For many soon-to-be moms, and even for many women who have been through it before, the joy of pregnancy is tempered by the torment of back pain. About 50 percent to 70 percent of women suffer from lower back pain during pregnancy, studies show. Factor in that about 4 million babies are born in the U.S. each year, and that’s a lot of pain.
Fortunately, there are safe solutions for pregnancy back pain relief. From practicing better posture to getting the right kinds of exercise, to incorporating ergonomic seating for lumbar support, potential remedies that don’t include medication are plentiful.
The back pain associated with pregnancy often stems from weight gain, a change in your center of gravity, and/or the fact that your hormones are directing the ligaments in your pelvic joints to relax. That causes those ligaments to become shorter, tighter and weaker.
Preventive action can reduce the incidence or severity of pregnancy-related back pain. Experts say that even before pregnancy, women should educate themselves on maintaining proper posture, how to lift weights without stressing their back muscles, and how to use the proper cushions, beds and ergonomic seats.
While these measures can help, preventing pain completely isn’t always possible. While this discomfort is a reminder that there’s a baby growing inside, it’s a reminder not worthy of celebration.
If you have severe back pain that lasts more than two weeks — or is accompanied by vaginal bleeding, fever, or burning during urination — consult your health care provider.
With all of this in mind, here are some of the top solutions for how to relieve back pain during pregnancy, and why each helps you avoid back pain. As always, consult your obstetrician/gynecologist before beginning any activity while pregnant.