During pregnancy, your body goes through a lot of changes such as gaining weight and producing the hormone relaxin. In order to prepare your body for childbirth, relaxin loosens the ligaments in your spine and pelvic area. But this can also cause instability in your spine and pain in your lower back. To make your pregnancy more comfortable, you can manage the pain in the following ways.
Maintain Good Posture
As your baby grows and gains weight, your center of gravity tends to shift forward. The immediate reaction is to lean back so you won’t fall forward. However, this can lead to putting unnecessary pressure on the muscles in your lower back, which may be painful. Keep in mind that maintaining a good posture can help prevent more strain on your back.
Stand up straight and don’t push your belly forward to avoid straining your back. Also, drop your shoulders and keep them relaxed. As much as possible, refrain from standing too long. But if you must, take frequent breaks and get a low step stool where you can rest your foot.
Proper posture when sitting down may also reduce back pains during pregnancy. It’s best to sit on an ergonomic chair with good back support or use a small pillow behind your lower back. Also, sit up straight and use a stool or a box to prop both feet.
Lift Objects with Caution
Avoid lifting any object weighing more than a few pounds. When you need to lift something small, do it properly to avoid hurting yourself. Squat down and lift with your legs, not with you back. Also, don’t bend at the waist. Remember to know your limits and ask for help.
Do Approved Physical Activity
As long as your doctor approves, regular physical activity can help you strengthen your back and may relieve back pains. Remember to take and it easy during pregnancy and stick to low-impact activities like walking and stretching exercises. You may ask a physical therapist for recommendation on the different stretches you can do safely.
Wear the Right Gear
One of the best ways to manage your back pain during pregnancy is to avoid wearing shoes with high heels. They can strain your back and may cause you to fall when you shift your balance forward. Instead, go for low-heeled shoes with good arch support. To bear the weight of your growing belly, you may also want to invest in a maternity support belt or pants with wide elastic bands that can fit under your belly.
Adjust Your Sleep Position
A few adjustments to your sleeping position may also relieve back pains. Instead of sleeping on your back, sleep on your sides and make sure to keep at least one knee bent. In addition, you may also use pregnancy or support pillows under your belly, between your bent knees, and behind your back. To rest comfortably, you may also want to sleep on a firm mattress or place a board between the mattress and box spring.
Apply Hot Compress
You may apply a hot compress on your lower back for 15–20 minutes to reduce soreness and pain, improve blood circulation, and decrease muscle spasms. Be careful when applying heat to any parts of your body to avoid burns.
Consider Complementary Treatments
Some complementary treatments may help manage back pains during pregnancy such as:
Massage therapy – This can help you feel more relaxed and relieve any muscle tension. To ensure safe massage therapy, talk to the therapist about the ideal body position as this will depend on how far along you are in your pregnancy. Also, avoid aromatherapy oils as some may be harmful to your pregnancy.
Acupuncture – As a form of Chinese medicine, thin needles are inserted into your skin at different parts of your body. This has been proven to be effective in relieving back pains during pregnancy.
Chiropractic treatment – This treatment may help manage pain in the back, hips, and joints.
Before proceeding with any treatment, make sure to consult your doctor first. Also, always inform the therapist of your pregnancy.
Consult Your Doctor
Back pains can also be a sign of urinary tract infection or preterm labor, so you also need to watch out for accompanying symptoms like fever and vaginal bleeding. If your back pain becomes severe or lasts for more than two weeks, it’s best to talk to your health care provider. They may recommend other treatments or prescribe medication to help manage it like acetaminophen. Make sure to stick to your doctor’s recommended dosage for a safe pregnancy.
If you find yourself taking more than you should, then you need to immediately discuss this with your doctor. They may refer you to the best Phoenix rehab center or a similar facility in your location with a trained staff that can support the needs of pregnant women such as assessing your drug exposure and helping you to safely stop its usage.