0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

In This Article

Tips and exercises to ease back pain during pregnancy
189

Tips and exercises to ease back pain during pregnancy

A majority of pregnant women suffer from back pain. It’s best to avoid painkillers and focus on exercising to reduce the pain, say experts

50-80 percent of women deal with back pain during their pregnancy

Pregnancy is a beautiful journey involving many precious moments and changes, both metaphorically and literally. Talking about changes, the physical ones that a woman undergoes, along with the mental challenges, can get daunting. While these changes and their effects are different for each person, a majority of pregnant women endure back pain at some point during the gestation period. 

Why does back pain occur during pregnancy? 

Pregnancy back pain is experienced by 50-80 percent of women because of physiological changes. “As the uterus grows in size during pregnancy, the body weight also increases, causing the abdomen to bulge forward,” explains Dr Usha BR, consultant obstetrician-gynecologist, fertility and laparoscopic surgeon, Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, Bengaluru. “This, in turn, makes the spine curve inwards, leading to lordosis, which is directly associated with backache.”  

“Ligament laxity is another major cause,” says Palak Dengla, chief physiotherapist, Aster RV Hospital, Bengaluru. “During pregnancy, the level of relaxin hormone continues to rise. As the ligaments and muscles get relaxed, the load on the joints increases. Thus, the back muscles get strained.” 

Poor posture and stress are the other oft-overlooked causes of back pain.  

Extreme back pain during pregnancy is a red flag 

The nature and severity of back pain depend on the height of the person as well as their physical activity and fitness levels. The size of the uterus and the gestational age (length of pregnancy measured from the first day of the last menstrual cycle) have a bearing, too.  

However, Dengla cautions, “Feeling severe back pain in the initial months of pregnancy is a red flag and shouldn’t be taken lightly.” She adds, “When it is accompanied by rhythmic abdominal cramps, one should get it checked by the gynecologist because these are signs of preterm labor.”  

“Based on the position of the uterus, some women will feel back pain in the initial months of pregnancy itself,” explains Dr Usha. “But lordosis-induced back pain starts after four to five months. It increases and reaches a maximum during the third trimester. Its intensity increases during labor. Those who start exercises at least 16 to 18 weeks onwards may not develop excessive backache.” 

While most of the strain and pain is in the lower back, it is also felt by the paraspinal muscles (muscles supporting the back and its movements), the muscles in the waistline, and the round ligament in the groin. 

Tips to alleviate back pain during pregnancy  

Oral painkillers and topical pain relievers should be the last option to relieve pain — these should be taken only when absolutely necessary. Rather, people can take several measures to avoid back pain during pregnancy. Here are some suggestions from experts:

  1. Maintain good posture: “Maintaining correct posture, using ergonomic chairs to sit and standing erect while working help avoid back pain. Further, it’s best not to sit or stand continuously — taking breaks when necessary will help alleviate the pain,” highlights Dr Usha. 
  2. Use support when needed: “If you must stand and do some work, use a footstool for support,” suggests Dengla. “Instead of placing both feet on the footstool at a time, you can alternate them. This eases the load on the back.” Moreover, certain belly bands can be used to support the growing belly. “When well-supported, it reduces the pain in the back. However, it should not be worn while sleeping. Otherwise, it can be worn on and off during the day,” adds Dengla. Maternity pillows can also be useful, but they should also be used the right way to avail maximum benefits. 
  3. Choose footwear carefully: Pregnant women should also avoid uncomfortable footwear, like high heels and completely flat shoes. A small, wedged footwear with a medial arch will help distribute the weight better. 
  4. Exercise regularly: Above all, exercise is the first and best option one should explore for relieving pregnancy backache. 

Exercises and stretches to ease back pain 

Before performing any form of exercise during pregnancy, remember to check with your doctor. Exercises that target the paraspinal muscles and make them stronger can alleviate back pain. 

“There are many antenatal exercise programs – antenatal pilates for instance,” says Dengla. Stretching exercises are also beneficial. “The bridge pose or the pelvic tilt and the cat and camel pose work well during pregnancy,” says Dr Usha. 

Walking 30-45 minutes daily can also do wonders for back pain. Chair exercises are another option, especially in cases of limited mobility. Swimming is also highly recommended for pregnant people. “Swimming is helpful in offloading your muscles and joints during pregnancy and is safe even in your last trimester,” highlights Dengla. 

While exercising, it is crucial that you continue breathing in and out very comfortably. At any point, if you feel excessive stretching or even general discomfort, you should discontinue. “Practicing the Lamaze breathing technique, which focuses on conscious slow deep breathing helps in calming the person and reducing anxiety and stress while preparing the person for labor, can also be helpful,” explains Dengla.

Takeaways

  • Nearly 50-80 percent of women experience back pain during pregnancy because of physiological changes.  
  • The relaxin hormone and lordosis along with poor posture and stress are the leading causes of backache. 
  • Some of the measures that can be taken to alleviate pain include regular exercising, maintaining the correct posture while sitting or standing and using appropriate footwear, belly bands, footstools and maternity pillows. 
  • Stretches such as pelvic tilts and cat and camel as well as exercises like walking and swimming make your muscles stronger and thus reduce back pain.

Share Your Experience/Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Summit Registration

NOTE: The summit will be held at NIMHANS Convention Centre, Bengaluru.

Wellness Registration Form

-
-
-
Total Amount INR 3000
Trending

Articles

Article
Some couples consciously decide not to have children despite familial and social expectations, wanting to make the best of their relationship. Children should be had for their own sake, says psychotherapist Tasneem Nakhoda
Article
Insufficient consumption of heart-healthy foods can affect cardiovascular health. Experts discuss beneficial dietary choices
Article
Cycling and walking are both great cardiovascular activities that aid weight loss and keep various health conditions away. Pick one that suits your fitness goals and physical condition, say experts
Article
Summer drinks, though hydrating, can have excess sugar. Nutritionists suggest a few alternatives to keep the body temperature and sugar levels down
Article
Packed with protein, this recipe will help in weight management by keeping you full for a long time
Article
Researchers have found that a quick snooze can improve the retention of information by strengthening memories, leading to better recollection over an extended period
Trending

Articles

Article
Some couples consciously decide not to have children despite familial and social expectations, wanting to make the best of their relationship. Children should be had for their own sake, says psychotherapist Tasneem Nakhoda
Article
Insufficient consumption of heart-healthy foods can affect cardiovascular health. Experts discuss beneficial dietary choices
Article
Cycling and walking are both great cardiovascular activities that aid weight loss and keep various health conditions away. Pick one that suits your fitness goals and physical condition, say experts

0

0

0

Web Stories 

0

0

0

0

0

0

Opt-in To Our Daily Newsletter

* Please check your Spam folder for the Opt-in confirmation mail

Opt-in To Our
Daily Newsletter

We use cookies to customize your user experience, view our policy here

Your feedback has been submitted successfully.

The Happiest Health team will reach out to you at the earliest