Article featured on Atlanta Spine Institute
How to Prevent Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is an exciting time. However, it also comes with a great deal of uncomfortable physical changes including lower back pain. Believe it or not, approximately 80% of women experience back pain at some point during their pregnancies. Weight gain paired with changes in hormones and posture can all lead to lower back pain.
Lower back pain can take a serious toll on a woman’s day-to-day life and cause challenges during delivery. If you’re pregnant or plan to be in the near future, here are some tips to help prevent lower back pain during pregnancy.
Engage in Light Exercises
While you should avoid high-intensity workouts, it’s a good idea to participate in light exercise routines such as yoga, pilates, swimming, and stationary biking. Not only can they strengthen your back, they can also improve your flexibility. The stronger and more flexible you are, the more likely you are to maintain good posture and prevent lower back pain.
Be Careful While Lifting
Ideally, you’d never have to lift anything throughout your entire pregnancy. Since this may not be possible, practice caution any time you lift. Rather than bending forward from your waist, move as close as you can to the object and bend your knees. This way you can keep your back straight and avoid strain.
Take Control of Your Stress
Pregnancy can be stressful, especially if you’re juggling work, childcare, and other responsibilities. Stress can raise muscle tension in the back and lead to back pain so it’s important to keep it to a minimum. If you’re feeling stressed, go for a walk with a friend, meditate, or soak in a lukewarm bath.
Wear Proper Footwear
High heels during pregnancy can exacerbate lower back pain. So swap stilettos for comfortable shoes with good arch support. You may even want to wear compression stockings to keep blood from accumulating in your legs.
Sleep on Your Side
Sleeping on your stomach and pregnancy don’t mesh well. To keep your back pain in check, sleep on your side instead of your back. If you’re unable to get comfortable, try a body pillow to support your growing tummy.
Try Hot and Cold Therapy
Take an ice pack or hot towel and place it on your back to find relief from pain. If you do so, keep the heat or ice away from the abdomen.
If your back pain becomes unmanageable during any part of your pregnancy, visit a doctor as soon as possible.
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