4 Ways to Relieve Pregnancy Back Pains
During pregnancy you’ll get to experience many different emotions, feelings and physical sensations.
Some of them will be exciting – like feeling your baby move and kick for the first time – and others might not be so pleasant!
This will be more the case towards the end of your pregnancy as your body adapts to your rapidly growing baby and prepares to give birth.
In the later stages of pregnancy one of the physical ailments you’ll likely have to deal with is back pain.
Read all about the types, causes and management of back pain during pregnancy:
What is back pain during pregnancy?
At some point in your life, you will have likely experienced some form of back pain. Lucky you if you haven’t!
Back pain becomes more common in the later stages of pregnancy as your growing baby takes up room, and puts pressure on your internal organs, which in turn creates pressure against your spine.
It’s also a symptom of your baby’s growing weight. You’ll be carrying your baby all at the front of your body, and quite low in your abdomen.
This in turn also puts pressure on the spine as you are having to carry around an increasingly heavy baby!
Back pain is usually experienced as a sensation of pain in the back of a woman during her pregnancy.
Typically this is felt towards the lower spine, in the centre of your back!
What are the different types of back pain?
While back pain during pregnancy is very common, it may be experienced to different degrees, by different women.
Everyone is different, some women might not even experience any back pain at all, or very little back pain, while others may struggle with acute pain.
Different factors contribute to the back pain you’ll experience, including different health factors, your age and whether this is your first pregnancy.
Back pain is divided into the following categories, which your doctor may speak to you about:
Type #1: Acute Back Pain
Acute back pain is felt almost immediately by all pregnant women.
It can be quite intense for some women, and is typically experienced during your second trimester (the 3-6 month period).
This is when your baby undergoes rapid growth changes, and why you may experience this type of back pain more frequently, as your body tries to keep up with your growing baby.
Type #2: Chronic Back Pain
If you are experiencing back pain pas the 6 month mark in your pregnancy, you will probably hear your doctor or midwife refer to this as chronic back pain.
You may experience this as a low, but constant feeling of back pain.
Again, this all comes down to your personal health and whether this is your first baby, but is common in the final stages of pregnancy.
Type #3: Neuropathic Back Pain
This one is less common, but worth being aware of so you know what to look out for.
Neuropathic pain is a type of pain felt by women, even though there is no visible sign of injury that could be causing the pain.
Because there is no visible sign of injury, it can be very difficult to treat, and it is usually associated more to neural pathways of pain rather than actual pain.
Some women experience lingering back pain long after path, and it is usually associated to this type of pain.
What else causes back pain during pregnancy?
Your growing baby is usually the main cause for the pain you’ll feel! But research has also shown there are other contributing causes. These include:
Cause #1: Rising hormone changes
Hormone levels such as oestrogen and progesterone rise during pregnancy.
These hormones can cause the relaxation of the hip joint, and associated ligaments, that attach the hip to the spine. When these relax, it can put more pressure on the spine to support the hip and your growing baby.
The result is the feeling of pain, especially when engaging in physical activity for too long, such as walking.
Cause #2: Growing size of the uterus
As you know, the uterus is where your baby develops and grows.
The growing uterus and the extra weight, of both your baby and possibly from pregnancy related weight gain, can all result in increasing pressure on the spine as it tries to accommodate the sudden jump in weight it has to carry.
4 Treatments for Pregnancy Back Pains
Luckily it’s not all doom and gloom! Your doctor and midwife will be used to this common complaint from other pregnant patients and can work with you to ensure the pain is managed effectively and does not impact too much on your day to day.
There are plenty of very natural ways to support your body and manage any pain you might experience. These include:
#1 Regular exercise
Although the last thing you might feel like doing if you’re experiencing back pain is to get up and go out for some light exercise, that’s exactly what doctors recommend!
Swimming is highly recommended for pregnant women, as being in water relieves pain on your spine and can also help strengthen your muscles to better be able to support your growing baby.
Light walking, yoga and stretching is also highly recommended.
#2 Follow a healthy diet
One of the other symptoms many pregnant women experience is constipation. This in turn can put pressure on your internal organs and add to back pain.
Following a healthy diet, rich in fresh fruit, vegetables and fibre, will help to alleviate constipation and maintain a healthy internal body.
#3 Use heat packs
You can purchase over the counter heat packs from your local pharmacy to help soothe back pain, but a good hot water bottle or even a good warm bath, can also work wonders for back pain.
#4 Pregnancy Acupuncture
Acupuncture has long been used to help pregnant women cope with some of the symptoms of being pregnant. It is a complete natural, painless and non-invasive treatment designed to help increase the natural flow of energy through the body.
Being pregnant can create some blockages of your natural energy flow. Acupuncture helps to realign the flow and relieves symptoms. If seeking this out, make sure you always speak to your doctor first and always use a highly qualified and skilled professional.
If your back pain seems to be radiating up and down your spine, spreading to your arms, neck or head, make sure you speak to your doctor immediately. This could be indication of a more severe disruption to your nervous system brought on by pregnancy.
While it’s nothing to be too concerned about, make sure you alway discuss symptoms with a medical profession who can not only offer proper advice and guidance, but can also put in place appropriate medical intervention as needed.
Remember, while not a joy to deal with, back pain is all just a natural part of the process of being on the way to motherhood! It’s short lived and you’ll forget all about it as soon as you have your new bundle in your arms.