by Dr. Halland Chen, MD

Lower Back Pain In Pregnancy: Causes and Treatments

While pregnancy should be one of the happiest times in a woman’s life, for some women the experience is much more painful than they ever thought. Some women enter into pregnancy knowing that they already have a back condition, while others seem to develop back problems as the pregnancy progresses. If the pain is only related to the pregnancy and the weight of the baby, the pain usually starts to occur around the fifth month. Back pain during pregnancy can be debilitating if it gets bad enough.

There are a few things that a woman can do to help herself to not develop pregnancy back pain. These tips include proper posture and lifting mechanics. The woman might also need instruction on the proper ways to perform housework activities. There might even be tips on how to sleep differently to help decrease back pain. And while these things will help, a woman may still develop pregnancy back pain. If the pain gets bad enough then the woman may find herself in need of medical intervention.

Lower back pain during pregnancy can be especially troublesome. Lower back pain is more likely to cause problems if the woman stays in the same position for extended periods of time. The position could be sitting or standing or repetitive lifting. Anytime a woman experiences back pain during pregnancy it should be mentioned to their healthcare provider for further evaluation. Possible treatments for lower back pain during pregnancy include soft tissue work and gentle mobilization and stabilization exercises. Pain should never be expected to be normal for a pregnancy.

There are many possible causes of back pain while pregnant, just as there are many possible ways to help alleviate the pain. As always, any time a woman experiences pain or unusual discomfort during pregnancy it should be evaluated. The solution may be as simple as home exercises and slight changes to everyday routines. If your healthcare provider deems it necessary, then further treatment can be initiated. Further treatment often involves physical therapy and exercises under medical supervision.

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