There’s no taking away from the joys of having a baby, but it’s definitely not easy for your body. The body needs to make a number of changes to accommodate another life. These changes can cause pain and discomfort. The Spinalogy Clinic, Pune specializes in the non-surgical treatment of back pain. In this article we suggest a few tips to relieve back pain during pregnancy.
A Bit about the Pain: Back pain can start right after you get pregnant and can peak around the 18th to the 24th week of your pregnancy. The added weight of the developing fetus is the most obvious reason for the pain to develop, but it’s not the only reason. Hormonal changes are also responsible. The increase in hormonal levels loosens the joints to prepare the pelvic area for the baby to pass through. This also causes a significant amount of back pain.
Relief from back pain: Just because back pain is common during pregnancy, does not mean one should not try and address it. In fact, certain kinds of back pain during pregnancy can be indicative of back pain post pregnancy as well and need to be controlled immediately. Here are a few tips, to relieve your pain.
Cardiovascular Exercises: When pregnant, the amount of exercise you do must be monitored by your doctor. Keeping this in mind, one can attempt exercises like swimming or walking that increases the body’s heart rate for a sustained amount of time. These will provide some relief from back pain.
Strengthening Exercises: The body needs to be physically strong enough to accommodate the baby. Exercises that strengthen the pelvic, abdominal and back muscles will all help relieve back pain during pregnancy.A Pelvic Tilt for example is done by lying flat on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Now attempt to remove any gaps between the floor and your back. This exercise can also be done while standing or sitting against a back support.Similarly, you could try Wall Squats. These require you to stand with your back against a wall and your feet around 1-2 feet away from the wall. Then try and sit at a 90degree angle.
Stretching Exercises: To avoid back pain during pregnancy, the most important muscles to stretch are those in the back, hamstrings, chest and neck. To stretch the back you can sit on your knees and stretch forward. A hamstring stretch can be done with the support of a chair. All you need to do is place your foot on the chair and stretch forward without bending your knees.
Sleeping Posture: When pregnant, it is advised to sleep on your side. Of course as you go through your pregnancy sleeping on your stomach will definitely be out of the question. And while you may still be able to sleep on your back, this will only make your back pain worse. Sleeping on your side is a habit you should inculcate from day one. You can even use support pillows initially.
Sitting Posture: Being pregnant and working in front of a computer can cause a lot of back pain. To avoid this, support your back with a lumbar pillow. Keep your posture upright and relaxed. A support for your feet may also help.
Walking Posture: Being aware of your posture while walking can go a long way in preventing back pain during pregnancy. Keep your chin parallel to the ground, look forward. Keep your shoulders relaxed and as the models do, imagine having a book on your head.
Correct your footwear: As much as posture is important, so is the footwear you use. High-heels are definitely out of the question while you’re pregnant. But flats aren’t so great either. They leave your feet completely unsupported. Low-heeled shoes with a built-in arch support will give your back the additional support it requires.
At the Spinalogy Clinic, Pune, we examine your posture and lifestyle habits in detail, in order to find the best solution to your pregnancy back pain. Apart from those mentioned above, there are many more physical therapies, complementary therapies (such as massages and chiropractic treatments) and medication to help relieve back pain during pregnancy.