It seems kind of obvious but pregnancy puts a lot of strain on a woman’s back for a variety of reasons. Experts say that most pregnant women experience back pain and that this pain starts in the second half of the pregnancy. Pregnancy back pain starts where the pelvis meets your spine, at something called the sacroiliac joint. If you have any concerns about back pain and pregnancy you should consult a top spine specialist in New Jersey spinal specialists are experts at diagnosing and preventing back pain and they can suggest, pregnancy safe methods of preventing back pain during pregnancy. There are five common causes behind pregnancy back pain in women.
- Gaining Weight
Women can gain between 25 to 35 pounds and the spine has to support that extra weight. This can cause lower back pain. A growing baby and expanding uterus can also put extra pressure on the blood vessels and nerves in the pelvis and back.
- Posture Changes
Women who are carrying around an extra 25 pounds during pregnancy may alter the way they move and walk. Unfortunately, this kind of movement can hurt their backs. The pregnancy can shift your center of gravity.
- Hormone Changes
Pregnancy makes your body release a hormone called relaxin that allows ligaments in the pelvic area to relax and the joints to become looser in order to facilitate the birthing process. Unfortunately, this hormone also does this to ligaments that support the spine and this can lead to instability and pain.
- Muscle Separation
Sheets of muscle that run from the rib cage to the pubic bone are expanded by the uterus and this can worsen back pain.
Pregnancy can be pretty stressful as observed from firsthand witness. This kind of emotional stress can actually be felt as back spasms or back pain.
Common Treatments for Back Pain During Pregnancy
Luckily, there are some common treatments that have proven effective in lessening back pain during pregnancy.
Actually, overall exercise is really good for you especially something called pre natal yoga. Unfortunately, as your pregnancy persists it becomes a bit harder to do exercises. Swimming, however, has a number of advantages over other kinds of exercises. First, it puts no stress on your joints unlike say jogging or aerobics. Two, it allows you to work the muscles you’ll need to make your pregnancy easier without putting stress on your joints or your hurting back.
Heat and Cold
If you apply both heat and cold to your back that might help lessen the back pain associated with pregnancy. After consulting your healthcare provider first, you could start by putting cold compresses (such as an ice bag or even frozen veggies wrapped in a towel) on the painful area for up to 20 minutes about several times per day. Then you should switch to using heat after two or three days using the cold compresses. Don’t apply the heat pad anywhere near your abdomen.
Improve Your Posture
Because of the extra weight added to your body this completely changes the way you walk, sit and stand. Unfortunately, by changing and altering all of your movements even though by necessity, you’re putting your back into some painful situations.
Choose your Shoes Wisely
Because pregnancy throws off your weight and balance to such a serious degree, you need to choose your shoes very carefully. And while it’s certainly no sin to always look your best you should strongly consider ditching the high heel shoes while pregnant because it just makes the back strain much worse. Heels also cause you to be less stable while you’re walking. One doctor recommends a low heeled shoe that either has built in arch support or an orthotic insertion. Sounds like tennis shoes might be best shoes for a pregnant lady but as always consult your personal physician.
Wear a Maternity Belt
A maternity belt is kind of a specially fitted girdle for pregnant women. It’s main advantage is that it supports your expanding belly, replacing your abdominal core muscles. Experts say that you should try these belts and use them consistently if they work. But this should never be seen as a standalone treatment therapy. More of a complement to other kinds of therapy.
This list is by no means complete. The experts also list other treatments such as acupuncture (backed by some medical studies apparently), chiropractic care, better sleep practices and even counseling, since thinking stressful thoughts can increase your pain. And as always, you should clear any treatment plan you have with your personal care physician.