Back pain is a regular occurrence in pregnancy, and it is a symptom of a healthy growing baby.
More than 60% of pregnant women suffer with lower back pain at some point during their pregnancy and this can start at any time regardless of other musculoskeletal strength or complications.
Did you know that your body’s centre of gravity is located in your lower back, and it shifts slightly to the front and superiorly while you are pregnant due to the body growing outward. The volume of the stomach increases structurally, causing instability (Takeda et. al., 2015).
If you are worried about increasing back pain and need a solution for it, first you need to understand the cause of the pain.
There are a number of factors that contributes to your low back pain during pregnancy.
Pregnancy brings some hormonal changes to your body. A hormone called “relaxin” is released in large amounts during pregnancy aiming to relax the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments. Your ligaments hold your bones together under normal conditions and prevent instability of your joint. Due to the effect of the relaxin hormone, these ligaments become lax or elastic compromising the stability of the joints in your lower back and pelvis. This mechanism ultimately leads to back pain as the load on the spine increases significantly.
It is obvious that you are gaining weight as the baby is growing. Other than the baby’s weight, your overall body weight also increases during pregnancy. The increased weight generally affects the whole body, and your lower back, being the central point, remains under compressive forces throughout. The result is low back pain.
Your spine must remain in a neutral alignment to maintain a good posture. But during pregnancy, as your baby grows, your belly is exerting more weight toward the front, and to counter that weight, you tend to keep your upper back swayed backward. It increases the curve in your lower back called the lumbar lordosis or hollow back. The malalignment of your spine and postural imbalance leads to pain in the upper back, mid-back, and lower back.
Mothers often remain under emotional stress during pregnancy which also acts as a culprit for causing generalised pains in the body including back pain.
Ways to reduce pregnancy back pain:
Kinesiotape works best for pregnancy-related low back pain. Evidence showed that Kinesiotaping had a long-lasting pain-relieving effect in pregnant woman. Our tape mimics the function of your muscles and supports your lower back, by offloading your spine, thus relieving your back pain during pregnancy.
As we have already discussed, your posture is clearly disrupted during pregnancy. This is something that needs to be monitored and fixed frequently. You can try general stretching techniques, core strengthening, and pelvic floor strength training to improve your posture and relieve back pain.
Massage and stretching:
Massage, swimming, and stretching can reduce your low back pain during pregnancy. Along with back pain, it also relieves depression and anxiety during pregnancy, which in turn can provide you relief.
You can apply hot packs to your back during pregnancy. The heat relaxes your muscles, improves blood flow, and softens the tissues in your lower back. It is an effective and well-practiced method of pain relief during pregnancy.
Your sleeping posture highly matters when you are pregnant. Sleeping on your back can worsen your back pain as in this position all of the weight of your stomach is directly on your spine. The optimal sleeping position is sleeping in a side-lying position with pillows and cushions to support your legs, thighs, arms, and neck. This allows your spine to remain in a neutral alignment. Left side sleeping is considered the healthiest position for pregnant women because it relieves the pressure from the liver and improves circulation.
Why not use our Reha Fund Exclusive Orthopaedic Pillow for side-sleeping during pregnancy and have a comfortable night’s sleep.