One of the most common complaints I hear about from pregnant women is that they have back pain; especially during the later stages of pregnancy. Since there are many reasons as to why women can develop back pain during pregnancy, it is important to find the root of the problem before attempting to treat it. Seeing a Physical Therapist to help assess and diagnose your back pain will help you find relief faster.
Causes of Back Pain during Pregnancy
Back pain can be caused by a variety of reasons, and the first step in treating pack pain is identifying why you have back pain and where it is coming from. Visiting a Physical Therapist for a thorough evaluation is usually a good idea when you cannot identify the cause of your back pain, or if it is affecting your daily life.
-Increasing weight gain during pregnancy
- The increase in weight during your pregnancy means that your body has to support more weight than it is used to. This puts more pressure on your spine and the muscles, ligaments, joints, blood vessels, and nerves that surround it.
-Postural Changes/ Center of Gravity Changes during Pregnancy
-As your pregnancy progresses and your belly becomes bigger, your center of gravity shifts (forward) to adjust for the change in weight and position of your belly. As your center of gravity shifts, you will begin to adjust your posture during sitting, standing, and moving. The change in posture may put strain on muscles, joints, and ligaments, causing back pain.
-Hormonal Changes during Pregnancy
- During pregnancy, your body produces Relaxin; a hormone that allows the ligaments in your pelvic area to relax so that the joints become looser in preparation for delivery. Relaxin can also affect the ligaments in your spine, causing them to loosen and lead to instability and pain due to muscle strain.
-Stress during Pregnancy
-Some believe that stress can accumulate in weaker areas of the body in the form of tension. Muscle tension in your back during stressful periods in your pregnancy can lead to back pain, back strain, or back spasms.
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Elina Skripochnik PT, DPT, CSCS
Elina is a Physical Therapist with experience in women's health and pediatrics. She aims to educate women on the importance of becoming and staying active during pregnancy, as well as to provide safe and easy exercises that can be done throughout pregnancy and beyond.