During a woman’s pregnancy at some point unfortunately they will suffer from back pain. Due to the weight gain in the pregnancy, the added weight is distributed around the stomach area, which causes our centre of gravity to tilt forward. When this happens, many women will over-arch their backs which will lead to back pain.
Another reason for back pain is the pregnancy hormone our body releases that has the job to relax the ligaments throughout our body. As your pregnancy progresses the hormone helps to expand and relax the pelvis to create more room for the growing baby. This again puts a strain on our back muscles that can cause you back pain.
Some people find the pain is manageable but for others, the pain can be so severe that you find it difficult to get around doing just the simplest of daily tasks.
At Home Physio Group our physiotherapists can help you stay active and devise a physiotherapy programme tailored to your needs. They will also advise and help keep your posture in the correct position, which will help alleviate any back pain that you may be getting.
There are a few tips that can help ease your back pain in pregnancy:
- Avoid lifting heavy objects
- Bend your knees when picking things up, do not bend your back
- Wear sensible flat shoes
- When sitting working at a computer or even watching television, sit with your back straight and well supported with a lumbar support
- A warm bath can help ease your back pain
- Ensure you are using a supportive pillow and mattress at night
- Try heat or an ice pack on your back
- Try to sleep on your side not your back
- Use a pregnancy pillow, which is designed to suit and support your changing body. This offers good support for different sleeping positions
- Carry out gentle exercises including core stability work
- Keep legs nice and strong and try to maintain fitness throughout pregnancy
- Pace yourself when walking. Take regular breaks
- Sacral pain – you can sit on a donut shaped pillow or purchase a sacroiliac belt that can help to support and relieve pain
- Upper back pain – wearing a supportive maternity bra can really help
- Try to control the weight gain. This is challenging in the 3rd trimester but will help with the back pain. The recommended weight gain throughout the whole pregnancy is between 25-35 pounds (see below for more information)
Where does the extra weight go during pregnancy?
- Placenta. 2-3 pounds
- Baby. 6-8 pounds
- Amniotic fluid. 2-3 pounds
- Breast tissue. 2-3 pounds
- Blood supply. 4 pounds
- Larger uterus. 2-5 pounds
- Stored fat for delivery and for breastfeeding. 5-9 pounds
The total weight gain is on average 25-35 pounds. Although your body does need extra calories during a pregnancy, the saying “eating for two” is just a myth. On average you will need to consume around 300 calories extra per day than before you were pregnant. Trying to stick to this will help you maintain the right amount of weight gain during your pregnancy.
This is just a guide, and everyone carries and gains weight differently and at different times during the pregnancy.
Contact Home Physio Group today to find out how we can help you with your back pain in pregnancy. Please call us on 020 7096 0684 to talk to our friendly and professional team.