BACK PAIN DURING PREGNANCY: CAUSES AND SOLUTIONS
As you know, pregnancy is one of the happiest periods in the life of every woman and nothing should overshadow it. However, emerging health problems can badly affect the moral and mental state of the expectant mother and her baby. In this article, we will talk about the causes of back and lower back pain (which affects 50% to 80% of all pregnant women, including those who complained of pain before pregnancy), and try to find ways to eliminate them.
At various stages of pregnancy pain can be both weak and very strong. Usually they are stupid, aching with a sense of tension in the back and lower back, complicating the process of getting up from sitting or lying down. Moreover, the pain can be accompanied by discomfort in the upper back, shoulders, between the Breasts and in the chest. Sometimes the pain «gives» in the leg, especially increasing after exercise, long walk, long standing, as well as sitting in an uncomfortable position. All women are different and some pain may occur only in the early stages of pregnancy or never occur, but usually they appear in the second half of this wonderful period of waiting for the baby and pass only after childbirth. Most often, back and lower back pain occur in women who are overweight and lead a sedentary lifestyle. Against this background, numerous processes occurring in the body of the expectant mother, exacerbate these symptoms. Such processes include, for example, hormonal changes, a decrease in the amount of calcium in the bones, including the spine, softening of the ligamentous apparatus of the small pelvis on the eve of childbirth (in this case, pain is felt in the pubic area, hip joints and on the anterior surface of the thigh). Moreover, in a pregnant woman, the uterus increases (the stomach grows) and the center of gravity shifts. Sometimes an enlarged uterus can put pressure on the nerves, and the woman feels pain radiating along the back of the leg. If the uterus presses on the nerve plexus and vessels surrounding the spine, the expectant mother feels back pain? appearing in the supine position (usually such pains appear in the middle of pregnancy and increase with its further development).
To adapt to all these changes? the woman begins to bend her back more in the lumbar region. In addition, with the increase in pregnancy, the body is gaining more and more weight, which gives the load on the spine in particular, and the entire musculoskeletal system as a whole. That is why you should not wear high-heeled shoes (especially in the second half of pregnancy), be sure to follow the posture during work and avoid long standing in one place.
Try to follow these guidelines:
- If possible, sit on a comfortable chair with a rigid back, do not cross your legs, it is better to just lift your knees and try to place them above the waist (this will help you roller, placed under the feet). To loin muscles were able to relax, put in her bend pillow (for example, a special pillow for pregnant women in the form of an arc). Do not fall sharply on the chair and often change the position of the body. In addition, try to often get up from the table and walk at least around the room.
- If you are standing or walking, pull up your buttocks, pull your shoulders back and lower them down, stand straight and straighten your spine along the entire length. If you still have to stand for a long time and it is not possible to sit down, then alternately transfer body weight from one foot to another, and put one or the other foot on a low step or threshold, so you can relieve tension from the waist. If you’re just standing, keep your head, torso, and legs in a straight line, but don’t lift your chin up high.
- If you’re driving, adjust the rear-view mirror so that you don’t have to turn your head too much to see what’s going on behind you.
- Try to sleep on your side (on a firm mattress with a flat pillow), putting a pillow or roller between your legs (especially in the second half of pregnancy), you can also put an extra pillow under your stomach. Almost all doctors do not recommend lying on your back in the late stages of pregnancy, as it can not only cause back pain, but also have a negative impact on other organs of the expectant mother, because the baby is already large enough to squeeze, for example, the intestine and bladder. Also, before you get out of bed, first roll onto your side, then sit down and only then slowly get up.
- Remember that a pregnant woman needs a good rest, so try to go to bed early and, if possible, sleep during the day. If you have insomnia, then just lie on the bed during the day-it will help your back to relax, and the rest of the body to relax a little.
- A warm bath with essential oils (lavender, oregano or ylang-ylang) will also help you relax. However, do not use lavender oil in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, as it can cause uterine contractions.
- Do not lift heavy objects, and even light objects lift correctly. Namely: come to them as close as possible, never lean forward and do not rise with a straight back, be sure to keep your knees bent. If you have to pick up something from the floor, then squat, but rather ask someone for help. If you have older children, try not to take them in your arms (explain that you are carrying a brother or sister for them).
- Try to monitor your weight and do not gain more than 12-15 kg for the entire pregnancy. Eat foods rich in calcium: milk, cottage cheese, low-fat cheese, yogurt, meat, fish, fresh herbs, nuts (not chocolate), especially a lot of calcium contains sesame. It is also necessary to take multivitamins for pregnant women, containing the necessary vitamins and minerals.
- Do simple exercises every day and be sure to walk in the fresh air, including during the lunch break (in the sun the skin produces vitamin D, which contributes to the normal absorption of calcium). Experts recommend expectant mothers to do yoga and swimming, as well as attend a special physical therapy (exercise therapy) for pregnant women. All this will not only help to strengthen the back muscles, but also to improve blood circulation in all vessels, and, consequently, the child will receive more oxygen, so necessary for proper and full development.
- Many doctors with poorly developed abdominal muscles and a large abdomen recommend wearing a special prenatal bandage, both for unloading the spine and back muscles, and to maintain the correct position of the child in the uterus (but it can not be worn throughout the day). It is necessary to select a bandage by the size to feel comfortable in it.
- Wear a bra that is properly sized and has wide straps, this will help you to unload the shoulders and chest.
- Sometimes the pain passes after a small ten-minute massage of the feet and back, which can make the future father of the baby (this is taught in special courses for pregnant women). Remember that the feeling during the massage should be comfortable and pleasant, but in any case not painful. Also, to relax the muscles, you can use special balls and massage mats.
All of the above recommendations can be implemented not only when pain occurs, but also to prevent it from ever occurring.
If you feel a pulling pain in the lower abdomen or lower back, accompanied by frequent urination, you should immediately lie down and drink a sedative, for example, Valerian extract. Such symptoms may occur after physical and psychological stress and indicate the threat of miscarriage. Also, the threat of miscarriage is evidenced by pain, accompanied by bloody discharge from the vagina. In this case, you need to lie down and call an ambulance.
Many women during pregnancy is inflammation of the genitourinary system, in this case, the expectant mother feels pain in the lumbar region. If this raises the temperature, there are swelling, headache, increased blood pressure, increased urination and urine becomes cloudy and changes color-this indicates kidney disease. Late pregnancy lower back pain heralds the onset of labor.
However, do not forget that pain in the pelvis and back can be symptoms of diseases that appeared before pregnancy. Such diseases may include spinal curvature, osteochondrosis, scoliosis, intervertebral hernia. In addition, even the smallest cracks from the previous difficult childbirth or drops may again make itself felt in the form of coccygeal pain, and rest in combination with a full bed in this case is the only cure.
At the end of the article I want to recommend when planning a pregnancy not only to undergo a General examination by a gynecologist, but also to pay attention to excess weight, namely to try to reduce it, as well as posture disorders — start going to the pool and do sports. In addition, do not forget to spend more time outdoors, eat right and take multivitamins. And let your pregnancy brings you only joy and positive emotions!