Back pain is one of the most common ailments in pregnancy. It can appear at any stage of pregnancy. This condition has acquired great importance due to its impact on the quality of life and the economic losses it generates.
The area most often affected is the lower back, so the proper medical term is low back pain associated with pregnancy. The intensity of the pain varies from person to person, becoming very annoying in most cases.
The third trimester of pregnancy is the period in which this condition is most frequent , observing a great increase in the intensity of pain between weeks 24 and 36. In this sense, there are some techniques that women can apply to avoid its appearance or reduce its impact.
Causes of back pain during pregnancy
It is important to know that the lower back has a natural inward curvature, however, it can vary up to 28 degrees to compensate for the weight produced by the belly. In this way, a physiological condition known as lumbar hyperlordosis appears, which will disappear after childbirth.
Hyperlordosis will cause various changes in the vertebrae and vertebral discs, thus generating the appearance of pain. On the other hand, the increase in the size of the baby will cause the need to readjust the center of gravity of the body, which is why women tend to lean back.
Back pain in pregnancy is also associated with hormonal changes. Studies have shown that a hormone called relaxin increases the range of motion of the sacroiliac joints in order to adapt the pelvis for fetal development.
Factors such as stress, weakness in the abdominal muscles, or congestion in the epidural vessels favor the appearance of the symptom. However, there is not enough scientific evidence to demonstrate the impact in these situations.
Recommendations to avoid back pain in pregnancy
Currently, there is no 100% effective way to prevent the appearance of back pain in pregnancy, since it is a consequence of a physiological process. However, it is possible to reduce its impact and make it tolerable.
All measures will be aimed at reducing the pressure exerted on the lower back and strengthening the muscles located there. In this sense, among the recommendations that can be followed, the following stand out.
Take care of the posture
As already mentioned, back pain during this period appears as a result of lumbar hyperlordosis. Therefore, correcting the hyper curvature and maintaining a correct posture helps greatly to reduce the condition.
In this sense, one should try to sit and stand upright, seeking to align the entire back with the lower part of the body. Also, it is important not to hold the same position for a long time to avoid increasing pressure on the lower back muscles.
In general terms, some helpful tips for maintaining good posture include the following:
- Keep your back straight and upright.
- Raise the chest
- Roll your shoulders slightly back.
- Don’t lock your knees.
Adapt what is used during this stage
Pregnancy is a special stage in which the body of women undergoes some changes, so the lifestyle must be changed and adapted. In this way, it is important to use seats that have lumbar support and, in turn, raise the legs to improve blood circulation.
On the other hand, the mattress that is going to be used to sleep must be rigid, offering adequate support to the spine. It is also recommended to sleep on the side, especially on the left, since it gives the pregnant body a more anatomical position.
Finally, if you want to prevent back pain during pregnancy, you should change your clothes. In this sense, it is necessary to wear low-heeled shoes that offer more stability and are comfortable. In addition, maternity pants offer extra support to the lower back.
Physical exercise helps strengthen all the muscles in the body, including the abdominals and those that support the spine. Therefore, exercising during the first two trimesters of pregnancy helps reduce the pain suffered in the final stage.
Activities like swimming and walking are very beneficial, as well as stretching. However, it is always advisable to consult your doctor before starting any training routine.
Don’t try too hard
Sudden and sudden movements are contraindicated in pregnancy. They can cause the abdominal and lower back muscles to tighten, causing great pain.
Everyday movements, such as getting up from a chair, should be performed with a straight back. If you want to rotate your trunk or lift an object off the floor, you should do it slowly.
What to do with back pain in pregnancy?
For many years, back pain during pregnancy was an underestimated symptom. The therapy to follow consisted of just resting, which did not alleviate the symptoms. Today, methods such as water exercises and physiotherapy have been shown to be effective in relieving pain.
In turn, painkillers such as paracetamol can be ingested, which is not harmful to the baby. It is important to remember that this symptom is completely normal in the last stage of pregnancy, however, it is always advisable to consult a doctor in the presence of it.