Back pain during pregnancy are classified as those of lumbar and pelvic origin. Pregnant women suffer due to lumbar back pain which occurs in the lower back due to hormonal and postural changes. While increase in progesterone levels and stress contribute to pain during the first trimester, leaning backwards, weight gain and muscle separation in the abdomen region cause pain during the second and third trimester.b However, intense pain in lower back or abdominal cramps may also signal miscarriage.
Why does back pain occur during pregnancy?
Shifting of centre of gravity, weight gain, muscular imbalances, muscular fatigue, joint laxity caused by pregnancy related hormones which deprives support from joints cause back pain.
Weak abdominal muscles along with inflexibility and sedentary lifestyle also cause pregnancy related back pain.
During pregnancy women undergo postural changes which disrupt mechanical aspects of the musculoskeletal system in the lower back causing pelvic discomfort, especially from the fifth and seventh months.
What are the symptoms of back pain during pregnancy?
While some symptoms subside after pregnancy in few cases, they develop into chronic disorders especially when the woman suffers lower back pain before pregnancy.
The symptoms include either dull or burning pain in lower back, one sided pain in left or right side of lower back, radiating pain like that of sciatica, inability to lift front part of foot while walking.
The pain aggravates at night owing to expansion of the uterus which puts pressure in vena cava, a prominent blood vessel, causing congestion in the pelvis and lumbar spine areas.
Treatment for back pain during pregnancy
Back pain during pregnancy is treated by exercises such as swimming, weight training, walking and stretching, good posture, appropriate footwear, lifting objects properly, suitable sleep postures, relaxation techniques and chiropractic treatment.
Despite temptations to lie in the bed during back pain, pregnant women should involve in simple chores that strengthen the back besides keeping them active.