How to Avoid Back Pain During Pregnancy


Pregnancy Massage Fairivew Heights ILIt is estimated that approximately seventy-percent (70%) of all women experience back pain during pregnancy. During the second and third trimester, back pain may reach epic proportions, and in some reported cases elevate to degrees that are intolerable.(1) With average weight gains of 20-40 additional pounds (or more) during pregnancy, back pain may become persistent, constant and relentless.(3)

Pregnancy Back Pain Causes and Effects

Back pain during pregnancy may be related to a number of factors. Varying from individual to individual, back pain may begin with the onset of pregnancy, while other women may experience less discomfort. An increased risk in associated back pain is linked to overweight conditions prior to pregnancy, so maintaining a healthy weight is essential. Common causes and effects of back pain during pregnancy are often a result of:

  • Increased Hormones.  Hormonal increase during pregnancy allows ligaments to soften with loosening of joints in preparation for birth. Shifting of the joints in combination with loosening of ligaments often affects normal support of the lower back.
  • Center of Gravity.  Gradually moving forward as the fetus grows, normal center of gravity causes overall posture to change to compensate for the additional weight.
  • Additional Weight. With normal weight gains of 20-40 pounds or more, the back is required to support the forward movement and shifting of additional weight.
  • Posture or Position. Poor postures with repetitive standing for prolonged periods of time often elevate back pain to epic proportions.
  • Stress. Pregnancy can be and often is stressful, especially for new mothers. Stress will often target the weakest part of the body (the back), heightening the discomfort levels significantly. (4)

Alleviation with a greater reduction of back pain during pregnancy is possible through numerous in-home and clinical remedies that have been proven to be effective and safe for mother and un-born child.

In-Home Back Pain Remedies

In a recent study conducted by the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, back pain experienced by over two-thirds of pregnant women may be greatly reduced by adaptation of simple in-home exercise programs with proven clinical results. (2) These may include walking, aquatic submersion and stationary cycling. Swimming with appropriate buoyancy relieves all back pain providing relief that is very satisfying, with increased reduction of stress levels.

Other in-home remedies for alleviation of back pain during pregnancy include:

  • Hot and cold compresses on lower back, alternating two to three days between hot and cold 2-3 times per day.
  • Adjusting your sleeping position so you lay on your left side, with a pillow between or under knees.
  • Rolled up towel behind back while sitting at a desk for prolonged period of time.
  • Resting or elevation of feet on a stack of books or appropriate foot stool.
  • Wearing of appropriate maternity support belts.
  • Wearing of flat, supportive shoes.(2)

Professional Back Pain Remedies

  • A simple massage may provide relief from back pain, and reduce stress levels for the expectant mother. Preferred Spine and Rehab offers Pregnancy Massage in Fairview Heights, IL – visit our massage therapy section for more information.
  • In some cases, acupuncture may be advised; however should not be undertaken without prior consultation with a licensed OB/GYN physician. (2)
  • Chiropractic care offers pregnant mothers a safe and effective method of pain relief, that can address many aspects of spinal pain, from the neck to to the lower back. Request a Free Consultation to discuss with an expert which options are available to you.

Preferred Spine & Rehab provides Pregnancy Massage for residents of Fairview Heights, Swansea, O'Fallon, Belleville, Shiloh, Collinsville, and the surrounding Illinois communities.

The pregnancy months should be a time of joy and relaxation to promote the health of both mother and unborn child. By applying the suggestions above, relief from back pain caused by pregnancy can usually be achieved. Take time to give yourself the gift of self-care while you prepare to give what is, without doubt, the greatest gift of all – life.