Cropped image of beautiful pregnant woman stroking her tummy and holding a sonogram, on gray background

Pregnancy Back Pain

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While some women are lucky enough to not have many problems with nausea or morning sickness during pregnancy, nearly all women experience pregnancy back pain. It’s almost unavoidable, since a woman’s body is changing so much during pregnancy and the growing baby offsets a woman’s center of balance. She holds her body differently, carries bags or car seats differently, and may not be able to get comfortable during daily activities, which can make the pregnancy back pain worse.

Back pain during pregnancy often starts during the late second trimester, when the baby is larger. A few different factors cause pregnancy back pain. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to help deal with and treat pregnancy back pain.

Causes of Pregnancy back pain

Weight gain: As your baby grows and your body responds, your spine must support whatever extra weight you gain. Weight gain is natural and normal during pregnancy. If your doctor says it is ok for you to exercise, getting regular activity and stretching your muscles can help. A healthy weight can help keep your back pain in check.
Posture: You are carrying your body differently during pregnancy. Your doctor can talk with you about how to move your body when going about your daily activities that will put the least amount of strain on your back and help you move most efficiently. Your doctor can recommend stabilization exercises where your body can strengthen certain key muscles that influence back pain.

Changes to your pelvic muscles and ligaments: As your body slowly prepares itself for delivery, the muscles and ligaments relax and change. Massage or other tissue work can help with the pain of pregnancy back pain that is caused by this.

Hormonal changes: During pregnancy, the body makes a hormone called relaxin. This hormone allows the ligaments in the pelvis to relax and loosen in preparation for delivery. Everything is connected to the spine, so this relaxation in combination with increased weight change the shape of the spine and can make it harder for the spine to support the torso and keep your body stable.

Treatments for pregnancy back pain

Luckily, back pain during pregnancy is temporary! It will go away after delivery. Pain relievers should be used carefully during pregnancy and your doctor will need to speak with you about that. You can self-treat pregnancy back pain in ways that are similar to ways that you might treat menstrual cramping.

Hot pads, hot water bottles and cold packs could be used. Paying attention to good posture can help. Healthy, safe exercise can help. Managing your stress in ways that help you feel better can also help. Acupuncture can help. Talk with your doctor about the ways that you can treat your back pain in ways that will not have an affect on your pregnancy.

At our office in Eugene, Oregon, we can educate you on everything you can do to ease your back pain. Our incredible staff of obstetricians at Pacific Women’s Center has years of experience helping women enjoy their pregnancy as much as possible.

Give us a call at 541-342-8616 or Contact Us online today to make an appointment. Pregnancy is an incredible experience and you deserve to feel your best throughout every moment.