What a pain… in the back

This week there has been several women asking about back pain during pregnancy.

Back pain is classed as either: back ache or pelvic girdle pain.
Firstly back pain in pregnancy is very common, this is due to the hormones which soften everything as your baby grows. Often your posture changes as you get closer to your due date and all your ligaments are softening and stretching.
How to avoid backache
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects
  • Bend your knees and keep your back straight
  • Move your feet when turning round, avoid twisting
  • Wear flat shoes
  • Make sure you rest enough, particularly towards the end of pregnancy
To help
  • Massage
  • Some women wear a tummy support to make them feel more secure
  • Sleep on a firm mattress
  • Paracetamol
  • Have a warm bath to see if it relives the muscles
  • Yoga and swimming
If it is very painful speak to your midwife or doctor they might be able to refer you to a physiotherapist that specialises in pregnancy, they can often give you some exercise that can help.
What about pelvic girdle pain (PGP)?
This pain is different to backache, although it may still involve your back. If you have pain when walking, climbing stairs, turning in bed and the bone at the front of your pelvis is sore, you may have pelvic girdle pain. This is common affecting 1:4 women and also down to those pesky hormones.
The pain is often caused by a pelvic misalignment or stiffness of the pelvic joints, some may feel mild discomfort whereas others may have issues with mobility.
If you think that you might have PGP speak to your midwife, they might be able to refer you to a physiotherapist and you can try all the above advice for backache. Other ways that could help include:
  • Chiropractor as they are experienced in treating pelvic joint problems
  • Tens machine if is it close to your due date
  • Some women need to speak to their GP about additional pain relief
  • Some women, as long as their mobility is ok feel that the use of water during their labour helps their backache or pelvic pain.
The good news is that once your baby is born normally the backache/pelvic pain goes!