How to Alleviate Back Pain During Pregnancy

Back pain is common during pregnancy but can be reduced

Pregnancy often includes back pain, especially in the later months. Back pain during pregnancy can be extremely uncomfortable.

However, you don’t have to accept that your aches and pains are just a natural part of your condition. Think about all the things you can do to prevent or treat back pain while pregnant.

Many pregnant women can reduce their back pain by being aware of their posture and engaging in back-relieving exercises, according to Rebeca Sandoval, MD, an OB-GYN at Scripps Clinic Hillcrest. “But if your back pain persists, seek medical attention. Your doctor can help you identify the source of your pain and suggest treatments. ”.

Before beginning any new medications or treatments for any discomfort related to pregnancy, women should speak with their healthcare provider, advises Dr Sandoval adds.

Back pain during pregnancy can be brought on by a number of things, such as changes in weight, pregnancy hormones, and a change in posture.

Ligament elasticity is a result of hormonal changes during pregnancy, particularly where the pelvis and spine meet. This aids in preparing the baby for passage through the birth canal but may result in joint instability and back pain.

Pressure on the spine and pelvic areas rises as the baby’s weight rises. Women typically gain between 25- to 35-pounds during pregnancy.

Additionally, due to the expanding uterus during pregnancy, the body’s center of gravity changes. As a result, your posture may change, and your back may become stressed.

Causes of Back Pain in Pregnant Women

The sacroiliac joint, where your pelvis and spine converge, is frequently the site of pregnancy back pain.

There are many possible reasons why it happens. Here are some of the more likely causes:

  • Weight gain. During a healthy pregnancy, women typically gain between 25 and 35 pounds. The spine has to support that weight. That can cause lower back pain. The weight of the growing baby and uterus also puts pressure on the blood vessels and nerves in the pelvis and back.
  • Posture changes. Pregnancy shifts your center of gravity. As a result, you may gradually — even without noticing — begin to adjust your posture and the way you move. This may result in back pain or strain.
  • Hormone changes. During pregnancy, your body makes a hormone called relaxin that allows ligaments in the pelvic area to relax and the joints to become looser in preparation for the birth process. The same hormone can cause ligaments that support the spine to loosen, leading to instability and pain.
  • Muscle separation. As the uterus expands, two parallel sheets of muscles (the rectus abdominis muscles), which run from the rib cage to the pubic bone, may separate along the center seam. This separation may worsen back pain.
  • Stress. Emotional stress can cause muscle tension in the back, which may be felt as back pain or back spasms. You may find that you experience an increase in back pain during stressful periods of your pregnancy.
  • If you have further questions, contact your ob-gyn.

    Dont have an ob-gyn? Search for doctors near you.

    Published: May 2020

    Last reviewed: December 2021

    Copyright 2023 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. All rights reserved. Read copyright and permissions information. The public’s education is intended to be aided by this information. It offers current information and opinions related to womens health. It’s not meant to serve as a declaration of the accepted level of care. It does not cover all recommended medical procedures or care strategies. It does not take the place of medical advice. Read ACOG’s complete disclaimer.

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