How You Can Ease Back Pain During Pregnancy
Common Areas of Back Pain During Pregnancy
Expecting mothers most typically experience low back (lumbar) pain and posterior pelvic or sacroiliac joint pain.
With low back pain, you can feel it across the lower spine, near or at the level of your waist. Prolonged sitting or standing, as well as wearing high heels can worsen the pain. The pain tends to intensify as the day progresses.
Posterior pelvic pain is typically felt at or near the 2 dimples at the back of your pelvis. You can feel the pain deep inside the buttocks or in the back of your thighs on one or both sides. Activities that aggravate the pain include walking, climbing stairs, resting on one leg, getting in and out of a low chair, rolling over and twisting in bed, and lifting.
What Can I Do to Ease Back Pain?
If you have a history of back pain, you are more likely to get it again. You are also prone to back pain if you lead a sedentary lifestyle and have weak back and abdominal muscles with poor flexibility.
To reduce the risk of recurrence, start on an exercise program to stretch and strengthen muscles that support the back, which include your abdominals. It is important to get clearance from a medical professional before you start any exercise program. Adopting good postures in your daily life will do wonders for your back. Some examples are as follows:
Stand up straight. This gets harder to do as pregnancy progresses, but try to keep your chin tucked in, drawing your shoulders back and down with the tummy and bottom tucked in. Expectant women tend to slump their shoulders and arch their backs as their bumps grow, which strains the spine.
Choose a chair that supports your back, or place a small pillow behind your lower back while sitting. Try to avoid prolonged sitting and get up to take frequent breaks. Supporting your feet with an appropriate footstool can also help reduce back pain.
Bend at your knees, keeping your back straight and lift using the strong thigh and knee muscles instead of the small muscles of the back. Do not twist as you are lifting. Get help for heavy objects.
To rest better at night, sleep on your side with one or both knees bent and a pillow between your legs. As your pregnancy advances, use a rolled-up towel or small pillow to support your tummy.
Finally and most importantly, pay attention to your body. If you find that particular activity or exercise aggravates your pain, stop doing it. Ask your doctor or physiotherapist whenever in doubt.
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