Pregnancy causes rapid changes to your body that are hard to keep up with. One of the more unpleasant changes is an increase in back and pelvic pain. If you have a history of back issues, then you are more likely to suffer from them during pregnancy. Not only is back pain uncomfortable, it can actually make daily life harder. However, there are some ways to adjust, cope and lessen these problems for a more comfortable pregnancy.
What causes or aggravates back pain during pregnancy?
As your womb expands and the baby grows, your center of gravity changes. This means that you may be compensating by using muscles you aren't accustomed to using. Another problem is that your hormones are changing the muscles, ligaments and joints to make them softer and more pliable for when the baby arrives. Back problems can begin right at the start of pregnancy or later on as the baby gets larger and begins pressing on muscles and nerves as well.
What are easy ways to prevent back pain?
While it may be hard to totally be back-pain free for your entire pregnancy, you can help reduce its chances and frequency. One way to is keep your body at a healthy weight and do exercises that strengthen your back muscles and posture. You can also try stretching exercises and yoga. Your doctor may have specific exercises for you to do during your pregnancy. Also, try to reduce or change any activity in which you need to bend at the waist. Use your legs for picking up things off the floor or place baskets and bags on tables and chairs so you don't have to bend as far to pick them up. Practice good posture right from the beginning to keep those muscles strong.
How can back pain be relieved once it's started?
Once your back pain gets to the point where it's hard to function, then you may need to take action. Ask your doctor about safe anti-inflammatory medications. Try using a heating pad or taking a warm bath to help relax the muscles. You could also get a prenatal massage with a trained therapist, or schedule an acupuncture session. If your back pain is particularly bad, then you may want to talk to your doctor about physical therapy so that you can work around the pain.
While back pain during pregnancy is common, the good thing is that it's not permanent. Unless there's some kind of trauma, it's likely to go away within a few months after giving birth. If you are having back pain and you're having a hard time with it, take to your OB-GYN about, exercises, medications and therapy to help you cope. If your back pain is especially severe and long-lasting and have a fever, then don't hesitate to see your doctor right away.
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