Simple Tips to Reduce Back Pain during Pregnancy
Back pain is one of the most uncomfortable side effects of pregnancy. But you don’t need to worry. You can treat it at any time during your pregnancy (if you were not dealing with chronic back pain before you got pregnant).
Back pain is normal in pregnancy, but sometimes it can indicate some serious issues. For detailed information on this topic, you can see back pain during pregnancy.
You won’t be able to eliminate your back pain during your pregnancy, but it is possible to reduce or minimize it.
There are many tips that you can follow to treat your lower back pain, some of which are as follows:
A good posture while you are sitting or standing is very important in pregnancy. Slouching can strain your spine. So try to maintain a balanced posture. Keep your chest high and shoulders relaxed. Good posture while sitting, sleeping, or working, is good for you and your baby.
Use a comfortable chair with good support when seated and elevate your feet if possible. For extra back support, you can also use a soft cushion or pillow. It will take the stress off your back.
If your work requires you to sit for long periods, try to sit straight. Place a towel or soft blanket behind your back for support, put your feet on a stool or a footrest and keep your shoulders relaxed.
In pregnancy, sitting for too long can make your back hurt. You should walk, stand, or stretch at least once an hour to prevent back pain. Even standing for too long can make your back hurt. So keep everything in a balance.
Don’t put weight on your feet
Standing for long periods during pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester, can cause extreme backaches. After walking or standing for a long period, take a rest and put your feet on any elevated surface.
Lifting heavy objects in pregnancy is also not a good idea. So, avoid it and ask for help from your partner. If you need to pick something from the ground do it slowly. If you have to pick anything up you should always squat instead of bending at the waist.
- Stretching: Things placed on your top kitchen shelf or anything that is not in your easy reach are off limits for you. You cannot reach for these things. Instead ask someone to help you to avoid any additional strain on your spine.
Wear comfortable shoes
In pregnancy, women are always advised to wear comfortable and soft shoes. Extremely high heels or flat soles are not an option for you.
A low-heeled shoe with good support is highly recommended during pregnancy. It helps keep your body in a proper position. You can also consider orthotics, special shoe inserts designed for extra muscle support.
Supportive, comfortable, and loose garment in pregnancy is very helpful. You can also wear a support belt to take some pressure off your back. For your growing body, you can use jeans and bra extenders if you're not ready for maternity clothing just yet.
Support bands are also very helpful in pregnancy. They are specially designed for pregnant women to support your back and take some belly weight off your lower back.
During pregnancy, it is best to sleep on your side and not on your back. The weight from your baby on your spine can result in severe back pain. Tuck a soft pillow under your belly and between your knees for some extra support.
Try to get plenty of rest because it is good for you and your baby. You can also buy a pregnancy pillow to cradle your body and help you get a comfortable night's sleep.
Physical therapies and massage
Regular exercise is highly recommended for pregnant women. It can boost muscle strength and flexibility to ease the stress on your spinal cord. In pregnancy, mild and moderate exercise is preferable. Don’t do high intensity workouts that exhaust you.
Physiotherapy, yoga, or exercise are all considered safe during pregnancy. They can be performed for 20 to 45 minutes, three to five days a week. Contact your doctor or physical therapist who can recommend the best exercises that can strengthen your back.
Prenatal massage is another great option for your back pain. Before taking a massage, wait until your first trimester ends. Use a professional masseuse, trained and experienced to deal with pregnant women.
Chiropractic manipulation is also safe in pregnancy. A chiropractor can also help to relieve back pain by providing pregnancy-related care. But you should consult your practitioner before hiring a chiropractor.
Pregnancy back pain exercise
Many pregnancy-safe exercises can help you to strengthen your abdomen and back. The most common exercises for pregnant women include walking, swimming, stationary cycling, and low-impact aerobics.
The following is a simple exercises that you can do to reduce back pain:
- First comes in a relaxed position on all fours with knees under hips and hands under shoulders. Lift your stomach muscles to keep your back straight.
- Pull in the muscles of your stomach and raise your back towards the ceiling, relax your head, and bum gently downwards. Now keep your hands with your fingers facing forwards and move your back only as far as you comfortably can. Always remember your elbows should not lock with each other.
- Stay in this position for a few seconds and then slowly return to your normal position. Don’t hollow your back. Your back should always return to a straight position. Repeat this simple exercise at least 10 times to move your back and make your muscles work hard.
You can also do pelvic tilts to strengthen your abs that can support your back. Sitting on an exercise ball and rocking back and forth will also be a great remedy.
Meditation and prenatal yoga
Stress and tension can also be a reason for your back pain. To release the stress you can do things like meditation or prenatal yoga.
Rest and a good night’s sleep can also help to release the stress.
There has been some research that links reduced back pain to mindfulness and meditation. So try to think positively. Happy thoughts can help calm your mind and relax your back muscles resulting in less pain.
Prenatal yoga is also safe and recommended to overcome back pain during pregnancy. A qualified practitioner can instruct you on prenatal yoga or aquanatal classes. They can make your muscles stronger to support your back.
Acupuncture is a Chinese therapy. It is completely safe and very helpful to treat back pain in pregnancy. In this procedure, thin needles are inserted into your skin at different locations.
It is used on pregnant women as a remedy to reduce lower back pain. Before trying this therapy, you should check your health care provider.
Applying heat or cold
Applying heat or cold to a strained muscle is an old remedy that works surprisingly well to soothe sore muscles. The results are instant and it doesn’t have any side effects - as long as it's not too hot or too cold.
Please consult your health care provider first, but you can use this home remedy to help ease your pain. Wrap a frozen bag of veggies in a towel and put it on the painful area for 20 minutes or less. After 2 to 3 days, you can switch to heat. A heating pad or hot water bottle will be helpful for this purpose. Always remember that you should never apply heat to your abdomen during pregnancy.
Use a pregnancy-friendly mattress
You should use a firm mattress during your pregnancy. If your mattress is not firm, you can place a hard-board under it, for extra support to your back muscles.
|Related: How Much Sleep Do You Need When Pregnant.
A body-sized pillow is highly recommended for pregnant women. It provides extra support for your body. It also helps reduce stress to your joints while sleeping. We recommend that it be a minimum of four feet long.
Paracetamol, with the advice of your health care provider, can also help you to ease your back pain. Always ask your midwife or doctor before taking any medicine during pregnancy.
- Talk to your doctor or practitioner - Before contacting any physical therapist, alternative medicine specialist, or chiropractor, always seek advice from your health care provider. If you have severe back pain and you think something is wrong call your doctor immediately.
Sometimes back pain is an indication that there is something wrong with you or your baby. It can also be a sign of preterm labor. Back pain that comes and goes at regular intervals with increased intensity can be a sign of uterine contractions. If it is accompanied by vaginal discharge it can indicate that there is a problem with your placenta or you might have broken your water earlier.
Numbness with back pain is not a worrisome condition, like preterm labor but it can be a sign of sciatica. If your back pain is accompanied by numbness, sharp or tingling sensations, or intense pain that radiates in your legs, buttocks, and feet, call your doctor and make sure there is nothing serious.
If you have tried all the above-mentioned remedies and your back pain is still intolerable, contact your doctor. Also, remember that taking any medication without consulting your doctor is strictly prohibited in pregnancy.
If you are trying to conceive, you should also contact your health care provider even before taking any pain killer.