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Back Pain During Pregnancy And The Treatment

Back Pain during Pregnancy

Back pain affects pregnant women particularly during the later stages of their pregnancy. The possibility of this back pain during pregnancy is about 48% - 56%. In fact, it is so common that this is considered as a normal part of pregnancy
One-third of all pregnant women get severe back pain during pregnancy that interferes with their work, activities, and daily living, this makes even worse at night making them sleepless.

Back pain and Risk Factors

Back pain related to pregnancy is seen commonly in women who have had a history of back pain. This back pain becomes more intense during 12th week of pregnancy till 29th week of pregnancy and decreases its intensity after that.

Women with
twin or multiple pregnancies are more at a risk for back pain.

Women in their later pregnancies will be more at risk for back pain. 

Women who are pregnant at young age are also at a risk for back pain, possibly due to the higher sensitivity to hormonal changes or due to more pronounced collagen laxity.

Women who are
overweight and obese are also at risk for back pain during pregnancy.

Women with short stature are also at risk for back pain during pregnancy.

Back pain during pregnancy may also be related to sitting and working for long hours in bad posture and same posture.

Standing for long hours and wearing uneven shoes and heels can also contribute to back pain during pregnancy.

Women who have had backaches during pregnancy are also more prone to back pain after delivery.

Mechanism of Back Pain during Pregnancy

Pregnancy brings several physiological changes in a woman’s body, which include structural and mechanical changes to the spine and hips in order to help facilitate pregnancy and delivery. Changes may also include posture, nature of walk, and total water content in the body. There may also be engorgement of blood vessels around the epidural blood vessels. Most of the pregnancy weight is concentrated more in the lower pelvis with a protruding belly, which leads to lower back pain.

Increase in total body water mean there is fluids collection in the connective tissues that is around the pelvis and vertebral column that increases the laxity around the joints.  Fluid retention gets aggravated by hormonal changes during pregnancy. There is a hormone relaxin that is released during pregnancy, which softens the ligaments around the cervix and pelvic joints by increasing fluid retention in these tissues to help with childbirth.

Treatment for Back Pain during Pregnancy

This is very important to maintain good posture, good methods of getting up from sitting and lying position, avoiding awkward liftings etc.

Physiotherapy during
third trimester can help relieve back pain. Other treatments include support for the back by using a supportive belt, wedge shaped pillows for support, pelvic girdles etc.

Hot or cold compressions or both of them alternatively can relieve from backache during pregnancy in some women.

Pain relievers such as tablets, ointments, creams, and sprays over the pain area can be used upon your doctor’s advice.

Articles you may be interested in:

How to Prevent Back Pain ?

Management of Acute and Chronic Back Pain