Back pain in pregnancy
At some point women in pregnancy, except of morning sickness and pain of labor contractions, there may be another unpleasant sensation of back pain. From 50% to 70% of pregnant women are faced with a sense of back pain during pregnancy. Most back pain (lower back) in pregnant women begins in the second half of pregnancy, because of changes in total body weight and the center of gravity, which gives an extra load on the spine.
Back pain in pregnancy - often perceived as a chronic persistent pain in the lower back (lumbar region). Back pain in pregnancy usually occur in younger women or those who have multiple pregnancies or weak back muscles before pregnancy. For most pregnant women, or immediately postpartum pain occurs in the sacroiliac joint, where the pelvis attaches to the spine. It can be felt as stiffness in the morning and can develop into pain during the day.
Back pain in pregnancy may be caused by postural changes.
There are many factors that cause pain in low back or spine in pregnant women. Here are some of the most likely causes:
- weight gain,
- postural changes,
- hormonal changes,
- muscles separation,
During physiologically normal tend pregnancy pregnant woman gaining in weight from 11 to 16 kilograms. This additional weight supported by the spine and that can lead to discomfort in the lower back (lumbar region and sacrum). In addition, the weight of the growing fetus and uterus increases size puts pressure on the pelvis blood vessels and vertebral nerves.
When the uterus becomes harder due to fetus growth in a pregnant woman's will be changes center of gravity. This occurs gradually: pregnant woman unwittingly begin to correct posture and gait. This may lead to the appearance of back pain or excessive strain on the lumbar muscles in pregnant women.
During pregnancy, a woman's body produces a hormone called relaxin, which allows the ligaments in the pelvic area to relax, and the joints become more mobile in preparation for process of childbirth. This same hormone relaxin can cause weakening of the ligaments that support the bones of the spine that leads to a weakening of its most important support function, causing spinal instability and pain.
When the uterus increases in size, two muscles running parallel on the anterior abdominal wall (rectus abdominis, which from top are attached to the ribs and downwardly to the pubic bone), can be divided along the central tendon suture (white line). This separation of the abdominal muscles in pregnancy may aggravate back pain.
Bundle of rectus abdominis and skin stretching of the anterior abdominal wall (striae) occurs in some women in pregnancy and requires wearing a special brace.
Emotional stress can cause muscle tension in the lower back, which will be felt as back pain or spasm. As a result of stress in pregnant women may experience pain in the lower back (lumbar region and sacrum), because of the muscle spasm.
Back pain in pregnant women stop after a certain time. However, if before pregnancy there were such chronic pains in the lower back and sacrum, they could grow significantly worse during the period after the birth. In any case, there are many ways how to eliminate or partially alleviate those unpleasant sensations in the lower back in pregnancy.
Regular exercise strengthens the back muscles and improves mobility, removing muscle tension accumulated during pregnancy in the lumbar spine. For those women who engage in physical activity three times a week during the second half of pregnancy significantly eliminated the severity of back pain. Safe exercises for all pregnant women include:
- stationary bike.
Pregnancy observing obstetrician-gynecologists, neurologists and physical therapists can recommend specific exercises to strengthen the abdominal muscles and back muscles during pregnancy.
Regular exercise in pregnancy is necessary for the prevention or treatment of back pain (lumbar region and sacrum).
After doctor's consulting for woman with back pain in pregnancy can be recommended cool and warm compresses to relieve the tension from muscles tense painful areas and increase local blood flow in them. Start with cold compresses (ice pack or frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel), putting them on the painful areas for 20 minutes several times a day. After 2-3 days, go to the warm compresses - applied warmer or hot water bottle on your lower back.
The use of physiotherapy (infrared therapy) in the treatment process can reduce muscle spasm and muscle pain.
Attention! You should not put warm compresses to the abdomen side during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, a woman's posture correction during work, sitting or sleeping can help relieve back pain. For example, while sleeping in a prone position on the side, put a pillow between your knees, that relieves muscle tension in the lower back. Sitting at a table, enclose rolled into a roll towel between the seat back and the waist. Under foot enclose the stack of books or a small chair and sit with your straight back and expanding shoulders. Wearing a supporting brace can also help a pregnant woman get rid of back pain.
Version of semi-rigid lumbosacral brace worn for back pain treatment in pregnancy or after childbirth.
In pregnancy, women should also avoid:
- worn high heel shoes,
- lifting objects from the floor due to trunks tilt forward (lumbar flexion), instead of squats (knees bending),
- sleep on her back with straight legs.
If the back pain associated with muscle tension on the background of emotional problems, stress and anxiety, psychotherapist counseling may reduce or eliminate these unpleasant sensations in the lower back and sacrum.
Reflexotherapy by acupuncture first appeared in ancient China. By the sterile disposable needles introduction into certain areas of the skin is achieved the desired therapeutic effect. The use of acupuncture for pregnancy back pain in several sessions (conjunction with other medical procedures) provides a good clinical outcome. The therapeutic effect from acupuncture is due to the body's reflex response (relaxation of tense muscles, improving local blood flow) in response to a stimulus that can be applied at acupuncture exposure.
Use of acupuncture is very effective in the treatment of back pain (lumbar region and sacrum) during pregnancy.
Manual therapy (soft muscle technique, osteopathy) is based on the certain manipulation of back muscles. Doctor performs chiropractic on the lumbar muscles and sacrum joints in the treatment of back pain in pregnancy. Properly conducted manipulative therapy (muscle technique, osteopathy) in order to relieve of back pain is not contraindicated in women with uncomplicated pregnancy. On the possibility of manual therapy application should be checked with overseeing obstetrician-gynecologist.
If back pain in pregnancy cannot be removed by listed above non-drug methods, it may require the drugs assignment by observing obstetrician-gynecologist or neurologist. Acetaminophen (Teylinol) is safe when used in the majority of pregnant women. Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen and Naproxen is not recommended in pregnant women's back pain treatment. In some cases, physicians may recommend painkillers or other agents, relaxing the back muscles, which are safe during pregnancy.
If you have any questions about the diagnosis or treatment of back pain in pregnancy, you can specify them with our neurosurgeon or neurologist by phone: (499) 130-08-09
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