An astute writer once wrote, “Lucky the woman who knows the pangs of birth, for she has held a star.” Of course, if you’re a woman who’s ever been pregnant, you just know it was a man who said this! Sure, having a baby is a wonderful time in your life, but what about all the pain that comes with it? And contractions are only the half of it! Of all the pains women report experiencing during pregnancy, back pain tops the list for causing the most negative impacts on their daily activities. Pregnant women still need to get things done in their lives. They often have other children they must parent, business meetings they must attend, and everyday activities that aren’t going to get done unless they address them head-on. But when that pregnancy back pain comes on, it can have the power to keep you down for hours. If you’re a pregnant woman who’s experiencing back pain, here’s more information from top spine specialists in New Jersey about the causes of your pain and, more importantly, tips to help ease that pain and get you back to your active life.
What Causes Back Pain During Pregnancy?
Naturally, pregnancy brings with it many changes to your body. Some of these changes you are (probably acutely) aware of, such as weight gain and hormonal changes. Others you may not notice so readily, such as postural changes.
Most pregnant women gain somewhere in the range of 25 to 35 pounds. Obviously, this extra weight, especially gained in a period of just a few months, puts an extra strain on the spine and on the muscles of the back. A growing uterus can also put added strain on nerves and even blood vessels, which can lead to back pain for moms-to-be.
Hormones that are produced during pregnancy can cause muscles and ligaments that support structures of the back to relax. This can lead not only to a less stable back, but also to back pain that, combined with extra weight, can be doubly burdensome on a pregnant woman’s back.
You may not be as aware of your posture changing as you are of your weight increasing, but changes to posture often occur during pregnancy. The reason for this is that your center of gravity is changing, which can lead to even more added strain on your back.
What can treat back pain?
Thankfully, there are things you can do to relieve back pain during your pregnancy, including exercise or physical therapy, as well as hot or cold compresses.
A regular exercise routine that’s approved by your doctor is the first, and sometimes the most important and beneficial, step to relieving your back pain. Regular exercise helps to strengthen muscles that help support all the structures of your body, not just your back.
Hot and Cold Compresses
If you’re a pregnant woman who’s suffering from back pain, you may want to try applying heat or even cold to the affected area. Try wrapping a bag of ice or even frozen foods such as vegetables (because they tend to be malleable) in a clean cloth or towel and applying it for 10 to 20 minutes, 2 or 3 times daily. By the same token, a heating pad can also relieve pain when applied in this way. Naturally, with any kind of treatment, always talk to your doctor first.
Everyone knows pregnancy is an exciting time in a woman’s life. But the back pain she can experience… not so much. As wonderful as your growing baby is, your new little bundle of joy sure can put a strain on your back. The good news is that there are things you can do to ease your back pain. Hot and cold compresses, exercise approved by your doctor, and even eating a healthy diet can help to take away some of that pain, and give you the rest you need during your pregnancy. If you’re a pregnant woman who’s experiencing back pain, you should also consider contacting a top spine specialist near you for counseling regarding more steps you can take to minimize pain and maximize peace of mind during this wonderful time in your life!