Pregnancy is a time to celebrate, but it can also be a time for painful aches and pains. One of the most common complaints is back pain. In fact, nearly half of all pregnant women experience some form of back discomfort during pregnancy. A survey of 404 pregnant women in Malawi found that the prevalence of lower back pain in pregnancy was 62%.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to alleviate this problem and keep your body feeling good as you grow your baby.
What Causes Back Pain During Pregnancy?
The weight of your growing baby and the hormones that cause the ligaments in your pelvis to loosen are the leading causes of back pain during pregnancy. In addition, a few other factors affect how your body works.
- The changing center of gravity: As you progress through pregnancy, your center of gravity changes, and this can cause a shift in how much weight you’re carrying around. If you’re used to lifting or carrying things comfortably with one hand, there may come a point where that isn’t possible anymore because your belly is getting so big.
- Extra weight: The extra pounds are enough on their own, but when combined with changes like those listed above, they can make standing up straight tricky or even painful if done incorrectly.
While back pain during pregnancy is common, it can also be a matter of concern. An NCBI study states that lower back pain during pregnancy can also be an initial symptom of pregnancy-related breast cancer.
Consult With Your Doctor Before Taking Any Medicine
According to the CDC, medications can be both good and bad for pregnant women. Hence, you must talk to your doctor about your medicines. If you’re taking aspirin, he or she can help you decide if it’s safe to continue taking the medication.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen are common to relieve pregnancy-related pain. However, the FDA discourages consuming these drugs as they can be dangerous for you and your child.
Consider the example of acetaminophen. Tylenol is a popular over-the-counter painkiller. However, a study from 2018 published in the American Journal of Epidemiology shows that the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy and prolonged exposure of children to this drug in the womb can increase the infants’ risk of developing autism and ADHD.
After the study results, many women who took Tylenol filed a Tylenol Autism Lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer. The lawsuit has been going on for a while and is still accepting new submissions. Hence, if you took Tylenol during pregnancy and your child developed autism or ADHD, you can consult with a lawyer to file a case.
Seeking help from a lawyer for the Tylenol Autism Lawsuit will ensure that you get professional help across all the stages of the claim process. Moreover, the attorney will also help you collect evidence to prove your claim and get compensation for your sufferings from the manufacturer.
How to Get Relief From Pregnancy-Related Back Pain
There are many things you can do for relief against back pain caused by pregnancy. Some of the things you can do include:
Exercise is a great way to strengthen your back and prevent or relieve back pain. It’s also an essential part of recovery from pregnancy-related back pain. If you’re unsure which exercise is best for you, consult your doctor or physical therapist about the best exercises for your body and condition.
- Strengthening the muscles and stretching them can help improve posture, which may reduce discomfort in the lower spine.
- Exercises can be performed while sitting or standing up and don’t need to be strenuous. Light stretching is often enough to relieve soreness caused by tight muscles.
You need to develop an exercise schedule based on your requirements. A study published in the BJPT Journal states that exercise should be understood in the bio-psycho-social context. Hence, tailoring exercises according to individual needs is not only required but also highly beneficial.
Use a Pregnancy Pillow
A pregnancy pillow is a curved cushion that supports your body during sleep. It can be used throughout pregnancy and after birth to help relieve pain, prevent injuries, reduce swelling and increase circulation. Its shape supports your body naturally, with one end of the pillow placed under your head while the other rests on your knees. The different types of pillows include:
- Body pillows are long, U-shaped cushions that support both sides of your body from head to toe. These are helpful for those who sleep on their sides or stomachs during pregnancy as they prevent strain on specific areas like shoulders and hips.
- C-shaped pillows wrap around each side of you, supporting both knees with an arm wrapped around them. They help relieve back pain associated with sleeping on either side or sitting up in bed by helping align the spine while lying down, so less stress is put on muscles throughout the lower back region.
- Memory foam pillows conform to the body’s exact shape once weight is applied. They offer firm support while being comfortable at the same time without feeling too restrictive when shifting positions between lying down or sitting up in bed.
The benefits of pregnancy pillows drive market growth. According to a market analysis done by Maximize Market Research, the current pregnancy pillow market is poised at $609.89 million in 2021 and is expected to reach $734.63 in 2027, at a CAGR of 3.15%.
Try Hot and Cold Therapy
If you’re suffering from back pain, hot and cold therapy can provide some relief. Ice and heat have proven to show numerous benefits for people suffering from lower back pain. Here’s how you can use hot and cold therapy.
- Ice packs: Use an ice pack for 20 minutes, then switch to heat for another 20 minutes. Repeat this process as needed throughout the day until your backache is gone.
- Heat packs: Apply heat directly to the area that hurts and relax in a chair or on an exercise ball until the sensation subsides. Then repeat if necessary. You can use these two methods together or individually, depending on what works best for you.
- Hot water bottle: Fill a rubber hot water bottle with boiling water, and put it in a cloth cover so it can’t burn yourself accidentally when using it. Then place the bottle on your back for around 10-15 minutes.
Practice Prenatal Yoga
Prenatal yoga is a great way to ease back pain and strengthen your core. A recent study from the Science Midwifery journal shows that prenatal yoga can reduce back pain from a mean of 4.40 to 2.07. It can also help you feel more connected with your baby, making it easier for you to stay relaxed during labor.
Prenatal yoga classes are typically held in the evening or on weekends, so pregnant women who work during the day can attend them. Most prenatal yoga instructors will offer a particular class just for pregnant women. Still, some might have an all-inclusive class where pregnant women can join with other expectant mothers who are not yet ready for birth.
Whatever prenatal yoga class you take, check out the instructor’s credentials by searching online. Since this is a relatively new field, there are not many standards set in place yet regarding how much experience instructors should have before leading classes or certifying them as “yoga therapists” or any similar title.
However, reputable instructors will always have plenty of information about themselves available online, so potential students know what they’ll be getting into before signing up.
We hope that this article has helped to provide some relief from your back pain. Remember, if you are worried about any of these remedies or want to talk with a doctor before trying something new, you can always ask your OB-GYN for advice.