Understanding lower back pain during pregnancy

Prenatal lower back pain is a condition that causes pain in the lower back during pregnancy, usually during the second half. LBP typically occurs at the sacroiliac joint. The sacroiliac joint is found where your lower spine meets the pelvis, and there are two of them. Unlike most joints, the sacroiliac joints have a low range of motion, suiting its main function. The sacroiliac joints stabilize and support your pelvis, absorb impact from walking or running, and transmit the weight of your upper body to your legs. Lower back pain during pregnancy can be frustrating to live with, as it could inhibit crucial function of the sacroiliac joints and increase the challenge of pregnancy. However there is hope in relieving the pain, and it is crucial to understand how pregnancy causes this condition.


What causes lower back pain during pregnancy?

Generally, lower back pain is connected to normal growth of the baby during healthy gestation. This causes a variety of changes to the body that lead to lower back pain.

Change in Weight

Although weight gain is different in every pregnancy, the range of healthy weight gain during pregnancy usually lies between 25 and 35 pounds. This weight puts pressure on blood vessels in the pelvis and lower back, and the spine is tasked with supporting this extra weight, making it common that lower back pain occurs during pregnancy.

Change in Posture

Pregnancy causes a variety of changes in the body, such as abdominal growth and weight gain, which cause changes in posture. The spine and the back have to compensate for such rapid change possibly causing lower back pain.

Change in Hormones

In order to prepare for birth, your body produces a hormone called Relaxin, which relaxes ligaments in the pelvic area to relax and loosens joints. The same hormone also loosens ligaments which are important for supporting the spine, which causes pain and vulnerability in the spine.

Stress and Fatigue

Stress and fatigue can worsen lower back pain during pregnancy. Muscle tension is highly correlated to stress, and periods of high stress can lead to more severe symptoms of LBP. Additionally, fatigue and exhaustion can cause longer periods of sitting or standing with bad posture, which brings on lower back pain.


Managing lower back pain during pregnancy

Lower back pain from pregnancy may seem unavoidable, but by taking the right precautions and with the help prenatal exercise, it is possible to reduce or prevent all together the pain and discomfort of LBP.

Movement, Exercise and Stretching

Exercising strengthens muscles and increases flexibility, greatly easing symptoms of LBP as the muscles in your back become more equipped to handle the strain of pregnancy. Regular stretching will also aid in alleviating the tension causing by prenatal lower back pain.

Posture

Maintaining good posture and avoiding slouching while resting are good ways to ensure that you are not putting more stress than you have to onto your already tense lower back.

Tips to maintain good posture all the time:

Heating and Cooling, Massage and Acupuncture

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Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/back-pain-in-pregnancy

https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/what-is-sacroiliac-joint-dysfunction