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Back Pain in Pregnancy

Studies suggest that almost 2 of every 3 women will suffer from back pain during pregnancy. The simplest reason is that the weight of the baby in the abdomen causes downward pull and it pulls lower spine forward. This puts extra strain on the lower back, hence causing back pain.

This back pain need not to be just passed as “one of those things”.  It can have a lasting effect on the enjoyment of being pregnant as well as maintaining household and work related activities.  However there are somethings that can be done to decrease the extent of back pain and maybe even alleviate it.

The most common area affected in pregnancy is lower back, a point just above sacral bone. This is a point just above hips and if someone is prone to back pain it can get worse during pregnancy.

During pregnancy there is a change in mother’s center of gravity (due to extra weight of the baby). In order to prevent her falling forward, body compensates it by leaning backward. This creates extra strain on back and causes pain.

Most women describe this pain as tenderness or tightness, mostly around muscles and tendons that support the back. This pain may also radiate during movement like walking, sitting up, etc. sometimes this pain may even persist after child birth. Woman who experience back pain in their first pregnancy have an increase chance of subsequent back pain in later pregnancies.

During pregnancy body releases a hormone called relaxin that loosens up the pelvic bone and ligaments so that childbirth is easier. The muscles though relaxed, are not as strong and as a result pain develops.

Stress also contributes to pain in the back during pregnancy, as stress hormones do not give time for muscles to relax, leading to constant state of tightness, hence causing fatigue and pain in the back.

To help ease this back pain, first, always check with your maternity care provider and get proper pregnancy education in this matter. Some things that you can do to help ease this are:

–         Aim not to gain any more than 10-12 kg throughout pregnancy.

–         Work on your posture and avoid bending shoulders forward, instead adopt a tall erect posture.

–         Hold your shoulders back and relax them.

–         Keep your feet apart if you have to stand for a long period of time

–         Move more often and avoid sitting still for long periods of time

–         Maintain some type of low impact exercise program throughout pregnancy.

–         Instead of bending down, try squatting as it will decrease strain on the back.

–         Avoid wearing high heeled shoes as it can worsen pain in the back during pregnancy.

–         While sleeping, try lying on left side as it will ease back pain and help with blood circulation to the baby.

–         Take proper rest and sleep as it helps body recover from fatigue and get rid of muscle tenderness altogether

Many women say that yoga and Pilates can be helpful to ease back pain.  Although not all of these treatments work for everyone, you should be able to find one that works for you and help ease the back pain during pregnancy.  

You can make an appointment with Dr Kenny on 1300 464 464.

This article is written to be informative and does not substitute seeking a professional consultation from a medical professional

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