Pregnancy Back Pain Advice

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By Dr. Kevin Bloom
Published on June 26, 2013
Follow these tips to prevent pregnancy back pain.

Follow these tips to prevent pregnancy back pain.

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Lower back pain is quite common during pregnancy. The following information/strategies can prove helpful with these symptoms:

Posture Tips To Prevent Back Pain During Pregnancy

  • Try to stand up straight when standing (maintain proper posture). Stand with your feet apart and in line with your shoulders. If standing for longer durations is necessary, rest your foot up on a stool or ledge and keep rotating between feet. If you know that you will be on your feet for longer periods of time, wear shoes of which are both comfortable and supportive.
  • Try to sit up straight when sitting (don’t slouch). Use a back support when sitting (eg. ObusForme LowBack Backrest Support) or put a pillow in between your lower back and the back of the seat.
  • Avoid prolonged postures and activities. You will become familiar with your limits. Be proactive instead of always being reactive. For example, if you know that sitting longer than 15 minutes increases symptoms, then stand up after 10 minutes.
  • When sleeping on your side, try placing a leg spacer pillow between your knees.
  • If you need to lift, keep your back straight and lift with your legs. Try to avoid twisting while lifting. If the object is too heavy to lift, get help.

Additional Tips For Preventing Back Pain In Pregnancy

  • You can try applications of either ice or heat for 10 minutes each. Another strategy is to try ice for 10 minutes, and then the heat pack for 10 minutes directly following. Do whatever you believe yields the most relief. The success of these strategies can vary patient to patient. If symptoms increase with any of the above strategies, discontinue use.
  • Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes.
  • Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can result in lower back pain.
  • Speak with your health provider regarding various pregnancy-safe active strengthening/core stabilization exercises. A commonly prescribed strengthening exercise is the standing pelvic tilt. Stand up straight with your back pressed up against a wall. Stand with your feet in line with your shoulders. Push the small of your (lower) back up against the wall as your stomach/abdominal muscles tighten. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds. Try a few more repetitions and gradually build up the number of repetitions over time. If this exercise results in pain, consult with a regulated health professional (eg. Chiropractor, physiotherapist).
  • If you can, try to do many short walks every day. For example, try 10 walks per day at 5-10 minutes per walk or as tolerated. Keep these walks at a normal or even slower than normal pace, depending upon your symptoms. If walking results in too much pain, then discontinue these walks. If you can, try gentle swimming. This is another way to stay active. If these exercises result in pain, consult with a regulated health professional (eg. chiropractor, physiotherapist).
  • While standing upright, slide your right arm down the outside of your right leg to the right knee. Hold for five seconds. If you cannot go this far due to symptoms, then just go as far as not to exceed mild symptoms. Do the same movements on your left side. Perform these movements multiple times each day. If this exercise results in pain, consult with a regulated health professional (eg. chiropractor, physiotherapist).
  • Consider the possibility of conservative treatment (ie. chiropractic, physiotherapy).