How to relieve back pain in pregnancy

October 6, 2015

The journey from seeing that positive result on your pregnancy test to actually welcoming a child into the world can be emotional, exhilarating, daunting and difficult in equal measure. Like many mums-to-be, one of the problems you might face is backache. This happens because, during pregnancy, your ligaments soften and start to stretch to prepare you for labour. In turn, this affects the joints in your pelvis and lower back. Your expanding bump and the extra strain this puts on your spine can also cause problems. The fact that this is a natural part of the process doesn’t stop it from being painful and potentially debilitating. Luckily, there are steps you can take to tackle the problem and here are some of the most effective.

How to relieve back pain in pregnancy

A person sitting on a bench

Make sure your bed’s up to scratch

We all love to luxuriate in a cosy bed, but as your pregnancy progresses, you might find it increasingly difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. One thing that could be getting in the way of a good night’s rest is a shoddy mattress. If this bedroom essential is sagging, you can feel the springs or it doesn’t provide enough support, it’s time for a change. Bear in mind that firmer mattresses tend to be better for relieving backache.

You might also benefit from changing your bed. For example, switching to electric adjustable beds can make it easier to achieve a suitable sleeping position. For the ultimate in relaxation, you could opt for a design that features in-built massage functions too.

Take the strain off

You should try to protect your back as much as possible during the day as well. For example, avoid lifting heavy objects and when you’re picking things up from the floor, make sure you bend your knees and keep your back straight. Even simple things, like splitting the weight of shopping by carrying it in two bags, can help to keep back pain at bay. Also, when you’re sitting down, make sure you keep your back straight and well supported.

Especially as you reach the later stages of pregnancy, try to get plenty of rest too. Another top tip is to ditch the heels and stick to flat shoes. This ensures your weight is more evenly spread, which is good news for your spine.

Try aquanatal classes

Certain exercises are worth trying as well. For example, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends activities in water. Your local swimming pool is likely to provide aquanatal classes with qualified instructors and these sessions can help you to stretch your back and build your strength. They’re also low-impact and, as an added bonus, the water will help to support the weight of your bump.

By following advice like this, you stand a better chance of keeping any backache in check. If you start to suffer serious pain though, make sure you speak to your doctor. They may refer you to an obstetric physiotherapist or offer you other specialist treatments.

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