It’s believed that over 50% of women suffer from back pain while pregnant. This not only causes discomfort, but makes it difficult to move around. While medications might help with easing backaches, they can sometimes cause serious side effects and might even be dangerous for your baby. Because of this, it might be ideal to use natural means to do so. Below you’ll discover why back pain is common during pregnancy and a few ways you can help alleviate it.
What Causes Back Pain During Pregnancy?
Back pain is a common problem during pregnancy. When you’re pregnant, your body distributes weight unevenly. This can put pressure on your spine, joints, and muscles – all of which can result in back pain.
This problem is also due to the ligaments in your body softening. This softening is caused by your body releasing large amounts of relaxin and progesterone. While they will eventually harden back up, the side effects these hormones leave behind can linger.
The Dangers of Back Pain
Back pain isn’t only uncomfortable, but it can make you more susceptible to injuries. These include fractures and even muscle strains. Over time, this can wear down your spine which can make it difficult for you to move and do basic tasks.
7 Easy Ways to Reduce Backaches
1. Try a Massage
A helpful way to reduce backaches is to use massage therapy. A massage can help release tension in your back which can relieve pain the aches cause.
Many chiropractors offer massage therapy for pregnant women. They use special techniques that are safe to use on your body. One of the most popular options is a prenatal massage. This massage reduces swelling caused by pregnancy and can even reduce fluid retention. Unlike other massages, a prenatal massage won’t touch pressure points, something which could be very dangerous for your unborn child.
Check video for Prenatal Massage Techniques:
2. Watch Your Posture
Using correct posture can also help stop backaches. It can be very easy and natural to slouch over when pregnant. This is because your muscles aren’t as tight which means you don’t often realize when you use incorrect posture. However, while not noticeable at first, it can eventually lead to back pain. Over time, this could cause slipped discs or serious spinal misalignment.
To practice proper posture, try to keep your spine as straight as you can when sitting or standing. Make sure your shoulders are slightly held back and that your feet are aligned with your hips.
When sitting, you might also consider investing a chair with lumbar support. This will support your spine’s natural curvature. You might also want to use a pregnancy pillow or even a rolled-up towel to keep your back straight when sitting.
3. Wear Supportive Shoes
Supportive shoes help to keep your spine aligned because they don’t put pressure on your musculoskeletal system. They’ll make sure your feet’s natural arches stay in place. Most will also provide a cushioning for comfort.
If you don’t wear the right type of shoes, they could squeeze against your feet. This could lead to severe swelling and blisters. The best supportive shoes for pregnant women are those that give your feet plenty of room, are breathable, and are easy to slip on. Many will also feature tread patterns on the bottom to prevent you from slipping and ensure the shoes have a good grip on the ground.
4. Don’t Stand or Sit for an Excessive Amount of Time
Many pregnant women make the mistake of standing or sitting for long periods of time. This might seem comfortable at first, but it shifts your spine around which can result in tense back muscles. To prevent this, take a break from standing or sitting every 30 minutes.
5. Consume Food High in Magnesium
Magnesium helps relax muscles and can even reduce pain. This makes it very beneficial to consume while pregnant if you’re having backaches. Some of the best options to add to your diet include:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Baked potatoes
Besides relieving back pain, magnesium will also help to keep your body healthy during your pregnancy. Magnesium repairs tissues, regulates blood sugar, and even protects you from preeclampsia.
6. Sleep on Your Side
A surprising way to reduce backaches during pregnancy is to sleep on your side. If you sleep on your back, all the weight from your body pushes on your spine. This results in back pain. Because of this, it’s important to sleep on your side to help prevent putting this pressure on your vertebrae. You’ll also find it tends to be a little more comfortable because this position supports your growing body.
If you find this position a little strange at first, you could try putting a pillow between your legs. This will help to keep your legs aligned with your hips to prevent putting pressure on your lower back.
7. Use Chiropractic Treatments
Chiropractic care can help stop back pain thanks to its powerful adjustments. While some might be a little hesitant at first to try it, it’s safe to go to a chiropractor while pregnant. In fact, one study showed that pregnant women who underwent chiropractic care during their pregnancy found that it provided an impressive amount of relief.
A chiropractor will use a special table for the adjustments as a way to prevent putting pressure on your stomach. They’ll feel around areas of concern and apply slight pressure to them to help ease tingling nerves. If they feel that there’s spinal misalignment, they will quickly slide the vertebrae back in place.
You’ll find that consistent chiropractic care won’t only help with easing back pain, but with your overall pregnancy as well. It will keep your joints in place which can prevent serious muscle spasms. It will also help to quicken your delivery and recovery time because it strengthens your pelvis.
Backaches are an unfortunate side effect of pregnancy, but there are numerous ways you can help relieve them. By keeping these ideas in mind, you’ll be able to prevent pain and keep your spine healthy.
About the Author:
Dr. Brent Wells founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in 1998. He is a graduate of the University of Nevada where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree before moving on to complete his doctorate from Western States Chiropractic College. The goal for Dr. Wells is to treat his patients in Alaska through physical therapy, chiropractic care, and massage therapy with care and compassion while providing them with a better quality of life.