Pain In The Lower Back From Pregnancy


Pain in the lower back from pregnancy can be of concern in only a few cases where soreness and inflammation may be more severe during subsequent pregnancy, and as such, it has to be monitored. Hormonal changes within the body of a pregnant woman can cause destabilization of the joints due to loose joints and ligaments, which result in pain. Tension within the spine because of having to support the extra weight of the pregnancy through changes to the body shape causes swelling, which normally subsides after delivery. Instead of adopting a wait and watch approach, treatment may be started during the initial period of pregnancy after a mother has been convinced about their baby being unharmed.



Dr. Sadie Rausenberger explains why pregnant women develop low back pain and shows some effective treatments for relief.




Pain In The Lower Back From Pregnancy

Learn what causes low back pain during pregnancy and what you can do to ease or prevent it

Among pregnant women, 50 to 80 percent experience some form of pain, be it in their pelvic area or back region. Yet, the majority of those women regards such pain as nothing more than a common pregnancy-associated pain, or chooses not to seek diagnosis and treatment for the fear that such treatment may harm the baby. Although in most cases the pain naturally disappears several weeks or months after childbirth, approximately 10 percent of women suffer from pain years after a pregnancy. Such patients may experience even more severe pain during their next pregnancy, and thus such pain should be monitored carefully.


Commonly, back pain will occur five to seven months into the pregnancy, but may start as early as eight to 12 weeks. Women who have experienced this pain prior to pregnancy are more prone to pregnancy related back pain, and during earlier periods than others.


Causes for pregnancy related back pain can be traced to changes in either hormones or body shape. Hormonal changes during pregnancy loosen joints and ligaments destabilizing joints, which can cause pain. In such cases, most doctors will take the “wait and see approach” rather than immediately giving treatment. Back pain that requires treatment is usually caused by changes in body shape. As the fetus grows and the belly becomes larger, the spine is pulled forward and the natural gradual c-curve of the spine becomes more pronounced, putting greater pressure on the lumbar vertebrae. Also when the breasts become larger during pregnancy, the upper back naturally bends forward to support the increased weight, and the neck extends into a forward head posture. Such changes increase tension across the spine, which causes pain.


Treatment can begin during pregnancy. In oriental clinics, acupuncture and Chuna-chiropractic treatment can be safely administered. However, as most pregnant women are cautious about undergoing any type of treatment, in reality, patients opt to be treated after childbirth. As previously mentioned, once the body weight returns to normal, pain can naturally subside and ease up, but breast-feeding, baby-nursing, and other household chores can compound the pain in the back, pelvis, neck and shoulders. In such cases, acupuncture, along with cupping and moxibustion treatment, can be effective in relaxing the tense back and pelvic muscles. Chuna-chiropractic treatments can restore the body shape to its pre-pregnancy state. If the patient suffers from exhaustion after childbirth which can hinder the pain treatment, herbal medicine is recommended at the same time. If the weight that was gained during pregnancy remains, this alone can cause back pain. In such cases, weight-loss treatment along with pain treatment can remedy the pain effectively.


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It is normal that pregnant women will have back pain due to hormonal changes and changes to their body shape. Although most mothers opt for treatment after childbirth, and then only where the pain becomes persistent, treatment during pregnancy may actually be more helpful. Pain in the lower back from pregnancy can be treated by acupuncture or chiropractic manipulation. Capping and Moxibustion methods of treatment can be effective to make the pelvic muscles and tense back muscles relax after having been put under pressure due to household activities and breastfeeding. Another method of treatment, known as Chuna chiropractic method, helps in restoring the body shape into a normal one before pregnancy. Herbal treatment is recommended for those who suffer from exhaustion and for those who have put on weight can opt for weight loss treatment, which might come in handy if you have had too many cravings.



Chad Madden, owner of Madden Physical Therapy demonstrates the top 3 exercises to help manage backpain during a pregnancy.




Heather Maynard guides you through several simple steps  to help women overcome back aches and pains.




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