Approximately 3 out of every 4 women has some type of back pain in pregnancy. For some of these women, the symptoms will begin in the earlier stages of the pregnancy, and they may occur on an intermittent basis until after delivery. For more than 50 percent of women, the pain exists during the final 3 months of the pregnancy, and there is no known cause for this discomfort. Recent studies are beginning to show that women with more than a single pregnancy, with greater weight gain numbers or with a history of back pain in the past are those who are the most likely to experience back pain in their pregnancy.
The causes of back pain in pregnancy are believed to come as a result of changes in the posture of the body, poor mechanics of the body, fatigue in the muscles, hormones causing ligament connective tissues to relax, Sciatica related pain and excessive weight gain. There are also a number of activities that are considered to be either causes of back pain in pregnancy or things that exacerbate the back pain in pregnancy. These include standing or walking for periods of longer than 30 minutes at a time, standing on a single leg, bending forward, climbing up stairs, stepping into or out of the bed, turning over while in bed, driving for a period longer than 30 minutes, poor posture while sitting and carrying heavy or large items.
There are a number of options that are available for dealing with back pain in pregnancy. For example, a pelvic belt can be prescribed to a woman that is having trouble with intermittent back pain while sitting, standing or walking. Regular exercises as well as conditioning exercises are both useful for back pain in pregnancy, including swimming, walking and bicycling. Back pain may also be relieved by moist cold and heat packs. Pregnant women dealing with back pain may choose to take pain medications, but should only do so under the care of a physician. Bed rest is also indicated for many women dealing with back pain, especially in their final trimester of their pregnancy, and the physician may also recommend massage in order to alleviate some of the discomfort.
There are a number of things that can be done for back pain prevention as well. Gaining excessive weight during pregnancy should be avoided, for example. Maintaining proper posture can help to prevent this type of back pain as well. Proper mechanics of the body should also be practiced, and an exercise program that is designed to strengthen the back should be followed. Low heeled shoes should be warn during pregnancy as well, to prevent back pain from becoming a problem.
Back pain in pregnancy is not always persistent, but it may become so if the proper steps are not taken to keep it at bay.