How Is Your Health?

How Can You Treat Back Pain During Pregnancy?

by Camila Davidson

If you're suffering from back pain during pregnancy, you're not alone. Between the weight gain (that's often concentrated in just one area), water retention, and the stretching of ligaments that occurs during the second and third trimester, it's not unusual to suffer from painful lower back spasms or a constant dull backache. But what options are available to treat this back pain without harming your unborn child? Read on for some tips and tricks on managing your back pain during pregnancy.

First, Rule Out More Serious Issues

In some cases, back pain during pregnancy can be the result of an untreated urinary tract infection (UTI), kidney infection, early labor, or other pregnancy complications. While some back pain is to be expected, if the back pain comes on suddenly, is severe enough to prevent you from doing certain activities, or comes with other symptoms (like painful urination), it's a good idea to talk to your obstetrician before pursuing other pain relief methods.

Start With Stretching

There are a number of pregnancy-safe stretches you can do to increase flexibility and take some of the pressure off your spine and pelvis. And if you haven't started a yoga regimen, pregnancy may be the time to pursue this stretching-heavy type of exercise. 

Avoid Overdoing It

"Overdoing it" can refer both to physical exertion and sitting or lying in one position. Just as it's important not to lift anything heavy without bending at your knees, not your waist, it's also crucial to get up and walk around for a few minutes every hour to avoid becoming too stiff. Switch your office chair to an ergonomic version that will encourage you to maintain good posture and avoid slouching, and consider investing in a footrest to provide some extra support. 

Invest in Extra Bedroom Support

If your current mattress is on the softer side, making it stiffer may seem counterintuitive when it comes to relieving back pain. However, a stiffer mattress will provide you with more back support, reducing the "skew" of your spine when you switch positions during the night. There's no need to invest in a new mattress if you like your current one, but you can put a wide board between the mattress and box spring to add some instant stiffness. Also consider sleeping on your side with a bent knee, placing a pregnancy pillow (or a long body pillow) between your knees to make this position a more comfortable one.

Talk to a doctor like Wayne Isaacson MD about back pain treatments to learn more.