Back pain during pregnancy is common. You have a lot of extra weight pulling at your abdomen and putting strain on the muscles that support it and your back. Though it isn’t unusual, you don’t have to suffer through this pain. There are ways to alleviate it safely and effectively. Read on to discover several safe ways to get rid of back pain so you can embrace the joys of being pregnant.
1. Know When to Seek Help
Minor back pain during pregnancy is common, but if the pain is severe or lasts for more than two weeks, you may need to seek help with it. For example, you can turn to your osteopath for both traditional and holistic treatment of the pain, or if it is severe or accompanied by bleeding or burning during urination, your OB/GYN can recommend the right course of treatment.
Keep track of your back pain so you can better determine when it’s normal and when a doctor’s help is warranted.
2. Focus on Good Posture
As your body changes during pregnancy, the tendency is to lean backward to avoid falling forward with the increased frontal weight. However, this can put pressure on the lower back, causing pain.
Focus on practicing good pregnancy posture. Stand up straight, don’t lock your knees, keep your chest held high, and relax your shoulders. If you must stand for extended periods, place your feet on a low step and switch legs from time to time to relieve the stress on your back.
3. Wear Supportive Gear
While you’re pregnant, you’ll want to wear the most supportive and comfortable gear possible. Good shoes, for example, are a must. Avoid high heels as they cause you to pitch forward, posing a fall risk.
You may also want to try a pregnancy belt to help support the weight of your growing belly. While not all doctors feel this is necessary, many women find the added support helpful.
4. Lift Heavy Things Properly
While you’re pregnant, and even when you’re not, lifting properly is important. You should always lift with your legs – never with your back. Squat down to the object rather than bending at the waist. And perhaps most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Knowing your limits is the best way to avoid straining your back by lifting too much.
5. Stay Active Throughout Your pregnancy
If you aren’t used to regular exercise, you’ll want to ease into daily activity to reduce back pain during pregnancy. Low-impact activities such as walking and water aerobics are great while you’re pregnant as they provide exercise without strain.
Also, talk to your doctor about back stretching exercises that can help with the pain. A good one to try is the “cat” stretch. Get on the floor on your hands and knees with your head aligned with your back. Slowly round your back toward the ceiling and hold for a few seconds. Gradually release to the original position and repeat. Work up to ten or more reps a day to build the muscles around your back and abdomen.
Note: Try to keep your back as flat as possible when returning to the original position. Don’t allow your belly to sag, as this could cause injury and increase back pain.
Many women experience back pain during pregnancy. The extra frontal weight and changing body structure put a strain on the back. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to alleviate and prevent back pain during pregnancy. Follow the tips above, and don’t be shy about talking to your doctor or best local osteopath about your pain.