How to Minimise Back Pain During Pregnancy
Back, neck and shoulder pain are all very common during pregnancy. Not only do women have extra weight to carry around, but the ligaments within your body also become naturally softer and begin to stretch. This is a normal part of being pregnant and it is your body preparing for labour. This softening and stretching of the ligaments can strain your joints, especially the ones in the pelvis or lower back. This then causes back pain, which can be worse in some expectant mums more than others. If you are newly pregnant or are experiencing back pain, here are a few ways to prevent further pain and when to seek help.
How to Avoid or Limit Back Pain During Pregnancy
Back pain during pregnancy can occur because of many everyday activities. If you work in a place where you usually do a lot of lifting, this can cause back pain even when you are not pregnant. That is why it is especially important that you understand how to lift and pick objects up from the floor properly, to avoid damage to your spine. When pregnant, it can become harder to lift things, especially if you have a large bump. If this is the case, your manager should have something in place to ensure that you do not need to do anything that could cause damage to your health.
Wearing flat shoes can also prevent back pain, as flat shoes allow your weight to be evenly distributed throughout your whole foot, putting no extra strain on your spine. If you often sit down for work, such as in an office role, you may want to invest in a maternity pillow. These pillows can support your back and keep it straight throughout long periods of sitting. Massages and warm baths can limit the amount of pain you have if you do experience back pain during pregnancy.
Exercises to Reduce Back Pain During Pregnancy
If you are suffering from back pain, doing exercises which aid in strengthening your stomach muscles may ease some of this pain. Many expectant mums go to aqua–natal or prenatal yoga classes, all of which can help with back pain. Aqua natal classes are held in a swimming pool and are very gentle exercises, which are designed specifically for pregnant ladies.
Prenatal yoga is also designed just for pregnant women and you will not be asked to do any positions that may compromise the baby. Both of these exercise classes are very calm and aid in building up your muscles gently, so you can have a better–supported back. If you want to exercise at home, here are five simple exercises that can aid with back pain during pregnancy.
When to Seek Help
Back pain whilst pregnant is to be expected, but if you are seriously suffering it may be time to speak to a doctor or midwife. Back pain can usually be treated at home with over the counter painkillers such as Paracetamol unless you have been told not to take pain relief for any reason during pregnancy. If you are taking painkillers whilst pregnant, ensure you stick to the recommended dose on the pack.
If you have a backache that is different than usual or very sore, it may be an emergency. You should contact your midwife or GP if you suddenly have back pain alongside having a fever, bleeding, a loss of feeling below your waist, have pain under your ribs or you are in your second or third trimester.
Treatment for Back Pain During Pregnancy
As stated earlier, Paracetamol is commonly used to dull the pain of a backache for pregnant women. Alongside this, it may be beneficial for you to get prenatal massages, especially if you are suffering from a constant backache. Your doctor or midwife can also refer you to a physiotherapist who specialises in pregnancy care. They will be able to give you some useful exercises to do at home, depending on where your back pain is and how severe it is.
Many pregnant women who suffer from back, shoulder or neck pain visit a chiropractor. The London Back Pain Clinic is home to experienced chiropractors who can help both prenatal and postnatal women who need help with their back pain. If you take a look at their services page onlondonbackpainclinic.com, you’ll see that they offer chiropractic therapy to relieve tension and improve and restore movement into the joints. The chiropractors at this particular clinic are very interested in getting to know you and your daily habits to ensure they give you the best treatment possible to relieve some of the aching and stress you may be having during pregnancy. Chiropractic care is safe for pregnant woman and is recommended by many doctors.
Limiting the amount of stress we put on our spine can help in limiting any back pain we have during pregnancy. Often, a little back pain cannot be helped but knowing the difference between a backache and severe pain which may be pointing towards an emergency is very important.
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