Back pain is one of the most significant causes of discomfort for more than 50% of pregnant women. (Source: Lifespan.org)
The added strain on the spine and pelvis, coupled with hormonal changes, turn this truly joyous milestone into a discomforting ordeal.
Did you know that practically every part of your body is impacted by pregnancy?
In a few cases, pregnancy back pain can be debilitating and interfere with daily life, which is why relieving pregnancy back pain should be your top priority.
According to recent studies, 70% of expectant mothers experience lower back pain, particularly during the later stages of their pregnancy. (Source: National Library of Medicine)
As a pregnant woman dealing with back pain, you have a lot to consider regarding your treatment options to relieve pregnancy back pain.
For example, some women take risky over-the-counter pain medicines for pregnancy back pain relief.
However, one excellent alternative that’s been growing in popularity with pregnant women is chiropractic care!
The 3 Stages of Back Pain during Pregnancy
First Trimester: The Sneak Peek
- Hormonal Changes Begin: Your body releases relaxin, which loosens the ligaments, causing those early aches and pains.
- Stress and Anxiety: The excitement of “I’m going to be a parent!” mixed with “Wait, I’m going to be a parent?!” tenses up the back muscles.
- New Weight Distribution: Although you might not be showing much yet, your body’s already adjusting to pregnancy, throwing your back for a loop.
Second Trimester: The Main Event
- Baby’s Growth Spurt: As your baby grows, your belly does, too, putting extra pressure on your back.
- Gravity Shifts Forward: The growing belly shifts your center of gravity forward, causing awkward, waddle-like walking and back strain.
- Postural Changes: You’ll start adjusting your posture to accommodate the growing baby, something your back won’t appreciate right away.
Third Trimester: The Home Stretch
- Even More Weight Gain: As you enter the final stretch of pregnancy, there’s more weight for your back to support.
- Pelvis Prepares for Delivery: Your body is preparing for the big day. The pelvic ligaments loosen even more, translating into instability and back discomfort.
- Sleep Challenges: Since finding a comfortable sleeping position gets tougher, restless nights will leave you with a sore back.
5 Causes of Back Pain while Pregnant
During pregnancy, your body produces a hormone called relaxin, which allows ligaments in your pelvic area to relax.
Aside from targeting pelvic area ligaments, relaxin goes a step further, loosening up other ligaments and joints, too.
Your back starts feeling like it’s doing a balancing act on a tightrope.
Abdominal Muscle Separation
Diastasis recti occurs when your belly expands, causing the muscles on either side of your stomach to stretch and separate.
It reduces the support for your back, leading to more aches and pains.
As your baby bump grows, your center of gravity shifts forward to avoid toppling over, resulting in back pain and strain.
Also, your shoulders will move slightly back to make up for the shifting center of gravity, as well as your enlarging uterus.
Your body is growing a whole new person inside you, which means extra weight.
This additional load strains your back muscles, making it feel like you’re carrying groceries up 10 flights of stairs.
Pregnancy is a rollercoaster of emotions.
Stress accumulates as muscle tension in the back, creating a sensation akin to carrying a backpack full of rocks.
Early Signs of Back Pain during Pregnancy
Let’s break down the signs of back pain during pregnancy:
- Lower Back Ache: This persistent ache or stiffness occurs right where the spine meets your pelvis.
- Sharp Pain in the Back or Buttocks: Ever get a sudden, acute pain that feels like someone’s poking you in the back or buttocks? It can also shoot down your leg like a lightning bolt!
- Pain That Worsens at Night: Your back decides it’s party time when you’re trying to get some shut-eye.
- Difficulty Standing Up Straight: Standing up straight feels like you’re trying to lift a heavy backpack.
- Pain When Performing Certain Activities: Does bending over to pick something up or twisting to look behind you feel like a Herculean task?
- Radiating Pain: Sometimes, the pain radiates to your legs or across your back, looking to explore new territories.
Chiropractic Care: An Excellent Relief for Pregnancy Back Pain!
Rather than recommending pain medication or painkillers to numb your back pain during pregnancy, Dr. Gregory Doerr espouses a drug-free approach to relieving the discomfort that leverages your body’s natural ability to heal itself!
First, chiropractic care focuses on ensuring no misalignment has taken over your spine.
Pregnancy brings about a shift in your center of gravity, whose brunt is taken by your lower back.
Chiropractors adjust and align your spine to reduce that strain, like repacking a heavy backpack to be more comfortable to carry.
Moreover, Dr. Doerr identifies those pinched nerves and gently coaxes them into place, easing back pain and improving overall well-being.
Chiropractic care also gets your pelvis in tip-top shape.
A misaligned pelvis makes it harder for your baby to get into the best possible position for delivery.
By adjusting your pelvis, Dr. Doerr creates a more comfortable environment for your little one and smooths your delivery.
You will be happy to know that for some pregnant women, seeing a chiropractor in the first trimester also helps relieve nausea!
7 Ways to Reduce Back Pain during Pregnancy
Future moms can minimize back pain during pregnancy even further by pairing chiropractic manipulation with:
- Good Arch Support: Investing in shoes with good arch support or adding insoles to your favorite pair is a total game changer for back pain in pregnancy.
- Consult a Physical Therapist: They can teach you exercises and stretches to strengthen your back and ease the aches.
- Heating Pad and Cold Compresses: Alternate between warmth and cold for some DIY pain relief. A heating pad can relax tense muscles, while cold compresses reduce swelling and numb the discomfort.
- Maternity Support Belt: It takes some pressure off your back while adding to your stability and comfort.
- Support Pillows: They keep your spine aligned while you sleep, reducing the risk of waking up feeling like you’ve been resting on a pile of rocks.
- Warm Water Bottle: A warm water bottle can soothe sore muscles while giving you some much-needed comfort.
- Warm Bath: Don’t let the water get too hot—the heat is not advisable during pregnancy.
We’re Looking Forward to Helping You at Our Chiropractic Offices in NJ!
At Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, our chiropractic team, under the leadership of Dr. Gregory Doerr, adheres to the highest medical standards to provide superior chiropractic help. Our mission is to provide unparalleled patient care in a comfortable, healing atmosphere.
Access our contact form or call us at (201) 945-4075 to learn more about our chiropractic care services! Our offices at 532 Anderson Avenue, Cliffside Park, NJ 07010, and 62 Summit Ave, Hackensack, NJ 07601, are ready to welcome you as we proudly serve the areas of New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, PA, and Baltimore, MD. Also, access our blog, Facebook, and Instagram pages for more information on chiropractic care for future moms!
- “5 Tips for Pregnancy Back Pain Relief.” Mayo Clinic Health System, Mayo Clinic Health System, www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/pregnancy-back-pain-relief.
- “Back Pain during Pregnancy.” ACOG, www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/back-pain-during-pregnancy.
- “Back Pain During Pregnancy.” Cedars, www.cedars-sinai.org/health-library/diseases-and-conditions/b/back-pain-during-pregnancy.html.
- “Back Pain during Pregnancy.” Lifespan, www.lifespan.org/centers-services/multidisciplinary-obstetric-medicine-service-moms/back-pain-pregnancy.
- “Back Pain in Pregnancy.” NHS Choices, NHS, www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/common-symptoms/back-pain/.
- “Back Pain during Pregnancy: Causes and Treatments.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/baby/back-pain-in-pregnancy.