Back pain during pregnancy is common, and it’s no surprise. You’re gaining weight, your center of gravity has changed, and your hormones are relaxing the ligaments in the joints of your pelvis. However, there are some things that you can do to prevent or ease this back pain during pregnancy.
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Practice Good Posture
As your baby grows, your center of gravity will shift forward. To avoid falling forward, you might compensate by leaning back, which can strain the muscles in your lower back and contribute to your back pain while you’re pregnant. Try to maintain good posture:
- Stand up straight and tall
- Hold your chest high
- Keep your shoulders back and relaxed
- Don’t lock your knees
When your stand, use a comfortably wide stance for the best support. If you need to stand for a long period of time, rest one foot on a low step stool, and take time for breaks.
Good posture also means you should sit in the right way. Choose a chair that supports your back, or place a small pillow behind your lower back.
Get The Right Gear
Wear low-heeled, not flat, shoes that have good arch support. Avoid wearing high heels, which can shift your balance forward more and cause you to fall. You might also find it helpful to wear a maternity support belt. Research on the effectiveness of these belts is limited, but some women do find the extra support helpful. If you want more advice on the right gear, speak to a Prenatal Chiropractor.
When you lift small objects, squat down and lift with your legs. Don’t bend at the waist or lift with your back. You should also make sure you know your limits. Always ask for help if you need it.
Sleep On Your Side
Try to sleep on your side and not your back. Keep one or both of your knees bent. Consider using pregnancy or support pillows between your bent knees, under your abdomen, and behind your back.
Try Heat, Cold, Or Massage
Evidence to support the effectiveness of this is limited, massage or applying a heating pad or ice pack can help, so is worth trying if you’re uncomfortable.
Keep Physical Activity In Your Daily Routine
Regular physical activity can help to keep your back strong and can relieve back pain during pregnancy. Get the go-head from your doctor to try some gentle activity, such as walking or exercise in water. A physical therapist could show you some stretches and exercises that might help you.
Stretch your lower back. Rest on your hands and knees with your head in line with your back. Pull in your stomach, rounding your back slightly. Hold for a few seconds, then relax your back and stomach, keeping your back as flat as possible. Work up to ten repetitions. Ask your doctor for more stretches if you’re still in pain.
Consider Complementary Therapies
Some research suggests that acupuncture could relieve pregnancy back pain. Chiropractic treatment might provide comfort for some women too. If you are considering complementary therapy, discuss it with your health care provider and make sure the chiropractor or acupuncturist knows you’re pregnant and has experience with pregnant clients.