Lower back pain is a very common problem faced by women during pregnancy. This pain can be present from the early stage of pregnancy or can be seen in the later stage. The pain in the lower back area can be localised or can spread upwards or downwards from the legs.
Causes of Lower Back Pain
1. Change in Posture
As the baby bump grows, the inward lordotic curvature of the spine (lumbar area) increases. Due to this change in posture, the back muscle, adjacent joints and ligaments have to work more for compensation and thus pain develops.
2. Weak Abdominal Muscles
Muscles of the back support our spine. Weak abdominal muscles put extra stress on our spine, thus back muscles have to work more to hold the spine correctly. With the growing baby bump, the abdominal muscles become weaker, putting extra strain on the muscles, joints and ligaments of the back.
3. Joint Laxity
Relaxin hormone is released to soften the ligaments and loosen the joint structure for the accommodation of the growing uterus. This ligament laxity is responsible for pain.
Stretching of the abdominal muscles and hip muscles also causes pain in the lower back.
5. Narrowing of the Spinal Canal
Increase in the curvature of the spine leads to a narrower canal due to which the nerve passing through this canal gets compressed and the pregnant mom feels pain in the leg.
6. Centre of Gravity
As the baby bump grows, the centre of gravity shifts forward which can lead to falling. To prevent falling, the spine and other parts of the body try to adjust. This change in body posture puts extra pressure on the back and other areas, thus leading to pain.
7. Poor Posture or Positioning
Poor posture, standing or sitting for a long time, lying down incorrectly may also develop pain.
8. Multipara Women
Women with multiple pregnancies generally develop pain in the back if they are having weak abdominal muscles.
9. Excess Weight
Women with more weight are likely to develop back pain as the weight of the baby also adds up, putting extra pressure on the spine.
Stress is also one of the psychological factors which can develop pain.
Tips To Control Pain
Try practising good posture by keeping the body straight, holding the shoulder back, and not locking the knees. The body should be relaxed.
Always try to stand with both feet a little apart so that you can get a wide base of support.
Avoid standing or sitting for long. Put a pillow on the lower back curvature of the spine while sitting, and while standing, put one foot on a low stool.
Lie on your sides with a pillow between legs.
Wear a supportive or maternity belt.
Avoid wearing high heels or flat slippers. A heel with a good arch is better.
Avoid forward bending. Always lift objects by squatting.
Try doing physical activity like walking, and easy household activities.
Freehand exercise and mild stretching can also be done.
Try doing back exercises.
Warm compress or massage can be helpful.
Sleep on a firm mattress.
If you are having severe back pain for more than 2 weeks, and fever, vaginal bleeding, and burning during urination is present, than it can be a sign of urinary tract infection or preterm labour. Contact your gynaecologist.
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