Oh, My Aching Back: How to Get Relief from Back Pain during Pregnancy

It’s normal to experience back pain during pregnancy. Right from the first trimester, the changes your body is going through to accommodate the life growing inside you can cause you some serious back pain. Usually, this comes and goes, becoming more common as you get into your second and third trimesters.

To make matters worse, you can’t just pop a pill for your backache like you would any other time in your life. You have to be very careful about what kinds of medication you take, always checking with your health care professional before taking any drugs. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to relieve (or even avoid) backaches without using medication. Here are some of the best:

  • Chiropractic care. Make sure any chiropractor you use is aware that you are pregnant and is experienced in working with pregnant women. Ideally, you should look for a chiropractor who uses the Webster technique, which is designed specifically for pregnant women. In addition to offering relief from back pain, this technique can help position your baby for better delivery when the time comes.
  • Proper Posture. Often, women lean back to compensate for the growing bulge in front. This leads to lower back pain. Instead of leaning back, widen your stance and make sure you don’t lock your knees. Try to avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time. Make sure you sit up relatively straight, keeping good posture when seated, too.
  • Lift with the knees. Most of us have heard this all our lives, but ignore it. It’s always better to bend at the knees when you need to lift, but it’s especially important when pregnancy is already putting a strain on your back.
  • Get lots of support. Arch support, that is. Stick with low heels (there will still be times for nights out and high heels after the baby’s born). You’ll also want to wear maternity pants that fit. The ones with supportive waistbands are best.
  • Exercise. Light to moderate exercise is good for you and the baby. Exercises which gently stretch the back, like yoga and Pilates, can really help reduce back aches.
  • Side sleep. Avoid sleeping on your back.
  • Ice packs. Or heating pads. Whichever works better for you.
  • Massage. You can get a professional massage or put your partner to work. After all, he caused this back ache. It’s only fair that he’s part of the solution, right?

Keep in mind that these back aches won’t last forever. Nine months seems like a long time, but it flies by. Before you know it, you’ll be holding your little one, and the back aches will be a distant memory.


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