a great way to relieve stress and tension that can contribute to stiff back muscles and even fuel muscle spasms.

Look into physical therapy

Our team offers physical therapy tailored specifically for pregnant women. During therapy, you’ll learn stretching and exercise techniques designed to relieve back pain and other aches and pains of pregnancy, too. Plus, we’ll provide lifestyle tips to help you feel your best and stay more active.

Choose the right shoes

Your footwear has a surprising influence on back pain (along with hip pain and knee pain, too). Opt for shoes that offer plenty of support for your heels and arches, and skip the high heels — at least until after delivery. 

Help for the aches and pains of pregnancy

Back pain is a common complaint for many expectant moms, but you can have aches and pains elsewhere, too. To learn how we can help, request an appointment online or over the phone with the team at Metro Spine PC today.