Back pain is one of the most common complaints during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester. It doesn’t matter if you are in your 20’s, 30’s or 40’s, you will probably suffer a degree of back pain sometime during your pregnancy.
Many pregnant women are concerned about what medications and treatments they can use during this special time. Luckily there are natural solutions to help alleviate symptoms and make your pregnancy more comfortable.
Here’s a look at the main causes of back pain during pregnancy and the steps you can take to reduce pain while helping to improve your mobility.
Pregnancy is hard for your back. Your spine has to work hard to support the increasing weight of your growing baby. This can put pressure on the blood vessels and nerves in your lower back.
With the increasing weight around your abdomen, your centre of gravity changes. As the baby grows you may begin to gradually change your posture without even realising it. This can cause you to slouch forward and walk unevenly. Not only can bad posture cause lower back pain, but it can also cause neck and shoulder pain as the spine is no longer correctly aligned.
Your body produces a hormone called Relaxin during pregnancy. Its function is to relax and loosen the ligaments to prepare your body for the birth. However, loosened ligaments no longer provide spinal support and the lack of stability can easily damage the muscles in your lower back.
Sciatica is caused by inflammation and swelling around the nerves in the lower back resulting in pins and needles sensations and shooting pains that run down the legs and into the feet. Added weight and fluid retention can cause the uterus to press down on the sciatic nerve and in the third trimester, the baby’s head can sit directly on the nerve causing pain and discomfort.
Mild back pain can be alleviated by warm compresses, however these should not be applied to the abdomen during pregnancy.
Severe back pain can be treated by a qualified physiotherapist or chiropractor. Gentle massage techniques, spinal manipulation and exercise plans can help to strengthen and support the back and improve posture.
Acupuncture is a natural, drug-free technique used to alleviate back pain. However, certain acupuncture pressure points can induce contractions so it is essential that this treatment is performed by a qualified therapist with pre-natal experience.
Bristol Chiropractic Pregnancy Clinic Bristol offers a range of specialist pre-natal therapies performed by qualified therapists. Contact us today for more information.