Suffering from Pain During Pregnancy? You should know that there are things you can do to minimize your back pain.
Back Pain During Pregnancy
If you are experiencing back pain during your pregnancy, there are a myriad of potential causes for your discomfort, and you are not alone. Up to half of all pregnant women experience back pain at some point, and of this group, many will not seek professional help for their pain. Back pain during pregnancy can occur at any point, but is often found in the later stages, when your posture and alignment have shifted due to the extra weight distribution on your hips and joints in the lower body. The good news is, your baby is growing, which is all very exciting, but the pain can leave you feeling uncomfortable and limited in your daily activities. At Optimum Wellness in Barrie, Ontario, we want you to understand that you don’t have to suffer—chiropractic care can help you find relief!
Causes of Back Pain in Pregnant Women
Back pain during pregnancy is most commonly occurring in the sacroiliac joint (SI joint). The SI joint will often become an issue due to a hormone called relaxin, which is present in your body during pregnancy. Relaxin allows for more flexibility in your ligaments in preparation for your delivery, which can cause more strain on your hip joints. Aside from that, there are many common symptoms that can occur throughout your pregnancy, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, difficulty breathing, headaches, plantar fasciitis, muscle pain/cramping, and cost-vertebral pain (the joints between the posterior ribs and thoracic spinal segments), most of which will just disappear as you welcome your newborn baby into this world!
There are many possibilities for the cause of your back pain during pregnancy. Here are some common causes:
- Weight gain. During a healthy pregnancy, women will gain between 25 and 35 pounds. This is only a general estimate and can vary greatly. This extra weight will be distributed and loaded on the lumbar spine and pelvis, which can often be the cause of your lower back pain. The weight of your growing baby and uterus can also put pressure on the blood vessels and nerves in the pelvis and low back, which can also contribute to your pain.
- Postural changes. Pregnancy and weight gain will shift your center of gravity. As a result, you may gradually — even without noticing — begin to adjust your posture and the way you move. This is evident in the wide foot stance and lateral hip rotation that you will notice in many pregnant women. These postural changes can result in back pain, muscle fatigue, flat foot symptoms, and potential strains throughout the body.
- Hormone changes. During pregnancy, your body produces a hormone called relaxin, which allows ligaments in the pelvic area to relax and the joints to become looser in preparation for the birth process. Relaxin can cause ligaments that support the spine to loosen, leading to instability and pain.
Abdominal muscle separation. During the growth and development of your baby, the uterus will expand to accommodate. In some cases, this rapid growth can cause a condition termed diastasis recti. This is when your rectus abdominis muscles, which run from the rib cage to the pubic bone, may separate along the center seam. This separation can also be a cause of your back pain. Some women will need to wear a support band until their baby is born to prevent further damage.
- Stress.Pregnancy can be an emotional roller coaster! Emotional stress can cause muscle tension throughout your body, which may be felt as back pain or spasms, headaches, and shoulder tension. You may find that you experience an increase in back pain during stressful periods of your pregnancy.
You should know that there are things you can do to minimize your back pain. Chiropractic Care can Help!
Women who seek out the care of a chiropractor can have reduction in back pain during pregnancy. Your chiropractor will take all of your health concerns into consideration when building a treatment plan for your specific needs. Your adjustments will be modified as needed, especially with regards to positioning during treatment, and chiropractic care is a safe form of treatment that does not require the use of drugs for pain relief.