Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy

Back pain or discomfort is very common during pregnancy. Statistics show that 50-70% of pregnant women experience back pain. During pregnancy,ligaments loosen from pregnancy hormones and core muscles have to work harder to protect the spine and pelvis. In addition, the increased weight from your developing baby will shift your center of gravity, leading to postural changes that may contribute to additional stress to your back.

What are some ways to address and reduce lower back pain?

– Perform strengthening exercises for your core and hips to help support the back

– Perform gentle stretches to help the muscles around your back and legs become more flexible. Prenatal yoga can be a good option.

– Be mindful of your posture, whether you’re sitting or standing. Remember that poor posture can further exacerbate your symptoms. Keep your shoulders back and your buttocks tucked in.

– Take more breaks, especially if you are sitting at work all day. Get up and walk around, even if it is just for a minute. Consider getting a lumbar roll for some added support. Make sure your feet are flat on the ground, and get a footstool if necessary.

– Be mindful of your body mechanics. Do not bend over to pick something up, but rather squat down so you can allow your hips and core to help you.

– Swimming can also be a good option, as the buoyancy of the water helps to reduce the weight and stress on your joints. Consider taking a prenatal water exercise class, if one is available.

– You can wear a supportive belt around your lower abdomen to help relieve some of the pressure.

– Avoid wearing high heels, as it can put you in a more stressful posture.

– Sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs to keep your spine better aligned.

– When getting out of bed, try rolling on to your side first. Then bring your legs over the edge and use your arms to help push yourself up in to a sitting position.

– Try icing your lower back to relieve the pain and reduce any swelling.

– Lastly, just listen to your body. Avoid positions or activities that are painful.

 

– Melissa Wong, DPT

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