Back pain during pregnancy can be very scary. Whether you are pregnant now or you are getting prepared for pregnancy,you need all relevant knowledge about this source of discomfort!
Back Pain during Pregnancy: How Common Is It?
Back pain during pregnancy is a common phenomenon; in fact, it affects more than two-thirds of pregnant women and is experienced by most expecting women in various degrees of severity.
While most women feel some degree of discomfort throughout pregnancy, between 50% and 70% of women specifically report experiencing back pain during pregnancy.
When Does Back Pain In Pregnancy Occur?
While most people connect back discomfort with the end of pregnancy, it may occur at any time – even before you gain a pound.
Back discomfort that occurs before pregnancy is not synonymous with pregnancy-related back pain. If a woman already suffers from back pain before pregnancy, she has a greater risk of developing back pain during pregnancy.
What to anticipate during various stages of pregnancy:
Back Pain in the First Trimester
Your uterus is only getting started during the early stages of pregnancy. Hormone changes, particularly an increase in progesterone, the hormone that sustains pregnancy, cause ligaments in the pelvic area to relax somewhat, resulting in muscle adjustment and joint instability, which may result in back discomfort as your body moves.
Cramping is also prevalent during early pregnancy, and is often accompanied by (or linked with) lower back discomfort. While pregnancy is a joyous occasion, stress levels may rise during this time and manifest in physical symptoms such as tiredness, anxiety, and muscular discomfort, which is often seen as back pain.
Back Pain in the Second Trimester
Back discomfort in the second trimester usually develops in the later part of this trimester, after 20 weeks. To be clear, this may be a little misleading since moms come in a variety of forms and sizes.
Patients who are already overweight during pregnancy may have second trimester back discomfort prior to reaching the 20-week mark. By this point, you’ve probably gained enough weight that your body is beginning to feel the strain, resulting in back discomfort.
Back Pain in the Third Trimester
Lower back discomfort is likely to be the most severe throughout your third trimester. Your tummy is heavier, placing much more strain on your back, and as your baby develops, your center of gravity changes to the front of your body, causing you to lean backwards for comfort. Continuing to lean backwards, on the other hand, puts more pressure on the lower part of your back. Your physiology is getting ready for labor and your joints are relaxing, resulting in little changes in posture that may have a significant impact.
Additionally, you may be more sedentary owing to tiredness, and as your baby becomes bigger and outgrows the space in your womb, it will exert direct pressure on your abdominal muscles, which assist maintain the spine and support the back depending on their position.
What Causes Back Pain In Pregnancy?
There are many causes of back pain during pregnancy. These include the following:
You gain weight as your baby develops. Your body is not used to bearing this additional weight, which results in lower back discomfort. Weight gain of 25-30 pounds is recommended throughout pregnancy. Gaining more weight may exacerbate back discomfort.
Your core muscles, which comprise your stomach, pelvic floor, and back muscles, provide the main support. Weakness in one region of your core leads in increased pressure and instability in the other areas.
Your abdominal muscles stretch — and may even separate — as your tummy develops. This is referred to as diastasis recti. When this occurs, some ladies may notice a slight bulge in the abdomen area .
Your body prepares for labor throughout pregnancy by generating a hormone called relaxin, which is known to inhibit contractions in early pregnancy. Relaxin is the hormone that is responsible for relaxing the cervix and expanding the pelvic canal later in pregnancy, preparing your body for birth. This assists in loosening your pelvic joint, enabling it to open during labor for the passage of your baby. Regrettably, relaxin affects all of the ligaments that support the spine, loosening them and resulting in minor posture changes and muscular tension.
This may potentially be a source of your lower back discomfort, more specifically the joints near the foot of the spine, referred to as the sacroiliac joints.
Your posture is likely to alter during pregnancy due to the increased weight on your body and the adjustment of your center of gravity. You will discover that you are looking forward and will attempt to compensate by leaning backward. This leads in back discomfort as a consequence of the tension placed on ligaments that are not used to bearing the weight.
Occasionally, your baby may apply direct pressure to your spine or a nerve, causing pain. For example, if the baby is posteriorly positioned, particularly occiput posterior, when the baby is facing the mother’s belly and the baby’s head puts pressure on the mother’s sacrum, greater back discomfort will occur.
Contractions may sometimes be felt in the lower back. While each woman experiences contractions differently, they are often characterized as radiating agony or intense menstrual cramps. If you are experiencing discomfort that increases in intensity and then decreases at regular intervals, it may be contractions.
Although what seem to be contractions may be merely practice contractions known as Braxton hicks, which are often intermittent, contact your doctor immediately if this happens prior to 37 weeks of pregnancy.
While kidney stones are uncommon during pregnancy, the physiological changes that occur during this time significantly increase your chance of getting them.
Similarly, although kidney infections do not occur in every woman, pregnancy increases strain on the bladder and urinary system, increasing the risk of urinary tract infections (UTI). Untreated UTIs may progress to a kidney infection called pyelonephritis, which is more severe during pregnancy.
