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Back Pain And Pregnancy: Causes And Methods For Relief

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When you're pregnant, you can't take most pain medications. But, you're also experiencing worlds of discomforts, especially lower back pain. Knowing what causes it and the different methods for relief can help you achieve more comfort during your pregnancy.

Why does back pain often accompany pregnancy? 

The lower back pain that comes with pregnancy is caused by a number of factors working together. The biggest culprits are:

  1. Relaxin. This is a hormone that your body starts to release during pregnancy which makes all of your muscles and joints more loose. This hormone is essential for loosening the pelvic area so that the baby can travel through the birth canal during delivery. It leads to back pain because you body is more easily pulled out of alignment when there are high levels of relaxin. 
  2. Weight gain. Increased weight means increased pressure on the joints, especially in the lower back. Most women gain weight during pregnancy, which is why many women experience more back pain.
  3. A changing center of gravity. As your belly grows, it changes the way your weight is positioned over you feet and hips, leading to a change in posture. Some women compensate for the change by over-arching the spine. Others try to slouch forward to find more comfort. Both postures lead to a sore back.

What are some methods for relief?

You can't do much about the level of relaxin in your body, but you can help to alleviate back pain in pregnancy with a combination of medical treatment and lifestyle choices. 


One way to help improve aches and pains during pregnancy is to make sure your body is healthy and strong before pregnancy, especially the muscles in your back and abdominals. This will help with your posture as you gain weight and as your midriff expands. Unfortunately, not all women are able to get fit before a pregnancy starts, but continuing to exercise during pregnancy will still have benefits. 

Stretches to help improve flexibility and core strength can also help during pregnancy. Consider going to a prenatal yoga class or following a routine at home that helps you improve your flexibility and strengthen your stabilizing muscles. 

Also, swimming is great exercise for back pain because the weightless feeling of the water provides temporary relief to your joints.

Chiropractic Care

In order to combat the misalignment that often comes from relaxin, you should make an appointment to have your back adjusted with a chiropractor. Subluxations in the spine often cause pinched nerves and strained muscles and can be the source of your pain during pregnancy. When choosing a chiropractor, be sure that they have experience adjusting pregnant women, and be honest about your due date to avoid any procedures that might trigger premature labor. As an added bonus, chiropractic care is also effective for helping your baby get into the right position for birth.

Prenatal Massage

Another great solution for back pain during pregnancy is to utilize professional massage. If you have had massages previously to getting pregnant, you'll notice that a prenatal massage is slightly different. The table has a spot that allows your baby bump to drop down, allowing you to lay on your stomach. The massage therapist will be more gentle with your massage and will avoid any techniques that could be harmful to the baby. 

Massage helps to increase circulation to sore areas and helps to relieve tension in strained muscles. If you see a massage therapist regularly during pregnancy, you will notice a decrease in your overall pain level.

Back pain during pregnancy is a reality, but you don't have to suffer through without relief. Talk to doctor about methods of pain relief so that you can enjoy your pregnancy until the end. 

Visit to learn more about potential back pain treatment options.