Pregnancy Back Pain

Of all the difficulties a woman can experience throughout pregnancy, back pain is one of the most common, and certainly one of the most trying. For some women, backache comes early on and continues throughout the pregnancy, for others it’s a pain specific to the third trimester. Either way, it can be a real pain.


Why do we get back pain during pregnancy? There are several reasons.

1)   As the baby grows, your body adjusts to the shift in your centre of gravity, leading you to overcompensate in your back and adding strain and pain.

2)   Expansion of the rib cage can cause pain in your back.

3)   The release of the hormone relaxin causes your ligaments and joints to soften, which can cause instability in the back.

4)   Your growing bump can cause your posture to change, which then leads to instability or overcompensation in your back and spine.


What can help?

1)   Staying active in pregnancy-friendly movement such as yoga or swimming can help strengthen your back and keep your body fit.

2)    Getting an antenatal massage regularly, or asking your partner to help out with some massages, may ease tension and pain.

3)   When you sleep, especially as your bump gets bigger, lie on your left side with pillow and cushions between your legs and supporting your body wherever feels the most comfortable.

4)   Try a bump support belt to take some of the weight and support your back.

5)   If things feel very uncomfortable, consider some complementary treatments like acupuncture, reflexology or seeing a chiropractor.


Is it more serious?

If your pain is more extreme than just a nagging ache from time to time, you may be suffering from Symphisis pubis dysfunction. This condition, sometimes known as pelvic girdle pain, causes increased pain as your pelvis widens and moves to accommodate the growing baby. Speak to your doctor or midwife if you feel this may be happening to you, and then perhaps consider investing in a bump support belt and resting as much as possible to ease the discomfort.

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