How to Treat Back Pain During Pregnancy

We recently wrote about how new moms can prevent injury and back pain. We then received a request to cover how women can treat back pain during pregnancy.

According to Spine Health, pregnant women’s spines are prone to experience lower back pain for the following three reasons:

  • Hormone production during pregnancy makes joints less stable. This allows the pelvis to spread as the baby grows.
  • A woman typically gains 25-35 pounds during pregnancy. The majority of it is distributed around the abdomen.
  • Postural strain, as a result of the weight gain, changes a pregnant woman’s center of gravity.

While there may not be a way to completely prevent back pain, here are five suggestions (Sources: National Center for Biotechnology Information and Baby Centre):

  • Exercise. Exercise before and early in pregnancy can strengthen abdominal, back and pelvic muscles, which improves posture and allows increased weight-bearing ability. Low intensity exercise can also alleviate pain once it develops. Exercise during the second half of pregnancy significantly decreases pain following a three time a week 12 week program. Pelvic tilts are particularly effective in relieving lumbar pain. Knee pull, straight leg raising, curl up, lateral straight leg raising and the Kegel exercises are also successful in relieving low back pain in pregnant women.
  • Massage. This will ease tired, aching muscles.
  • Good posture. This is encouraged during any stage of life but especially during pregnancy. Buy a soft or wedge-shaped cushion or a cushioned ring to sit on throughout the day.
  • Swimming. Water aerobics is another recommended strategy that has shown to reduce pain and, as a result, the need for sick leave in women with lumbar pain during pregnancy. The water allows for a good exercise regimen without taking an intense toll on the body.
  • Sleep with maternity pillows. Sleeping on your side with a wedge-shaped pillow under your tummy may help.