Back Pain In Pregnancy – The Best Treatment Methods

In our last article, we spoke about the prevalence of back pain in Singapore – particularly back pain during pregnancy. We shared more about the reason why back pain affects over 50% of pregnant women during their pregnancy. In this article – we will be exploring more on back pain treatment during pregnancy, how you can manage and reduce back pain in order to have a comfortable pregnancy journey.

Treatment for Back Pain in Pregnancy is available

back pain pregnancy treatment

Most people have the misconception that aches and pains are part and parcel of pregnancy and there is nothing that can be done about it. Therefore, they choose to suffer through the pain and discomfort. During pregnancy, medical interventions become more complicated due to the limitations of options available. In order to protect the foetus, expecting mummies are encouraged to avoid unnecessary medication or treatment. Before seeking treatment for your pregnancy discomfort, do check in with your gynaecologist to determine if your pregnancy discomfort is related to any medical condition. If your back pain is related to a medical condition, do speak with your gynaecologist about pain relief solutions. 

If your back pain is purely related to your pregnancy, you will be glad to know that there are several methods for you to relieve the pain without medication. These methods are completely safe during the term of your pregnancy, but it is important to first speak with your gynaecologist and to choose therapists who have the expertise for pregnancy related back pain treatment.

If you are experiencing back pain but unable to seek medical advice at the moment, there are some simple home remedies that can help to temporarily relieve or reduce your back pain. Home remedies can provide immediate short term pain relief. However, it is recommended to seek help from a qualified medical professional in order to get more effective and long term pain relief results. 

Home Therapy for Pregnancy Back Pain Relief

Heat Therapy

This is a simple yet effective method for short term relief from back pain that simply requires things you can easily find in the kitchen. Place a heat pack or a hot bottle on the aching areas of your back to ease the pain. A hot compress will help to loosen up tight muscles and relieve tension in your back. You can use a hot compress every few hours throughout the day. If you do not have a heat pack or a hot bottle with you, you can try taking a warm shower instead.

Self Massage

Take a tennis ball and place it at your lower back region. Find a empty wall and lean against it with the ball in between your back and the wall. Slowly and gently lean back into the wall. You should feel a slight pressure with the ball against your back. Gently move left to right, up to down to feel the ball slowly loosening all your tight knots. With this self massage technique, you are able to easily apply the right amount of pressure at the aching areas. 

The above methods will provide you temporary relief from the pain symptoms but it is not a long term solution. Back pain will continue unless the root cause is resolved. In order to determine the root cause, we would need to seek professional help from a medical expert 

Professional Treatment for Pregnancy Back Pain Relief

Pilates

In the previous article, we mentioned that pregnancy stretches and weakens the abdominal muscles. This causes back pain as more stress is being placed on your spine as your abdominal muscles are no longer helping to support your body weight and movements. As such, it would help to strengthen core muscles and to keep them active during your pregnancy. Stronger core muscles will be able to help you hold your body upright, reducing the strain on your spine.

Pilates is a great way to strengthen core muscles effectively yet gentle enough so as to avoid strain on your pregnancy journey. Apart from strengthening core muscles, pilates is also great at strengthening other muscle groups. Through isometric movements, pilates focuses on engaging and strengthening smaller and less frequently used muscle groups. This will have a positive effect on your overall posture as well, making it easier for you to sustain yourself in a optimal position without causing unnecessary strain on your back.

Pilates can also prepare your body for a smoother delivery and recovery after childbirth. Childbirth is a challenging process which requires muscle strength, endurance and stamina. Thus it is helpful to keep active during pregnancy. Apart from strengthening core muscles, pilates also helps to strengthen pelvic muscles. Pelvic floor muscle strength decreases significantly after childbirth which could result in urinary incontinence. Strong pelvic floor muscles are essential in helping to effectively regain control of your bladder and bowel movements after natural childbirth. 

Prenatal massage

A massage session can help to relieve tight and tense muscles. It is essential to engage a certified masseur who is trained to perform prenatal massages. This ensures the techniques and strength used are safe for a pregnant lady and will not harm the foetus. A prenatal massage would also need to adapt to the changing body – for instance, expecting mothers will not be able to lie face down during the massage. A prenatal massage session will benefit both mum and baby. Massages effectively relieve aches and pains. Apart from that, massages also help to reduce stress and help with blood flow and circulation. This will help the body flush out toxins as well. 

Physiotherapy treatment

Physiotherapists are experts in the human anatomy and are able to identify body imbalances and poor movement biomechanics. Physiotherapy treatment covers all conditions related to muscles, bones, nerves and ligaments. Your physiotherapist will first assess your condition and determine a diagnosis to the root cause of your pain. After finding out why your pain occurs, your physiotherapist will determine a treatment plan to resolve the cause of your pain.

Determining the root cause of your back pain is a multistep process that we eventually arrive at through the treatment process. Your physiotherapist will have to dig deeper into your symptoms and resolve it layer by layer. Back pain is just a symptom and not the condition that we want to treat. We will relieve the symptomatic pain but in order to prevent recurrence of the pain, we will need to resolve the root cause. 

A treatment plan is specific to each client’s condition, needs and lifestyle. Treatment methods can include techniques like manual therapy and exercise therapy. Manual therapy techniques like mobilisation could be used to create space in the spine to reduce the pressure. Exercise therapy can also be used to strengthen core muscles and other muscle groups.The aim of your treatment plan is to to relieve your pain and prevent recurrence. Due to the changes in your body during pregnancy, it is important to consult with a physiotherapist who has the expertise to treat pregnant women. Assessment and treatment methods utilised will be adapted to suit an expecting mother.

Prevention is better than cure

For those who are planning for a pregnancy in future, the above methods will help to ensure that you are well prepared for your future pregnancy journey. By strengthening your core muscles and correcting your overall posture, set yourself on the right road to ensure that your pregnancy journey is as comfortable as possible. If you are planning to start a family in the near future, feel free to set up a consultation with a physiotherapist. She will be able to assess muscular imbalances and biomechanic inefficiencies to start working on in order to minimise the future need for pregnancy back pain treatment.

Stop living in pain

There is no reason why you can’t have a comfortable and pain free pregnancy. There are various back pain treatment methods during pregnancy for pregnant ladies who are experiencing back pain. If you’d like to find out whether the above treatment methods are suitable for you, do speak to your gynaecologist. In the next article, we will dive deeper into physiotherapy treatment for back pain in pregnancy and how it can effectively resolve back pain.

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