In pregnant women, both kidney stones and kidney infections may cause significant back discomfort.
Back Pain Risk Factors during Pregnancy
Although back pain is very prevalent, some risk factors do enhance your likelihood of having it. These risk factors include the following:
- Previous experience with back discomfort prior to pregnancy
- Weak abdominal muscles
- Lack of adaptability.
- Sedentary way of life.
- Excessive weight gain.
Symptoms of Back Pain In Pregnancy
Back pain during pregnancy is subjective for each woman and also varies according to the source of her discomfort.
Back discomfort during pregnancy may manifest as the following:
- Dull pain
- Discomfort on one or both sides.
- Radiating pain.
- Lower back pain in the middle.
- A throbbing pain in the buttocks.
- Pain radiates down the thighs and legs.
While acute aches may occur during pregnancy, they are far less frequent. Sharp back pain radiating down the legs may potentially be a sign of nerve discomfort or a more serious underlying disease. If you are suffering acute pains, it is recommended to contact your doctor or healthcare professional immediately.
Is Back Pain In Pregnancy Different From Labor Pain?
It may be difficult to tell the difference between back pain during pregnancy and labor-related back pain. However, there are a few methods to tell the two apart.
Back discomfort is often persistent and achy. While the intensity of it may fluctuate, it does not follow a predictable pattern. Labor pains come at regular intervals and are typically strong in intensity.
Generally, you can find a method to alleviate back discomfort – whether by shifting positions, elevating your feet, or having your spouse massage your lower back. If you are in labor, these techniques will not alleviate your discomfort – only the cessation of the contraction will do so.
While this may not always be the case, you can often pinpoint the activity that caused your back discomfort earlier in the day. You might have been on your feet for an extended period of time, slept badly, or lifted something that tore a muscle. Labor pains often strike without warning, while back pain is a persistent problem.
When a woman is in labor, her uterus contracts. While you may feel the contractions in your back, they wrap around from the front. If you’re having contractions with back labor, you may notice that your stomach tightens at regular intervals in addition to your back discomfort.
Back discomfort that occurs on a regular basis is not accompanied by abdominal tightness.
While these suggestions may assist you in differentiating between normal back discomfort and early labor symptoms, keep in mind that as labor develops, real “back labor” may feel very different. Unlike regular contractions, back pain may not subside throughout your time of hard labor — as opposed to early labor — and you may have continuous agony if you are having back labor .
Bear This Fact In Mind
Back labor affects about 25% of women and is most often precipitated by the foetus being “sunny side up,” which implies their face is oriented toward the front of you, toward your stomach, rather than toward your spine.
How to Prevent back pain during pregnancy
While back pain during pregnancy may not be abnormal, there are certain things you can do to help avoid it.
Even if you are not suffering back discomfort at the moment, changing your footwear may assist in keeping your back muscles happier than they would be in stilettos.
Exercise and stretching are two of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself during pregnancy. It offers a variety of physical advantages, one of which is that it may help prevent back discomfort.
The good news is that your exercise does not have to be strenuous to be effective. Even a daily 20-minute stroll may have significant advantages. Simply exercising your body strengthens your muscles and may help you avoid back discomfort.
Unless your doctor advises otherwise, maintain your exercise program throughout your pregnancy, adjusting as necessary. Muscles may atrophy rapidly, and if you’re used to doing out frequently but stop in the last weeks, you may have back discomfort that you’d previously been able to ignore.
Given the dangers to your back, it seems logical to strengthen it. Engage in modest weight-lifting activities early in your pregnancy to help strengthen your lower back.
Several instances include the following:
Stay upright with your feet hip-width apart and your knees, bent slightly .Bend at the waist and let your hands to dangle toward the floor, using small weights or perhaps none at all. Maintain a strong core and pelvic floor, and maintain complete control as you bend down and return to the starting position. Serious weightlifting competitors also utilize deadlifts, which are often performed with high weights. If you are pregnant, remember to use modest weights to prevent damage – strengthening your lower back does not need much. You’re primarily concerned with avoiding back discomfort — not with winning a weightlifting tournament!
Lift your arms and legs: Begin on all fours on the floor. Slowly stretch one leg back and then up, always keeping complete control. Lift the opposing arm and extend it straight out if possible. If you are uncomfortable or unable to keep your balance, you may omit the arms or do them individually.
Sit-ups are not an activity that is recommended during pregnancy. Perform the following exercises a few times a week to develop your abdominal muscles. Keep in mind that being light is advised throughout pregnancy, and you should never push yourself too much.
Simply using and exercising your muscles will assist to adequately strengthen them.
Twists in the abdomen: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees into a half-squat position. Avoid squatting too deeply, and if you experience any pain, shallowen your squat. Get your waist twisted from side to side while holding a lightweight in each hand against your chest. Maintain control of your body and compress your abdominal muscles as you spin back and forth.
