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Causes of Back Pain During Pregnancy

Causes of Back Pain During Pregnancy

Pregnancy comes with a range of symptoms — one of which is back pain. Backaches during pregnancy are extremely common. More than half of women will experience a type of back pain during their pregnancy.

While the pain is similar to what you might have experienced before you were pregnant, there are some differences.

When and Where Does Back Pain During Pregnancy Occur?

While back pain during pregnancy can occur at any time, it most commonly happens during the fifth and seventh months of pregnancy and can be either irregular or chronic. During this second half of the pregnancy, women may begin experiencing pain in their:

  • Coccyx.
  • Pubic symphysis anteriorly.
  • Groin region.
  • Sacroiliac joints.

The most common location for back pain tends to be in the posterior pelvic region, which causes deep pain on either one or both sides of the body. The pain is usually focused on the sides of the buttocks and waistline and the backs of the thighs.

Lower lumbar back pain during pregnancy is also common. This pain usually occurs in the center of the back, right around the waist, and occasionally extends down the leg.

Causes of Back Pain During Pregnancy

Women experience back pain during pregnancy for several reasons. Some of the most common causes are:

  • Preexisting back pain: Women who have experienced back pain in the past or have preexisting pain are at a higher risk.
  • Weight gain: Most women will gain around 20-40 pounds during pregnancy, which puts pressure on the spine, back and pelvis.
  • Posture: Because of the additional weight they are carrying around, pregnant women’s center of gravity shifts forward. This shift in posture and movement can cause back pain.
  • Hormones: Pregnant women produce the hormone relaxin, which can loosen joints and relax ligaments in the pelvic area. While this helps with giving birth, spinal instability can lead to lower back pain.

Treatments for Back Pain

Several treatments for back pain during pregnancy are available. Pregnant women can try:

  • Exercising: Regular exercise can help prevent excessive weight gain during pregnancy. Focusing on strengthening your core and back specifically can help alleviate some of the strain on your back.
  • Maintaining the correct posture: Even though your center of gravity might have shifted, it’s important to maintain the correct posture when you are sitting, walking and sleeping. If you need extra support, try wearing a brace or support belt.
  • Doing hot and cold therapy: Try applying a cold compress on your back and then switch to a heating pad after two to three days to manage the pain.

Find Relief From Your Back Pain at the Spine Institute of North America

If you’ve been experiencing back pain during your pregnancy, the leading practitioners at the Spine Institute of North America can help you find relief through our minimally invasive pain management procedures.

To learn more about how we can address your back pain and create an individualized care path for your back issues, schedule a consultation today.

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