Pregnant With Back Pain On Right Side

Lower back pain while lying down or sleeping

The expanding uterus puts pressure on the vena cava, a significant blood vessel, which results in blood vessel congestion in the pelvis and the lumbar spine and lower back pain that gets worse at night. Katonis P, Kampouroglou A, Aggelopoulos A, et al. Pregnancy-related low back pain. Hippokratia. 2011;15(3):205-210. Available from: https://www. ncbi. nlm. nih. gov/pmc/articles/PMC3306025/ advertisement.

Pregnancy-related pelvic changes are common and aid in facilitating birth by allowing the uterus to expand.

Different degrees of laxity exist in the right and left sacroiliac joints, which connect the spine to the pelvis, in pregnant women who experience pelvic pain. Due to a high concentration of the hormone relaxin, which softens joints and connective tissues, there is a difference in joint laxity. The ilium, a portion of the pelvis that connects to the sacroiliac joint, may move if the sacroiliac joints are significantly lax.

When the displaced ilium is in an unstable position, it stresses the surrounding tissues and causes pain. The muscles around or inside the pelvis tense up and pull as the body tries to put the pelvis back in its normal position. Severe pain may be experienced if tension develops in the adductor muscles of the thigh or the pelvic floor muscles (groin muscles that assist in pulling the legs together). Rost C. How Women Can Heal Chronic Pelvic Instability: Relieving Pelvic Pain During and After Pregnancy Hunter House; 2013.

Posterior pelvic pain is common during pregnancy and may affect up to 76% of pregnant women This pain may also be experienced for several years after childbirth in 5% to 8 5% of new mothers. Kanakaris NK, Roberts CS, Giannoudis PV. Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain: an update. BMC Med. 2011;9:15. Published 2011 Feb 15. doi:10. Doctors may also describe this pain as pelvic girdle pain or symphysis pubis dysfunction. 1186/1741-7015-9-15

Typical features of posterior pelvic pain include:

  • Pain that may feel like a stabbing, dull, shooting, and/or burning sensation in the back of the pelvic area
  • Pain that may extend into the buttock and radiate to the groin and back of the thigh
  • Pain that may mimic sciatica, but unlike sciatica, is often impossible to locate precisely and may change in type or area(s) affected as pregnancy progresses Kanakaris NK, Roberts CS, Giannoudis PV. Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain: an update. BMC Med. 2011;9:15. Published 2011 Feb 15. doi:10.1186/1741-7015-9-15
  • Pregnant women who had lower back pain in the past or who work physically demanding jobs that require them to stand for long periods of time are more likely to experience pelvic pain. Rost C. How Women Can Heal Chronic Pelvic Instability: Relieving Pelvic Pain During and After Pregnancy Hunter House; 2013.

    When to get help for back pain in pregnancy

    Consult your doctor or a midwife if your back pain is excruciating. They might be able to recommend an obstetric physiotherapist at your hospital who will be able to advise you and possibly offer you some beneficial exercises.

    Treatments for Back Pain in Pregnancy

    More good news: Unless you had chronic back pain prior to becoming pregnant, your pain should gradually subside before giving birth.

    There are numerous things you can do in the interim to alleviate low back pain, treat it, or make it less frequent and severe:

  • Exercise. Regular exercise strengthens muscles and boosts flexibility. That can ease the stress on your spine. Safe exercises for most pregnant women include walking, swimming, and stationary cycling. Your doctor or physical therapist can recommend exercises to strengthen your back and abdomen.
  • Heat and cold. Applying heat and cold to your back may help. If your health care provider agrees, start by putting cold compresses (such as a bag of ice or frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel) on the painful area for up to 20 minutes several times a day. After two or three days, switch to heat — put a heating pad or hot water bottle on the painful area. Be careful not to apply heat to your abdomen during pregnancy.
  • Improve your posture. Slouching strains your spine. So using proper posture when working, sitting, or sleeping is a good move. For example, sleeping on your side with a pillow between the knees will take stress off your back. When sitting at a desk, place a rolled-up towel behind your back for support; rest your feet on a stack of books or stool and sit up straight, with your shoulders back. When standing, pull your hips forward and your shoulders back. You may tend to lean back to compensate for your growing belly. Wearing a support belt may also help.
  • Stretch regularly. Look up the “backward stretch,” the “low back stretch,” and the “standing pelvic tilt.” These strengthen your back and pelvic muscles.
  • Counseling. If back pain is related to stress, talking to a trusted friend or counselor may be helpful.
  • Acupuncture. Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine in which thin needles are inserted into your skin at certain locations. Studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective in relieving low back pain during pregnancy. Check with your health care provider if youre interested in trying it.
  • Chiropractic. When performed correctly, chiropractic manipulation of the spine can be safe during pregnancy, but consult with your doctor before seeking chiropractic care.
  • More tips:

  • If you need to pick something up from the ground, use your legs to squat rather than bend over.
  • Dont wear high-heeled shoes. Choose low-heeled shoes with good arch support. Remember, as hormones loosen joints, you may need to buy a larger shoe size.
  • Dont sleep on your back.
  • Consult your doctor if your back pain doesn’t go away to find out what else you can do. Be sure to consult your doctor before taking pain medications. Most pregnant women can safely consume acetaminophen (Tylenol) It is not recommended to take aspirin or other NSAIDs like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), or naproxen sodium. Your doctor may occasionally suggest additional painkillers or muscle relaxants that are safe to take while pregnant.

    Back Pain During Pregnancy – Types, Causes & Remedies

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