General Practice 2022

7 ways to relieve back pain in pregnancy

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7 ways to relieve back pain in pregnancy
7 ways to relieve back pain in pregnancy

To relieve back pain during pregnancy, the pregnant woman can lie on her back with her knees bent and arms stretched along her body, keeping her entire spine well accommodated on the floor or on a firm mattress. This position accommodates the vertebrae well, taking the weight off the back, thus relieving back pain in a few minutes.

Back pain is a common situation that occurs in 7 out of 10 pregnant women, and affects especially teenagers, who are still growing, women who smoke and those who have already presented a picture of pain in the back before getting pregnant.

What to do to combat back pain during pregnancy

The best strategies to eliminate low back pain during pregnancy are:

  1. Using a hot compress: Taking a hot bath, directing the water jet from the shower to the area where it hurts or applying a hot water bottle to the back is a good way to relieve pain. Also, putting warm compresses with essential oil of basil or eucalyptus on the affected area for 15 minutes 3 to 4 times a day can also help;
  2. Using pillows between your legs to sleep on your side, or under your knees when sleeping on your back also helps to better accommodate your spine, reducing discomfort;
  3. Massage: A back and leg massage can be done with sweet almond oil daily to relieve muscle tension. See the benefits and contraindications of massage in pregnancy.
  4. Doing stretches: Lie on your back, with your legs bent, holding only one leg at a time, placing your hands behind your thighs.With this movement the lumbar spine is straightened bringing immediate relief from back pain. This stretch should be maintained for at least 1 minute at a time, controlling your breathing well.
  5. Doing physiotherapy: there are different techniques that can be used, such as kinesio tape, spinal manipulation, pompage and others that can be used by the physical therapist as needed;
  6. Using remedies: In some cases, it may be necessary to apply an anti-inflammatory ointment such as Cataflan, and in these cases, you should consult your doctor before using it. Taking oral medication such as Dipyrone and Paracetamol is a possibility for times of greater pain, but it is not recommended to take more than 1g per day for more than 5 days. If there is such a need, the doctor should be consulted.
  7. Practice exercises regularly: Good options are hydrokinesiotherapy, swimming, Yoga, Clinical Pilates, but daily walking for about 30 minutes also has great results in pain relief.

See everything you can do to feel good in this video:

Is it normal to have back pain in early pregnancy?

It is very common for pregnant women to start feeling back pain early in pregnancy due to the increase in progesterone and relaxin in the bloodstream, which causes the ligaments of the spine and sacrum to become looser, which promotes pain, which can be in the middle of the back or in the lower part of the spine.

The presence of back pain before becoming pregnant also increases the chances of a woman suffering from this symptom during pregnancy, right in the 1st trimester, and in some women the pain increases gradually as the pregnancy progresses.

How to avoid back pain during pregnancy

To avoid back pain in pregnancy it is important to be within the ideal weight before getting pregnant. Also important is:

  • Do not gain more than 10 kg throughout pregnancy;
  • Use a support belt for pregnant women when the belly starts to weigh down;
  • Do stretching exercises for your legs and back every morning and evening. Learn how to do it at: Stretching exercises in pregnancy;
  • Always keep your back straight, sitting and when walking.
  • Avoid lifting weights, but if you must, hold the object close to your body, bending your knees and keeping your back straight;
  • Avoid wearing high heels and flat sandals, prefer shoes that are 3 cm tall, comfortable and firm.

Basically, back pain in pregnancy happens because the lumbar region accentuates its curvature with the frontal uterine growth, which in turn, modifies the position of the sacrum, which becomes more horizontal, in relation to the pelvis. In the same way, the thoracic region also has to adapt to the growth of breast volume and changes in the lumbar region, and it reacts to these changes, increasing dorsal kyphosis.The result of these changes is back pain.

Kinesio Tape against low back pain

Kinesio Tape against low back pain

What can cause back pain in pregnancy

Back pain in pregnancy is usually caused by muscle and ligament changes. This pain almost always gets worse when the pregnant woman is standing or sitting for a long time, when she picks something up from the floor improperly, or when she has very strenuous activities that cause a lot of fatigue.

Some situations that can aggravate this symptom are domestic or professional activities, repetitive strain, having to stand for many hours or sitting for many hours. The younger the pregnant woman, the greater the chances that she will have back pain since the beginning of pregnancy.

Another cause of back pain in pregnancy is sciatica, which is very severe, seems to 'hold one of the legs', making it difficult to walk and remain seated, or which is accompanied by a sensation of hooking or burning.In addition, at the end of pregnancy, after 37 weeks of gestation, uterine contractions can also manifest as back pain that appears in a rhythmic way and that only relieves after the baby is born. See how to identify contractions to know the right time to go to the hospital.

Although it is rare, back pain that does not relieve with rest, and remains constant during the day and night, may indicate something more serious and therefore this is a symptom that should not be ignored.

When to go to the doctor

Back pain in pregnancy is not always dangerous, but the pregnant woman should go to the doctor if the back pain persists even after all the ways to relieve it or when it is so intense that it prevents her from sleeping or performing your daily activities. In addition, a doctor should be consulted when back pain comes on suddenly or is accompanied by other symptoms, such as nausea or shortness of breath.

Lumbar pain in pregnancy should not be ignored because it harms he alth, and impairs sleep, day-to-day mood, decreases performance at work, social life, domestic activities and leisure, and can still bring financial problems due to absence from work.

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