How To Alleviate Prenatal Back Pain

It's not uncommon to be bothered by back pain during pregnancy. This is why some women find it helpful to see a chiropractor as part of their prenatal care. In many cases, simple exercise, pregnancy aids and proper ergonomics can help alleviate the discomfort. Your chiropractor may also recommend massage, as well as heat and cold therapy as part of your treatment:

What Causes the Discomfort?

There are a few factors that contribute to lower back pain during pregnancy. A major cause of back discomfort is the additional 30 pounds or so you have probably gained. Because of the added weight, stress may be placed on the lower back. You may feel the discomfort heighten during the last trimester of your pregnancy, as the baby's position lowers and causes pressure to the lower back.

During this time, hormonal changes cause your pelvic bone ligaments to become more flexible and pelvic muscles to relax. This may result in lower back pain. Additionally, your posture may shift to accommodate these changes, causing further discomfort.

Treating Pregnancy Back Pain

Here are a few recommendations your physician or chiropractor may recommend for prenatal back pain:

  • Prenatal Exercise Classes: Yoga designed for pregnant women, incorporated with gentle stretching exercises, may promote relaxation and relieve back pain. This may be combined with meditation to relieve stress.

  • Hot and Cold Therapy With Massage: This technique should be performed under your doctor's guidance. Your chiropractor may place a heating pad on your lower back for 20-30 minutes, followed by a cold pack for the same duration. In addition, gentle massage may bring results.

  • Pregnancy Support Pillow: A total-body pregnancy support pillow may relieve pressure on your lower back. These over-sized body pillows are often made with memory foam, to contour to the shape of your body and relieve pressure points in the lower back and hips.

  • Prenatal Back Support Belt: An elastic maternity belt may help you avoid strain and alleviate lower back stress. This is especially useful at work or during exercise.

  • Practice Safe Workplace Ergonomics: This may mean adjusting or modifying your workstation. Use a lumbar support chair with back rest and take frequent breaks during the job to avoid prolonged standing and walking. If you work at a desk or station, be sure it is adjusted to the proper height to avoid slouching.

As General Rule of Practice

Before you begin any course of therapy for prenatal back pain, consult with your physician. Your doctor knows your unique situation and medical history, and may make recommendations accordingly. To learn more, try contacting a company like Fick Chiropractic Centers Inc. with your questions.