Pregnancy is a remarkable journey for many, but it also comes with its fair share of physical challenges. One common complaint is back pain, an unwelcome side effect that affects many expectant mothers. As your body undergoes incredible transformations to nurture and protect your baby, your back may protest with aches, pains, and discomfort!
Whether you’re a first-time Mum or you’re already well-versed in Motherhood, we’ll delve into our top tips for managing back pain during pregnancy.
What causes back pain during pregnancy?
Back pain during pregnancy can be attributed to several factors, many of which are related to the physical and hormonal changes your body undergoes to accommodate your growing baby. Below are some examples of common reasons back pain occurs during pregnancy:
- Weight gain: As your baby grows, you’ll gain weight, which can put extra stress on your spine, especially in the lower back (lumbar region), which can lead to discomfort and pain.
- Hormonal changes: During pregnancy, your body produces hormones, such as relaxin, to prepare your body for childbirth. Relaxin relaxes the ligaments and joints in the pelvic area to allow for the expansion of the uterus. While this is essential for childbirth, it can also affect the stability of your spine and lead to increased back pain.
- Sciatica: Pressure on the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down the back of each leg, can lead to a sharp, shooting pain that radiates down the leg. This condition, known as sciatica, can occur during pregnancy due to the compression of the nerve by the growing uterus or other factors.
How to manage back pain during pregnancy
Focus on your posture
Paying attention to your posture throughout your pregnancy is going to be a key factor in managing back pain.
It’s also important to remember that this also applies to when you’re relaxing or sleeping, it’s a good idea to use pillows or cushions for support when sitting or lying down.
Engaging in regular, low-impact exercises specifically designed for pregnant women can be a great way of managing back pain.
Prenatal yoga and swimming, for example, are excellent choices as they can help improve flexibility, strengthen muscles, and promote relaxation.
Believe it or not, stress and anxiety can exaggerate and even cause back pain. It’s, therefore, recommended that you practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or prenatal mindfulness to manage stress and muscle tension.
Speak with a chiropractor
Chiropractors can provide relief from pregnancy-related back pain by using manual spinal adjustments or other chiropractic techniques.
These adjustments aim to realign the spine, alleviate joint dysfunction, and reduce muscle tension, which can help relieve discomfort.
If you experience severe or sudden back pain, vaginal bleeding, dizziness, or any unusual symptoms during pregnancy, seek immediate medical attention.