Back pain—ouch! I often see pregnant women rubbing their back, and I can totally relate! I had horrible back pain when I was pregnant. It came to the point that I couldn’t sleep well, and at times couldn’t even walk straight because of it. Let me share with you a bit more about back pain during pregnancy.
Back pain during pregnancy is a common complaint, especially around the end of the second trimester when your tummy starts to get larger. Add to this the changing center of gravity, the additional weight you’re gaining, and those loosening ligaments getting you ready for delivery. Back pain can be very uncomfortable and add to the exhaustion you must be feeling by now!
Here are some things you can do to prevent and ease that horrible back pain during pregnancy:
Wear the Right Shoes to Prevent Back Pain
Your feet offer support to the whole body, especially to the spine and hips. This means that wearing shoes with the right support is a must to avoid back pain. Flat shoes do not offer good arch support, while high heels can shift your already awry balance forward. Low-heeled shoes that are comfortably padded are the best choice. They not only relieve the spine of too much pressure but keep your footsies comfy as well!
Try a Maternity Support Belt
Though not scientifically proven, many women swear by the relief a maternity support belt can give. A good quality belt can offer support to your growing belly and ease the burden carried by your lower back and pelvis. This additional support can be especially helpful when you’re moving about and are expecting a long day ahead.
Get some Hot or Cold Therapy
Applying a hot pack or a cold compress to your lower back can offer a great deal of relief. This is especially helpful during the third trimester when back pain can worsen. You can leave the pack on for 10-15 minutes to ease your achy back or hips.
Sleep on Your Side
You may know by now that sleeping on your back can get quite uncomfortable. It makes your growing belly put more pressure on your back, making you wake up to stiffness and soreness. Sleeping on your side with your knees bent can help relieve the pressure. Make sure to place suitable pillows behind your back, under your abdomen and between your knees for support.
Stand with Good Posture
Many pregnant women compensate for the added weight in front by leaning back. This strains the back muscles and triggers soreness. You can counteract back pain by keeping your posture in check. Stand tall, keep your chest out and your shoulders back. It may also help to stand using a stance that’s a bit wide. Avoid standing for long periods of time as well.
Sit with Proper Back Support
When sitting, make sure to choose a chair that you can easily lean into. Avoid chairs that are too large as they make you lean too far back for support. If needed, place a pillow behind your lower back to make yourself comfy. When I was pregnant, I myself brought a pillow along when I expected to sit for an hour or two, even when eating out for dinner!
Exercise and Gentle Stretches can Help
With your doctor’s approval, gentle physical activities can help strengthen your back muscles and ease the pain. If needed, especially in cases of intense back pain, a physical therapist can guide you on proper stretches and exercises that can relieve the pain and prevent further discomfort.
For back pain during pregnancy that persists and lasts for a week or two, taking a safe to use over-the-counter medication like acetaminophen may help.