10 Ways To Relieve Pregnancy Back Pain: How's The Balance Of Your Body Over Your Feet?Medical experts give tips to ease and avoid the pain.by Jocelyn Valle .
For many women, pregnancy back pain usually starts in the second trimester. But a few others experience having aches, stiffness, and soreness in the upper or lower back, hips, and sometimes to the legs and buttocks just several weeks after getting pregnant and even after giving birth.
What causes pregnancy back pain?
Those with pre-existing lower back problems are typically at a higher risk of developing pregnancy-related back pain, according to Spine Health. They become more susceptible to the condition, which is caused by several factors.
A hormone called relaxin is released throughout the pregnancy, explains What to Expect. It triggers the ligaments of the normally stable joints in the pelvis to loosen up, so that an easier passage of the baby will be possible during the delivery.
Relaxin, combined with the increased estrogen during pregnancy, also causes the pelvis to widen and ache. Pelvic pain usually peaks in the latter stage nearing childbirth. At that point, severe pain can be felt in the lower back and thighs, especially while walking.
As the uterus expands to accommodate the growing fetus, the pelvis and lower back become unstable. This leads to the spine altering its shape and making the lower back more curved than usual.
Additionally, the muscles that stabilize the pelvis, like the psoas, are shortened, thereby increasing the curvature of the lower back even more to the point of escalated pain.
Another possible source of pain are the peripheral nerves in the pelvis and thigh region when they become compressed, stretched, or lose blood supply. The additional mechanical pressure on those nerves, such as the swelling of the soft tissue, makes the thigh, lower back, and pelvis ache.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
The legs can be at risk, too, because of obesity, diabetes, and other medical conditions.
If the placenta is located near the posterior or back wall of the uterus, the body’s back area becomes prone to pain. Limited research suggests that a posterior placenta may also cause poor pregnancy outcomes and preterm labor.
How to relieve pregnancy back pain
To ease and even avoid having pregnancy back pain, you may follow these tips from medical experts:
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- Refrain from lifting heavy objects and reaching for objects too high from you.
- Make it a point to bend your knees and keep your back straight when picking up something from the floor.
- Practice moving your feet when you turn to avoid twisting your spine.
- Opt for flat shoes to evenly distribute your weight between your feet. You will be surprised how we tend to put more weight on one foot.
- Get a firm mattress and use a body pillow to help you find sleep positions that won't stress your back.
- Make sure to keep your back straight and well supported when sitting, then take breaks by standing, stretching, and walking.
- Try applying cold compress on your back for 15 minutes and then switch to hot compress, so that your sore muscles will get relief.
- Watch your weight as gaining too much and too fast poundage can be hard on your back.
- Exercise regularly, starting with simple yoga stretches and short prenatal yoga practice (read here.)
- Take medication only after consulting your doctor.
If the pain persists or worsens, it’s best to talk to your doctor for proper treatment.
Pregnancy back pain could be a sign of complications, especially when:
- You are in your second or third semester. It could mean you are experiencing early labor (read here)
- You have a fever, bleeding from your vagina, or pain while peeing.
- You lose feeling in one or both of your legs, your butt, or your genitals.
- You feel pain in one of more of your sides, just under your ribs.
If you feel any of the above, consult your doctor immediately.
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