Sunday, July 3, 2011

Back Pain and Pregnancy: What Can Be Done?

Back pain or discomfort is common during pregnancy and should be expected, to some degree, by most women. Back pain may be experienced during any point of your pregnancy; however, it most commonly occurs later in the pregnancy as the weight of the baby increases and “back sway” occurs. Back pain can disrupt your daily routine or interfere with a good night of sleep. The good news is there are steps you can take to manage the back pain that you experience.

Back pain during pregnancy is related to a number of factors. Some women begin to experience lower back pain with the onset of pregnancy.  Women who are most at risk for back pain are those who are overweight or had back pain prior to pregnancy. Possible causes include:
Change in hormonal levels – hormones released during pregnancy allow ligaments in the pelvic area to soften and the joints to become looser in preparation for the birthing process of your baby; this shift in joints and loosening of ligaments may affect the support your back normally experiences
Changes to center of gravity – your center of gravity will gradually move forward as your uterus and baby grow, which causes your posture to change
Additional weight – your developing pregnancy and baby create additional weight that your back must support
Added Stress – stress usually finds the weak spot in the body, and because of the changes in your pelvic area, you may experience an increase in back pain during stressful periods of your pregnancy

How can you prevent or minimize back pain during pregnancy?
Back pain may not be prevented completely, but there are things that you can do to reduce the severity or frequency. Here are a few steps you can take to help reduce the back pain you are experiencing:
  • Use exercises approved by your health care provider that support and help strengthen the back and abdomen
  • Squat to pick up something versus bending over
  • Avoid high heels and other shoes that do not provide adequate support
  • Avoid sleeping on your back
  • Wear a support belt under your lower abdomen
  • Make sure your back is aligned using a chiropractor Chicago 
  • Get plenty of rest. Elevating your feet is also good for your back
How can you treat back pain during pregnancy?
There are a number of things you can do to treat back pain during pregnancy. Some of the steps you take to avoid back pain may also be used to treat current back pain. Here are some other common interventions:
  • Ice or heat
  • Braces or support devices
  • Sleep on your left side and use a support pillow under your knees
  • Medications used to treat inflammation
  • Use a licensed health care professional such as a chiropractor or massage therapist
Once again, back pain during pregnancy is common and, to a degree, normal.  That said, it is not a prerequisite for pregnancy.  Following the tips above and visit your chiropractor in Chicago at The Chicago Body Works on occasion will help keep prenatal back pain at bay.


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  2. Thanks for the good information you've shared here. My friend also experiencing back pain, I'm sure this post would really help her.
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