One of the most common complaints during the later months of pregnancy is experiencing back pain. Typically, during pregnancy the pain is felt in the low mid back and pelvis areas. Because this back pain can remain once the pregnancy is over, it is important to seek treatment to prevent the pain from becoming too severe. The mid back pain and pelvic pain can be felt on only one side or be felt in the middle of the back. This pain can be felt throughout the day or only during the evening and at night. The causes of mid back pain during pregnancy include the additional weight of the growing baby, hormone levels, body mechanics, circulation and the amount of activity during the day. Strengthening and stretching exercises are important during pregnancy because of the change in hormones. A hormone present during pregnancy is relaxin, and this hormone helps to relax the pelvis for increased flexibility during labor. Because relaxin loosens the pelvic joint, the sacroiliac joint can become less stable and pain can be felt at the SI joint and other joints along with spine. Other hormones can cause back pain during pregnancy as well because as the hormones increase, water retention in the soft tissues and ligaments puts additional weight on the spinal joints.
Back Pain During Pregnancy
Some causes of back pain during pregnancy, such as hormonal changes, cannot be controlled or prevented to avoid back pain but some causes can be improved. Body mechanics and the amount and type of activities during the day can be altered to help decrease back pain and possibly avoid an increase in the severity of the back pain. Practicing good posture, sleeping on your side with a pillow placed between the knees, lifting small items while squatting and using your legs, using maternity belly support belts and wearing appropriate footwear with good arch support will all help with prevention of back pain while pregnant. Massage therapy, when indicated during pregnancy, and chiropractic care can also provide pain relief for mid back and pelvic pain. Aside from manipulations, a chiropractic physician can offer stretching and strengthening exercises for the back and abdominal muscles. Strengthening these areas will provide greater stability to help fight the effects of the hormone relaxin. These exercises may also provide more strength and endurance during the course of labor and delivery as well.
References Cited in this Article
There is more information on chiropractic care in pregnancy.