During pregnancy, along with nausea, vomiting, fatigue, swollen feet, most pregnant women experiences lower back pain at some point in the time. This lower back is the most complaint that we will hear from pregnant women. This back pain can be because of the weight gain, shift of the centre of gravity of the body, hormonal changes happening in the body, etc. While most of the pains occurring in the lower back is quite normal and often is not a concern, but only in some cases, this may become chronic, extending the pain from the lower back down towards the legs and feet, which make the pregnant lady unable to stand. In this article, we will discuss in detail the causes of the lower back pain, the preventive measures to follow, and some of the home remedies to gain relief from this pain.
What is Lower Back Pain and Is It Common During Pregnancy:
Lower back pain during pregnancy is also referred to as lumbar pain. This pain is generally located at and above the waist in the middle of the back. This back pain varies from mild (in most of the cases) to severe and even chronic in some situations. The chronic lower back pain that radiates into the leg is called sciatica. Even though most of the pregnant women complain about this pain is severe, lower back pain is quite natural to occur. Very few pregnant ladies experience unbearable pain because of abdominal muscle separation. Lower back pain starts at any point during the gestational period. Some women experience this pain during the first trimester, while some experience in the second trimester that progresses till the delivery. Some women suffer from postpartum back pain also.
See More: Back Pain While Pregnant
Causes for Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy:
This pain is one of the common ache or pain that is experienced by a pregnant woman during her pregnancy. The causes for this pain are listed below.
1. Hormonal Increase:
Relaxin is a hormone released during the pregnancy. This hormone softens and loosens the pelvic joints and ligaments. This helps in the delivery of the baby at the later stages. This hormone not only relaxes the tissues in the pelvic area but also loosens the joints all over the body. Due to this, the pain in the lower back region starts during pregnancy.
2. Shifting of Centre of Gravity:
As the pregnancy progresses, the size of the belly increases. Due to this, the center of gravity of the pregnant woman’s body gets shifted. The shift of the centre of gravity leads to an improper posture of sitting, walking, etc., which leads to pain in the lower back region.
3. Excess Weight Gain:
With an increase in the weight of the body during pregnancy, the muscles start to strain more than usual. The improper posture due to excess weight gain may lead to lower back pain.
4. Muscle Separation:
There are two parallel bands of muscles that connect at the center of the abdomen. These muscles stabilize the spine and support the waist. During pregnancy, with the increase in belly size, these muscles start to stretch, and in some cases, they even get separated. Due to this, the support on the back falls apart, and a little pressure on the back results in severe back pain, and this is referred to as diastasis recti.
Home Remedies for Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy:
The lower back pain during pregnancy is often bearable, but in some cases, this becomes unbearable for pregnant women. Doctors suggest following certain home remedies to avoid and to treat back pain during pregnancy. Some of the remedies are
1. Prenatal Massage:
Who doesn’t like a massage on the back. A perfect massage on the back will give you a relief from the back pain. Massaging improves the blood circulation around the back, which provides you with instant relief from back pain.
2. Warm water and compress:
Warm water is used to increase the temperature that can treat back pain. With the increase in temperature, blood flow also increases all over the body. Warmth can help lessen joint stiffness and muscle spasms. A homemade compress can be done by soaking a clean towel in hot water and massaging this soaked towel on the lower back region. Make sure that you do not apply this compressor on the stomach. Taking a bath in warm water also eases the back pains. Consider adding Epsom salts to the warm water to release the tightened muscles.
3. Pain relievers:
Basically, exercises are the best remedies for lower back pains. Beyond exercises, the relief from lower back pain comes from using the pain relievers. Use these pain relievers only after consulting your doctor.
Yoga is one of the best forms of exercise for any kind of pain. Performing yoga helps in stretching the muscles, thus giving relief to the lower back. Moreover, meditation done in yoga can reduce stress and keeps you happy throughout the day.
Stretching exercises can help to relieve the lower back pain. Walking is also considered as one of the best forms of exercise to ease the back pain.
6. Sleeping Positions:
Sleeping posture can also give relief from back pain. Put a pillow between the folded legs below the abdomen can provide support to the belly, thus decreasing pressure on the back. Using a lumbar pillow while sitting can help relieve from back pain.
7. Other Treatments:
Alternatively, medications such as acupuncture and chiropractic services can help in reducing the lower back pain during pregnancy.
The ancient Chinese art of healing pains and knots in your body came in the form of sharp needles being poked in certain knotted area of your body. The word puncture plays a big role in acupuncture where doctors or professional acupuncturists insert needles in your back, the pain area to be exact where they believe the flow of qui or body energy is being restricted through knots. Opening these knots through acupuncture would give you instant relief. This is the best treatment for back pain.
These belts for pregnant women provide optimum support to your growing belly and lower back. It takes away the stress on the back by giving firmer support and improves your posture. You can wear this belt for just a few hours in a day. These belts are available in various sizes that cater to women carrying multiple babies. Maternity belts are available online and in maternity stores.
See More: Remedies for Hip Pain During Pregnancy
Tips for Preventing and Avoiding Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy:
Some of the general tips that can be followed to prevent the lower back pain during pregnancy are
- Keep a check on the weight increase. Try to maintain a healthy weight throughout the pregnancy.
- It is advised not to lift any weights during pregnancy.
- Standing for extended periods can exert pressure on the back. Hence avoid standing for too much time.
- Always wear loose clothing during pregnancy.
- Wear the right shoes that give perfect support to your body during pregnancy.
- Sleeping on a flatbed can give relief from back pain and even prevents back pain.
- Do gentle stretching exercises daily during pregnancy.
- Avoid working late hours while sitting. Take breaks in the middle and walk for at least 5 minutes.
- Follow a proper diet. Avoid foods that can increase back pain.
When to Consult a Doctor:
Back pain is quite common in pregnant women during pregnancy. Mild back pain can be treated using home remedies. Pregnant women should consult a doctor if she experiences severe back pain accompanied by a urinary infection, vaginal bleeding, fever, a tingling sensation in the limbs, and irregular vaginal discharge. Sometimes the pain may be too severe that it radiates down to the leg resulting in sciatica. In such cases, consult your health care provider for further treatment.
To conclude, it can be said that lower back pain is widespread in most of the cases during pregnancy. Only in some cases this pain may aggravate and results to sciatica. Follow the above mentioned preventive measures and tips to avoid lower back pain during pregnancy. Also, try out the home remedies to relieve from lower back pain and share with us your experiences.
See More: Upper Back Pain While Pregnant
Frequently Asked Questions And Answers:
Q1. Is lower back pain a sign of pregnancy?
Ans: All back pains are not signs of pregnancy. However, in some cases, lower back pain is a symptom of early pregnancy. Some pregnant women experience lower back pain during her early pregnancy.
Q2. Is lower back pain sign of labor?
Ans: Labor usually begins at the end of the 3rd trimester. Sometimes the lower back pain in the final trimester can be a sign of labor. If you experience severe back pain during the early 3rd trimester, consult your doctor to check on the status of the baby for any preterm labor.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are just suggestions, and the website is no way responsible for the side effects it may cause. It is better to consult a doctor before you plan anything, especially when you are pregnant.