You’re expecting a child, and it’s just the start of another day in your nine-month pregnancy journey. You’ve just gotten through just another day with back pain. Just another day?! As if you needed another symptom to worry and think about alongside the myriad of things you have to worry about as a part of your busy day.
We know how frustrating it can be to have back and/or pelvic pain, let alone if you’re expecting a child and have pain. Back and pelvic pain is such a common symptom during pregnancy that we thought we’d write a short guide as to how to navigate your back pain and some strategies to relieve it.
There are two types of back pain that are commonly associated with being pregnant:
1 – Thoracic and lumbar pain
Do you have pain in your mid to lower back? Have you previously had lower or upper back pain or stiffness? Does it get worse with bending, turning or lifting? If you answered ‘yes’ to the previous questions, you may have thoracic or lumbar back pain.
During pregnancy, this type of back pain commonly occurs if you’ve had back pain previously (prior to your pregnancy). The good news is that this type of pain tends to improve or remain the same as your pregnancy progresses.
How to manage your back pain while you’re pregnant:
- Modify lifting techniques:
During your pregnancy, you might need to change your lifting techniques so as to not let the way you move or your baby bump strain your back too much. Ways to take the strain off your back include ensuring that you’re lifting with the correct technique, lightening your lifting load or getting someone else to help if the load is too heavy.
- Improve back mobility and strength:
Improving your back mobility and strength can be a life saver, especially if you’re known to have back pain quite frequently. Back stretches and some simple core exercises may help. Consult our physiotherapists or exercise physiologists to gain insights into the types of stretches that might be helpful.
For a few practical demonstrations, please see exercise 2-4 from Kelly Jones, or resident Womens Health Physio: