The answer to if back pain is normal during pregnancy might seem like it would have a fairly straightforward “yes” or “no”. But, while, yes, some back pain is common during pregnancy, you should call your doctor if it becomes intolerable or debilitating.
There’s evidence that 50% to 70% of women will experience some form of back pain during pregnancy. While it is more common later in the pregnancy, many women report back-related aches and pains even in the first trimester.
What Causes Back Pain During Pregnancy?
First, back pain is a common ailment in the general population, pregnant or not. If you suffered back pain before you were pregnant you will likely suffer it during the pregnancy too. Other reasons why you might experience back pain include:
- Hormonal Issues – Hormones are released during pregnancy to allow ligaments and joints in the pelvic area to be more pliable and loose. This may affect the support of the lower back.
- Additional Weight – Of course, you’re carrying a significant amount of added weight and it is more forward on your body, so your center of gravity is further away from your back. Both of these can contribute to back pain.
- Postural Issues – If you have poor posture or you’re forced to stand for extended periods, it could exacerbate back pain during pregnancy.
How to Treat Back Pain During Pregnancy
Again, if your back pain becomes acute, you should seek medical advice from your doctor. Otherwise, you can relieve symptoms at least to an extent with some of the following treatments.
- Wear a Support Belt – A back support belt can help replace the support your back is missing and needs. Make sure to wear it well below your tummy and that it is not too restrictive.
- Try Sleeping on Your Side – If you sleep on your back, sleeping on your side may relieve the pain.
- Try to Exercise – This can help in many ways, but stretching exercises can bring blood and oxygen to the area to help relieve muscle tension.
- Try Massage Therapy or Chiropractic Care – If you’ve never treated yourself to massage therapy, now is as good a time as any. By manipulating the soft tissue around the affected area, and even other parts of the body can reduce the pain. If your back pain is mainly due to postural issues or being hunched over at work, chiropractic care will not only relieve the pain, but help improve your posture.
If you liked this post, check out our recent article about five causes of wrist pain.