As pregnancy progresses, it’s not uncommon for expectant mothers to begin experiencing back pain as their bodies change. However, understanding what triggers the pain and possible ways to alleviate it can greatly benefit mothers-to-be and help them find the upper or lower back pain relief they are looking for.
What triggers back pain in pregnancy?
A pregnant woman’s body goes through many drastic changes in a short period of time. These changes may enable her to carry her child safely, but they do little to make her feel comfortable or pain-free. Back pain during pregnancy is triggered by a number of changes the body undergoes:
- Weight gain. Typically, a woman can gain anywhere from 25-35 pounds during pregnancy. The back has to compensate for the extra weight it’s carrying around, causing discomfort and pain.
- Physical and hormonal changes. As a woman’s body prepares for childbirth, hormones are released into the body that enable joints and ligaments to loosen and become more pliable. This may cause some discomfort and pain. In addition, a woman’s expanding uterus may cause her rectal abdominis muscles, which run parallel to each other on the right and the left from the pubic bone to the ribcage, may separate at the center, making the pain worse.
- Changing posture. A pregnant woman’s center of gravity moves to the front. To compensate, a woman may adjust her posture to even things out, but that may not always help. In fact, the strain may cause more pain and discomfort.
What to do for back pain relief?
Fortunately, although there are many reasons for being in pain, there are also many alternatives for pregnant women to experience back pain relief. Whether the focus is on lower back or upper back pain relief, here are some tips that can help the expectant mother enjoy her pregnancy pain-free:
- Keep good posture. That means standing as straight and tall as possible, sitting in chairs with good support and keeping shoulders and knees relaxed.
- Use pregnancy or body pillows to keep a good posture while sleeping. Pregnant women should lie on their side with knees bent for minimal stress to the back.
- Wear low-heeled shoes to maintain good posture and balance, as well as maintaining good support.
- Regular massages can help ease the tension in the back and alleviate pain. Other forms of treatments, such as chiropractic care, can bring further back pain relief.
- Stay physically active. Depending on a doctor’s recommendation, expecting women can engage in physical activity to strengthen their back and help alleviate discomfort.
Regardless of how a woman finds back pain relief, it’s important to recognize when to see a professional. If you or a loved one experiences chronic pain while pregnant, talk to your doctor for the best approach for a pain management plan.