How to manage Pregnancy Back Pain

Pregnancy is meant to be the best time of life for a woman as it is the first step towards motherhood. But, about 70% women suffer from back pain, especially in the lower back during the course of their pregnancy making it not as enjoyable as it should be.


There are various reasons that lead to Pregnancy Back Pain. Let us look at the most common ones.

Weight Gain – As your baby grows, you obviously gain weight. This weight gain can be anywhere between 10-15 kgs or 25-35 pounds. This increase in weight leads to more stress to the spine as it has to support it. Also, the increase in uterus weight leads to creating pressure on the blood vessels and the nerves of the pelvic region and back. All these factors lead to back pain.

Postural Changes – As a result of increase in weight during pregnancy, the center of gravity of your body shifts. The center tilts slightly forward as majority of the weight gain happens around your belly region. Unknowingly, to compensate for this change, your body tends to put stress on the lower back leading to back pain.

Hormonal Changes – Relaxin is a hormone that is produced by a woman’s body when she is pregnant. This hormone helps the ligaments in the pelvic region to relax and also loosens the joints to prepare for child birth. As a side effect, this hormone also loosens the ligaments that support the spine. This in turn can lead to back pain as the stress on the spine increases.

Muscle Separation – Due to uterus expansion during pregnancy, the rectal abdominis muscles may separate the length of the center seam. This can aggravate back pain.

Emotional Stress – A woman may find herself stressed out emotionally at certain times during pregnancy. This stress can lead to muscular tension in the back leading to back pain.

It is very important to manage Pregnancy Back Pain. There are various ways to do this and it would depend on an individual’s condition and level of pain.

Exercise – Keeping your body active during pregnancy is absolutely essential. Consult your Physiotherapist to setup an exercise routine that is right for you. If you have not been following an exercise regime prior to your pregnancy, your Physiotherapist will advice you accordingly to ensure that all the exercises you take up are safe for you. Walking, swimming and stationary cycling are the safest exercises for any pregnant woman.

Postural Correction – It is imperative to work on your posture and ensure that you do not put unnecessary stress on your spine and back. Sleep with a pillow between your legs and sleep on a side rather than flat, sit with a towel rolled up behind your back when working on your desk, keep your feet on a small stool with your back straight.

Heat & Cold Treatment – Using a heating pad or an ice pack over the painful area of your back can surely help you to get relief from your pain. It is observed that you should alternate between hot & cold packs for better results. Ensure to seek advice from your Physiotherapist as to what would be more effective for you based on your exact condition and intensity of pain.

Counselling – If you are undergoing stress, please seek professional counselling or just talk to a trusted friend or family member. It is very important that you are as relaxed as possible.

Dry Needling or Acupuncture – Based on the advice of your Physiotherapist, Dry Needling or Acupuncture can be very effective in reducing your pain.

Hope this article is useful to you and helps you to manage your Pregnancy Back Pain better. If you have any further queries regarding back pain, prenatal or postnatal exercise classes or general health and well being during pregnancy, please feel free to get in touch with us.