Back Pain During Pregnancy Overview
Many women in the Tyler, Texas area experience back pain during pregnancy, commonly starting in the second half of pregnancy. Lower back pain is a very common complaint in moms-to-be and is typically caused by weight gain, hormonal changes and a growing uterus. The pain doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler are available to help expecting mothers in the East Texas area who are experiencing back pain that is hindering their daily activities.
Causes of Back Pain During Pregnancy
Expecting mothers can blame their lower back pain on hormonal changes, a growing uterus and other fairly common causes. Back pain during pregnancy usually occurs at the sacroiliac joint, where the pelvis meets the spine.
There are several common causes of lower back pain during pregnancy. Some of the most likely causes include:
- Hormone changes- The human body produces a hormone called relaxin during pregnancy. Relaxin is responsible for allowing the ligaments in the pelvic area to relax, as well as the joints to become looser in preparation for the birth process. Relaxin is also responsible for causing the ligaments that support the spine to loosen, often causing lower back pain and instability.
- Posture changes- As the baby grows, a woman’s center of gravity shifts. This gradual change causes many pregnant women to adjust their posture and movements without noticing.
- Weight gain- A typical pregnancy causes a woman to gain between 25-35 pounds. The spine has to support this increased weight that occurs in a relatively short amount of time. The weight of the growing baby also puts additional pressure on the nerves and blood vessels in the back and pelvis.
- Growing uterus- As the uterus grows during pregnancy, it is also responsible for a shift in the center of gravity. It also stretches out and weakens the abdominal muscles, putting additional strain and pressure on the lower back. Muscle separation associated with a growing uterus is also quite common. Two parallel sheets of muscles (the rectal abdominis muscles), running from the rib cage to the pubic bone, may separate along the center seam and cause lower back pain.
Lower Back Pain Treatments for Pregnant Women
It is reported more than 2/3 of women experience back pain during pregnancy, especially lower back pain. The good news is that the pain gradually diminishes in the majority of women following childbirth.
Here are simple ways to eliminate lower back pain during pregnancy:
- Use proper posture when sitting, working and sleeping. Ask your healthcare provider the best ways to sleep, sit for an extended period of time and to perform work-related tasks.
- Perform regular exercise to increase flexibility and strengthen muscles. Exercise not only keeps weight under control, but it also eases stress placed on the spine.
- Heat and cold treatment can be quite effective if utilized correctly. Ask your healthcare provider the most effective ways to use heat and ice compresses.
If a pregnant woman begins to experience severe lower back pain, rhythmic cramping pains or “pins and needles” type of pain, it is very important she contacts her regular healthcare provider or a pain doctor immediately.
For additional resources on lower back pain during pregnancy, please contact the Tyler, Texas pain doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler.