Reduce lower back pain during pregnancy.

Lower back pain during pregnancy is a common complaint. Unfortunately, it can spoil the magic of one of life’s most miraculous experiences. Thankfully, there ways to reduce lower back pain during pregnancy that are both simple and effective.  

What Causes Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy?

Studies show that about 70% of woman complain of lower back pain during pregnancy. (1)

35% of them said their pain was at least moderately severe. (2)

Drastic physical and hormonal changes are the reason lower back pain is so common among pregnant women.

1. Weight Gain 

As the baby grows, spinal structures and muscles have to adapt to the new demands.

This requires a shift in posture, balance, and joint function in general.

Muscles, ligaments, and joints become more strained as they work harder to support extra weight.

The speed at which these changes happen is at least partly to blame for the strain on the lower back. Oftentimes the spine just gets overwhelmed and back pain is the result.

Read More: Risk of lower back pain increases with weight.

2. Changes in Center of Gravity 

Your center of gravity is the imaginary spot around which all parts of your body are balanced.

It’s normally located at the sacrum bone near the second sacral level. (3)

This is your lower back!

As a woman’s abdomen grows, the center of gravity shifts, altering the way gravity acts on her body.

Read More: Risk of lower back pain increases with weight.

The natural lower back curve is also accentuated, adding stress to the lumbar spine. Additionally, muscles, ligaments, and joints have to work harder to keep her body upright.

The outcome of all these changes is often lower back pain. Back problems that were already present can worsen, as well.

3. Hormonal Changes

There are two hormones that can lead to lower back pain during pregnancy.

They are relaxin and progesterone.

Along with their may functions, these two hormones loosen ligaments in the pelvis to make delivery possible.

Unfortunately, this effect can also cause joints to become unstable which increases the risk of injury.

In addition to extra weight, it’s much easier to hurt yourself while doing even simple tasks. This is why modifying activities like your exercise routine and household chores is important.

4. Postural Changes

How you stand, walk, sit, and sleep, all have a significant impact on your body.

The extra weight from a growing baby only adds to the burden placed on the spine and postural muscles.

Therefore, any activity performed with bad posture magnifies the physical stress.

Tips for Reducing Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy

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1. Schedule a Chiropractic Consultation

Most chiropractors are skilled at adjusting soon-to-be moms. There are even special tables designed to accommodate the physical changes that take place during pregnancy.

Chiropractors are specialists in spinal health. We’ll find the root cause of your lower back pain and devise a plan to reduce it.

Sometimes, the pain will resolve completely.

A pelvis free from misalignment and restriction can also make delivery easier. (4)

Read More: 10 questions to ask during your chiropractic consultation.

2. Practice Prenatal Yoga

Yoga isn’t just people in a room bending in bizarre and complicated ways. It’s actually a great method for keeping the spine healthy and mobile.

It’s beneficial for all ages and body types, including pregnant women.

Prenatal yoga will gently flex, extend, and rotate the spine in healthy ways. It will help strengthen your lower back and hip muscles, as well.

YouTube is a great resource for short yoga routines during pregnancy.

3. Apply Ice, Not Heat, For Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy!

I know there are differing theories about whether to use ice or heat for back pain.

When it comes to lower back pain, I find that ice works better.

Inflammation of spinal joints is nearly always at the core of back pain, not “pulled” muscles.

Ice will decrease this inflammation while heat will make it worse.

Reducing inflammation can also help improve spinal movement which is necessary for the healing process.

Do not ice sore or stiff muscles, though. The cold will make them contract and possibly hurt more. Place the ice directly on the spine through a thin cloth.

4. Bend and Lift Properly

Bending and lifting incorrectly can irritate spinal nerves. It’s important to maintain good balance and center of gravity whenever possible.

  • Avoid lifting anything heavy.
  • If you must lift something, bend your knees and hinge your hips back. Never bend over with straight legs.
  • Try to bear equal weight in each hand when carrying groceries, items for work, etc. A backpack worn over both shoulders might be helpful, too.
  • Hold any objects you’re carrying close to your body.

Read More: Prevent back pain at home.

5. Maintain Your Posture 

  • Try to avoid sitting for long periods.
  • If you must sit for longer than 20 minutes, consider using a lumbar cushion.
  • Also, get a foot stool if your feet don’t reach the floor.
  • Adjust your workspace so that your eyes are level to your computer screen. This will reduce the strain on your neck and keep you upright.
  • Sit with your backside against the back of the chair. 

Read More: Prevent back pain at home.

6. Get a Prenatal Massage

Massage is a wonderful tool for reducing lower back pain during pregnancy.

A prenatal massage is very much like a traditional massage. The main difference is the therapist will take precautions to ensure safety for you and your baby.

You shouldn’t lie on your stomach, and you probably won’t lie flat on your back either.

Your therapist will adjust the table and pillow arrangements to make your massage more comfortable.

Make sure you inform your massage therapist that you are pregnant so appropriate accommodations can be made for your visit.

7. Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

It goes without saying that your diet is supremely important both before and during pregnancy. After all, good nutrition is critical for the baby’s development.

Likewise, your diet plays a huge part in how well your body handles the pregnancy.

Processed foods, junk foods, sugar, dairy, and refined carbohydrates can all increase inflammation that causes pain. (5)

A diet rich in foods like vegetables, low-sugar fruits, fish, and other healthy fare will also help you avoid excess weight gain that can add more stress to your lower back.

8. Support Your Lower Back When Getting Up

As your baby grows, getting out of bed or up from a couch becomes more and more difficult.

To take the strain off your back, roll to one side and then push yourself up with your arms while swinging your feet down to the floor. Your upper body, hips, and legs should all move at once.

A Final Word About Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy

While lower back pain during pregnancy is common, it isn’t unavoidable. There are plenty of ways to help relieve pain while your body is changing.

Unfortunately, once your baby is born, lower back stress doesn’t stop. Caring for an infant comes with its own set of unique physical challenges.

Luckily, the advice listed in this article can help with lower back pain after pregnancy, too.

*None of what you read on this website should be considered medical advice. If you make any changes to your life or health regimen because of something you read here, please do so under the guidance of a licensed health professional.

How to Reduce Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy