If you are pregnant and experiencing back pain, not to worry, it is very common. In fact, back pain is reported by nearly 50-80% of pregnant women as per a study published by the Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine Journal.
Back pain complaints experienced during pregnancy can vary in intensity. Back pain during pregnancy can be experienced as mild to moderate pain, or in some cases, the pain can be debilitating and can cause a significant impact on the day-to-day life of a pregnant woman. The pain can be intermittent, or it can be continuous low-grade pain.
Back pain-related complaints during pregnancy are typically experienced in the lumbar region or the lower back of the spine or in the pelvic girdle region (the ring-like bone structure that connects the trunk to the legs). The pain is generally related to the muscles and skeleton (musculoskeletal) including the bones, joints, and tendons.
Common causes of back pain during pregnancy
Pregnancy-related back pain can be due to several contributing factors including mechanical, hormonal, and psychosocial changes experienced during pregnancy.
- Hormonal changes
The “relaxin” hormone helps the body prepare for physical changes during pregnancy. It helps soften the structures of the pelvis and lower spine. These changes may result in pain and discomfort in the lower back.
- Weight gain
It is normal to gain additional weight during the pregnancy. Additional weight gain during pregnancy can be anywhere between 20 to 40 pounds. Additional weight gain can shift the center of body gravity which can result in increased stress on the lower back and may cause back pain.
- Posture changes
Additional weight gain during pregnancy may result in postural changes to balance the body. There is a tendency to lean back to regain balance due to the additional weight gain during pregnancy. Backward leaning can increase stress on the lower back and may result in back pain.
- Muscle separation
As pregnancy progresses, the abdominal muscles stretch to accommodate the growing uterus. This stretching of the muscles can result in increased stress on the lower back and the lower spine as it tries to support the increased weight of the torso and may result in back pain.
Pregnancy is often a stressful time for women. Psychological stress during pregnancy can increase muscle tension and may cause spasms and back pain complaints. Stress can also result in fatigue, stiffness, and muscle pain.
Biomechanical alterations occur during pregnancy to accommodate the enlarged uterus and the growing fetus. These alterations can cause increased stress to the spinal discs in the lower back which in turn may result in the compression, irritation, or inflammation of the sciatic nerve. When the sciatic nerve is compressed, irritated, or inflamed it can cause lower back pain and radiating pain down the back of the legs.
When to seek professional medical care?
When pregnancy-related back pain complaints affect your daily life and routine, it is advisable to seek professional medical care.
Sometimes back pain can be a symptom of preterm labor or a urinary tract infection (UTI). If you have a fever and discomfort during urination including a burning, stinging sensation, or vaginal bleeding, it is recommended that you seek urgent professional medical care. It is advisable to seek urgent professional medical care if your pain intensifies or you experience a tingling or numbing sensation in the limbs.
Specialized Chiropractic Care For Pregnant Individuals
At South Orange Chiropractic Chiropractic, we focus on the reduction of pain without the use of medication. We create personalized approaches for each of our clients to find what works best for their body, and we’re always open to questions or concerns.
Pregnancy can be a stressful and exhausting time. We keep this in mind and work with our pregnant patients to make sure they are comfortable and feel in control of what is going on.
Not only that but we offer the services of massages and acupuncture, which are two other care services that can help lessen pain and discomfort during pregnancy. We are truly committed to the health and productivity of each and every one of our patients.
If you’re ready to schedule an appointment or need more information, reach out on our website today.