Upper cuts: Using light weights and standing in a half squat posture, punch upward in an upper-cut action while twisting slightly at the waist. Maintain a firm core. This exercise may also be performed without the use of weights.
Knee lifts: Come to a standing position with your hands on your hips. Raise your knee slowly and steadily, ensuring that you are lifting using your abdominals. If you can to do it comfortably, crunch slightly forward as your knee rises to engage your abs harder. If you are having problem keeping your balance, you may do this exercise while standing against a wall.
Always contact your physician before to trying these workouts to ensure you do not have any risk concerns that would preclude you from completing them.
Occasionally, regardless of your efforts to prevent it, you will experience back pain during pregnancy. Bear in mind that developing a baby puts your body under a tremendous lot of stress, which may be inevitable. However, if you do get back pain, there are certain measures you may do to attempt to alleviate it.
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13 Techniques For Relieving Back Pain During Pregnancy
If you are presently suffering pregnancy-related back discomfort, the following tips will help you manage it.
Include mild exercise: Mama, use it or lose it. If you haven’t exercised in a while yet are experiencing pain, you may be amazed at the impact that beginning a moderate exercise and stretching program may make. Avoid going insane, but begin engaging in activities that are both soothing and pleasurable, such as walking or swimming.
If you still continue to wear your pre-pregnancy shoes, your back discomfort may be a clue that it’s time to quit. Choose shoes with enough arch support – and avoid tying them, since your feet will soon be out of reach.
Get a massage: Prenatal massages may be very beneficial — just ensure that the practitioner you select is properly educated in pregnancy massage. Additionally, check with your insurance company – since this is often considered part of prenatal medical care, they may pay the cost if you get a prescription from your doctor.
Raise your feet: Sitting with your feet flat on the floor may cause strain on your lower back muscles. If you are siting at work, bring a stool in to gently elevate your feet, and if you’re at home try to do the same thing
Take a warm bath: There’s a reason birthing pools are so popular in hospitals and birthing facilities – water has the ability to act as a miraculous, all-natural pain reliever. Soaking in a tub is completely safe, as long as the water temperature does not exceed 100 degrees.
Alternating between hot and cold may help decrease inflammation in your muscles and then help them relax, much like it would if you had a sports injury. Always begin with a cold pack and work your way up to a heating pad on a medium or low setting for no more than 10 minutes at a time. Never sleep with a heating pad on while pregnant, and never use a heating pad on your stomach. Always read the ingredients list on heating or cooling pads to ensure they are pregnancy-safe.
Wear a pregnancy belt: A maternity belt supports your stomach and relieves strain on your back. They may be worn below or on the outside of your clothing. They aren’t the prettiest inventions, but they are very effective!
Improve your posture: As your belly becomes larger, it’s natural to begin slouching – whether sitting or standing. Try to maintain awareness of your posture and adjust it when it becomes out of alignment. This decreases the strain on your lower back and strengthens your core muscles.
Utilize a pregnancy pillow: Place a pregnancy pillow between your knees to maintain parallel thighs when sleeping. Otherwise, your legs may pull down on your hips, resulting in lower back discomfort. Additionally, the pregnancy pillow may assist in correct positioning, keeping you off your back while sleeping.
Make Use of Tennis ball : Request that your spouse push and roll a tennis ball into the area of your lower back where you are experiencing the greatest pain.
Lift with caution: If you’re frequently experiencing back discomfort, you may need to make certain lifestyle adjustments to function normally. Squat rather than lean over while picking items up. Avoid putting weight on your abdominal muscles while standing from a squatting posture; instead, place your elbow and forearm on your knees and utilize your arm power to stand back up. This will assist in relieving strain on your lower back.
Consult a chiropractor: When done properly, chiropractic adjustments are safe during pregnancy. Consult your doctor if you’re interested in seeing a chiropractor and get a reference to ensure you’re seeing someone who is trustworthy and knowledgeable about pregnancy chiropractic. They will not make any dramatic changes, but they will help to realign the joints within your spine that, may lead to low back pain during pregnancy when slightly out of balance.
Use Medication: Consult your doctor if none of these techniques of pain management work. Avoid self-medication and steer clear of “muscle rub” products.
When To Urgently See Your Doctor
You will need to call your doctor urgently if:
- You are suffering from significant back pain that is either continuous or growing worse over time.
- You are having back pain because of trauma or in conjunction with a fever.
- You’ve lost sensation in one or both legs, and you’ve developed a sudden lack of coordination or weakness.
- You have numbness in your buttocks, groin, genital region, bladder, or anus. You’re having difficulty peeing or having a bowel movement.
- In the late 2nd or 3rd trimester, you have low back pain. This may be an indication of premature labor, especially if you’ve never had back pain before.
- You are having pain in your lower back or side, right behind your ribs, on one or both sides. This may indicate a kidney infection, particularly if you have a fever, nausea, or blood in your urine.