Backache during pregnancy…
When you are pregnant, there is a likely that you will be having an achy back. Backache is a common symptom that affects women sometimes from the first trimester. But as with other symptoms that you are having at this time, knowing that you are having a baby is enough to ignore the problems, at least part of the time.
Causes of backache
Backache affects between 50% and 70% of pregnant women. This condition can place you in a very uncomfortable position especially on an already stressed physical body. But if you know why you’re having backache, probably you will be able to deal with it better. From the first trimester of your pregnancy you may feel a dull ache in the lower part of your back. This generally develops into a growing uncomfortable pain as you go into the second trimester, and could get even worse in the third. Where does this pain come from?
Pregnancy hormones are to be blamed. From the very moment of conception pregnancy hormones start working inside of you. As early as the 10th week the body begins to produce the hormone relaxing that causes the ligaments in your pelvic area to stretch and the joints to become loose. Relaxing is really preparing your body to accommodate and support your growing baby inside of you. So do not worry when you try to get up and you are feeling achy all over and not to mention your back that feels sore.
But don’t blame it all on hormone. In a normal pregnancy a woman puts on 25 to 35 pounds. Your growing belly pushes out in front causing your spine to have to bear some of this weight in supporting your baby. In later months, the heavy uterus bears down onto the blood vessels and the nerves in the lower back and pelvis and you are going to feel this as back pain. Then there is the separation of the rectal abdominis muscles that run from close to your rib cage to your pubic area. This happens as the size of the uterus increases and puts a strain on your back.
A big tummy before you also tends to change your posture and your centre of gravity shifts. You may notice at this time your back curves and the weight of your baby is bound to pull you forward, oftentimes resulting in backache. You may also find that when you are stressed the muscles in your back become tensed and you feel spasms during this time. This is a time that you will have to find a way to relieve those stresses that are adding to your distress.
How backache affects you
Your pain will occur just where your lower back meets your pelvic area. There is the tendency to confuse this pain with pain in your pelvis. But your backache is a dull pain that is felt right in your lower back and when you try to move, it becomes a bother. So you will feel the pain as you get up to walk, when you turn in your bed, when you walk or stand for long, when dressing or undressing and even trying to lift light weights.
You can relieve the symptoms of backache
You don’t have to suffer your way through your pregnancy with backache. You can do something to ease the distress and make the journey a bit lighter.
Exercise – Stronger muscles will help to hold your uterus firmly in place and consistent light exercises can help to tighten those stretched ligaments. Walking, swimming and stationary cycling are pretty safe exercises that you could do. Here’s a great way to strengthen those back and abdomen muscles with floor exercises. Get on your hands and knees and level your back so you are parallel to the floor. Pretend that you are stopping yourself from passing gas or peeing and squeeze your bottom tightly as you breathe out. Squeeze for 5 – 10 seconds as you breathe in and out. Repeat the exercise and try not to move your back.
You could add this Superman pose to your routine. Still on all fours, raise your right arm and left leg at the same time. Hold steady for about 5 seconds before lowering your limbs. Switch to the other side and repeat the exercise. You could do so for a minute or two. Remember however to consult with your health care provider before engaging in any exercise activity.
Get a Massage – At any time you will appreciate the soothing and therapeutic effects of a massage. But most of all you may find that it eases the pain. Your partner could gently rub where your pain is. However it is best to get the services of a masseuse who is trained in prenatal massage.
Practice good posture – Protect your back especially when you sit. Sitting especially for long periods can put a lot of strain on your spine and make backache worse. Sit with your back against the chair. Ensure that the seat is padded for extra comfort. Lift your feet on a cushion but don’t cross them. This can cause the pelvic muscles to tilt forward and pressure the adjoining back muscles. At the same time take breaks. Being seated or standing too long can cause pressure on the back muscles. While you break, relieve the back muscles by placing a leg on a stool.
Try Acupuncture – The age old Chinese non-medicinal tradition where thin needles are inserted in the skin is said to be able to relieve backache during pregnancy. You can consult your health care provider on this and seek to hire a well-trained expert who knows the points to avoid.
Get good sleep support – The way you lie down and what you lie on can increase your backache and make sleep difficult. Pregnant women tend to sleep on their sides causing their spine to drop to the bed, more like a hanging cord. You will definitely feel more pain and lying down is often is uncomfortable. You can relieve the symptom by changing or making adjustments to your mattress. Make your mattress firm by placing board under it. You could also use a body pillow to cushion your back or belly to help to position your spine and make it stable. Simply roll a thick towel lengthwise and place it behind you at your waist where your spine sags most. You could also try sleeping with a pillow between your legs to reduce the pressure on your pelvis and back.
Wear the right shoes – Wearing of high heeled shoes will only worsen your back pain as they increase the curvature of your back and pushes down the weight of your pregnancy into your spine and joints. So take them off for the time being and go with flat ones. These should not be too flat however, but have some built-in support to distribute your weight equally to your feet and back. When there is balance in posture, you should have less discomfort.
More often than not you can expect to have backache when you are pregnant. With the action of hormone on your joints and spine, and the weight of a growing uterus, there’s no doubt that they will push your posture out of orbit and give you pain. Fortunately, there are ways to relieve your backache so take these opportunities and live better.