For many women, low back pain is an uncomfortable side effect of pregnancy. If you’re suffering and looking for coping strategies, read on. There are practical steps you can take to minimize your back pain and deal with the discomfort.
What Causes Lower Back Pain in Pregnancy?
As your pregnancy progresses and your belly swells, your center of gravity will naturally shift. As a result, your pelvis, spine and back muscles will be under increasingly more strain. Additionally, your body produces relaxing, a hormone that readies the body for delivery. Relaxing loosens and relaxes your ligaments, which is essential for birth. Unfortunately, that loosening of the ligaments also leaves your back susceptible to injury.
How Can You Treat Lower Back Pain?
If you’re struggling with back pain, take the following three-pronged approach:
1. Correct your posture: Using good posture can take pressure off your lower spine. Throughout the day, pay attention to the way you’re standing. Lengthen your spine, press your chest forward, and press your shoulders downward and slightly back.
2. Sit and sleep smart: When you’re working at a desk, driving, or sitting at the table for meals, place a small pillow or rolled-towel behind your lower back. The additional support can help you retain your spine’s natural curve. When you sleep, opt for your side, so your spine can relax and recover from the daily strain.
3. Stretching exercises: Gently stretching the back can offer relief. Move onto your hands and knees, and gently arch your spine upward. Hold the position briefly, and then relax the back into a neutral position, lengthening it as much as possible. Repeat for a total of five times.
Keep in mind, lower back pain can sometimes be an indication of something more serious, including a urinary tract infection. If you experience other symptoms, such as vaginal bleeding, fever, or a burning sensation when you urinate, call your doctor.
Lower back pain is not uncommon during pregnancy. If you’re one of the many women who struggles with pain and discomfort, take heart. The condition is generally temporary, and you can look forward to relief following delivery.