Back pain during pregnancy is a common and unpleasant symptom. It is more likely to occur towards the end of the pregnancy but can occur at any stage. The pain can be in the upper, mid or most commonly lower back.
Lower back pain is a very common problem for those who have given birth.
Possible Causes of Lower Back Pain
More Mobile Ligaments And Joints
Increases of Pregnancy related hormones can make your ligaments & joints more lax than they are normally making you more susceptible to sprains and strains. You are more at risk at the lower back and pelvis as the baby becomes larger putting more strain through the joints.
Back Muscles Overloading
As your pregnancy develops your tummy muscles will naturally turn off, a common compensation for this is for the back muscles to work harder to make up for this. This can make them ache and feel very fatigued and if pushed too far can lead to spasm and pain.
The abdominal muscles are under a great amount of pressure just supporting your bump everyday especially in the final stages of the pregnancy so can strain. Some people may even may experience an abdominal tear.
This happens to everyone in pregnancy by the last trimester but it may start earlier with some especially if you have been pregnant before. The abdominal separation affects how your core muscles work and how they work together. Our Core Muscle Programs help you rectify this issue after birth.
Weakened Deep Core Muscles
If these deep core muscles are weak which is common then there is not a strong core centre meaning that joints, other soft tissues and muscles take the strain and this can lead to pain.
Treatments For Lower Back Pain
Heat can be applied to the lower back and give relief. You can use a hot water bottle or there are heat packs that are available to heat up in the microwave. Pharmacys also offer a stick on heat patch which activates when you fold the patch before applying and the effect can last a couple of hours so can be worn while moving around.
Core Stability Exercises
Our Pelvic Floor & Core Workouts will help you build strength in the Pelvic Floor & Deep Abs (Tranversus Abdominis) muscles which will help the muscles work as a powerhouse of your body centre helping your lower back not give in and strain.
Pain Relieving Patches And Pain Medication
Pain relieving patches that you can apply to the lower back come in different types. Some contain herbal relieving remedies or Tiger Balm and others contain medications that require prescription. Always check the label to make sure safe to use in pregnancy. Mild Oral Pain and Anti-Inflammatory medications are normally ok to take but need to be taken only with consent of your Doctor as some are not safe to use in Pregnancy. Your Doctor can also advise on right dosages.
General Moving And Movement Exercises
Generally just moving helps lower back pain. Often for those who sit around it makes the back pain worse and if you do not exercise and move your body becomes deconditioned and then if you start trying to move again the back pain will start. Try and walk more – gradually increasing each time how far you walk. There are certain exercises that can help lower back pain. Have a go at our Lower Back Pain Relief Exercises Below and try these exercises once a day.
For the exercises involving one leg also repeat with the other leg.
Professional Help Options
In Pregnancy it is best to seek advice from your Doctor or Obstetrician with regards to advising on any pain medication that you can take. If you have Health Insurance usually a Doctor referral is required before you start a course of treatment with a Physiotherapist or other Health professional.
Physios And Osteopaths
There are a number of treatments they can offer to help. First they will take a thorough history of your complaint and medical history and then do a proper full physical assessment to diagnose what is causing your pain. They will then be able to carry out the best treatments they feel fit for your condition which can include:
- Manual Therapy where they work on the joints, soft tissues and muscles
- Acupuncture (depends on if they are qualified to offer this)
- Trigger Point Release (a trigger point is a specific painful point in a muscle and it can be released by certain techniques)
- Teaching movement, stretching and core muscle exercises
There are prenatal specialised chiropractors who are reported to help alleviate muscle & ligament pain as well as help with paving the way for a smoother labour. Some are trained in the Webster technique which is a technique created for use during pregnancy that focuses on the sacrum and pelvis as well as the surrounding muscles and ligaments.
Acupuncturists can help with low back pain in Pregnancy but be sure to choose one which is experienced with treating Pregnant women as there are certain Acupuncture points that should not be used in Pregnancy.