Back pain affects almost 50% of all pregnant women during pregnancy or after delivery. Hormonal changes, too much strain on the lower spine, and muscles stretching to accommodate the growing baby, may cause the pain. When it’s affecting the quality of your life, let your doctor know. He may conduct tests to determine the cause of the pain and the course of action. A slipped disc or a pinched nerve may also cause back pain. How do you deal with the pain?
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A professional muscle & joint clinic may help deal with the pain through therapy. It’s not advisable to take pain killers and other medications when pregnant unless your doctor approves but the best approach to the pain is through physiotherapy. The back pain may be due to the body changes taking place during the pregnancy; therefore, a less conventional technique may be ideal. With therapy, you will get the relief you need without risking your life and that of your baby. You also don’t have to rely on medications throughout the pregnancy or until the back pain goes away. Some drugs can cause undesirable side effects or worsen the morning sickness.
Adopt a Good Posture
As the baby grows, your centre of gravity changes straining the lower back. To evenly distribute the weight, don’t lock your knees and stand straight and tall with your shoulders relaxed backwards. Also, don’t stand for too long and if you have to, rest one foot on a low lying support and alternate regularly. When seated, make sure the seat supports your back or use a comfortable pillow.
You may also want to avoid high heels because they further shift your centre of gravity, making you unstable. Wear comfortable low but not flat-heeled shoes.
When sleeping, don’t sleep for too long in one position. Also, sleep on the sides and not on your back and use a firm mattress. If your mattress is soft, get a hardboard to support and firm it and use pregnancy pillows on your back, between your knees and on the side for more comfort.
Physical activity makes your back stronger, helps muscles relax and improves oxygen and blood flow. Simple exercises such as walking, swimming, or attending to manageable house chores can help. Walking for too long or wearing the wrong shoes can worsen the pain, so keep it moderate. If you want to do some weight lifting, don’t use your back muscles to lift but lift with your legs. Sudden back movements may hurt your spine. To avoid this, don’t turn with your back when you want to change direction but with your feet.
Get Enough Rest
Your body may require more sleep hours than before; make sure you sleep until you feel well-rested. A comfortable bed protects your back and enables you to rest well. Take a nap during the day, especially in the afternoon, when your energy levels are low.
A urinary tract infection or premature labour can also cause back pain. If you notice any unusual discharge or blood, get immediate medical attention.