by Dr. Brent Wells

According to NCBI, there have been a lot of studies concerning pregnancy related low back pain. Research suggests that 50% of expectant women are likely to suffer from back pain with a third of the number suffering from severe pain. In most cases, pregnant women experience lower back pain during their first pregnancy. Studies state that lower back pain is the main reason pregnant women take sick leaves for work.

The severity of back pain in pregnancy ranges from mild discomfort after standing for longer durations to incapacitating pain that confines a pregnant woman’s ability to function properly. Therefore, you need to know how to relieve back pain when pregnant in order to keep you and your baby safe. You can decrease the pain by achieving the ideal balance between your muscle strength and flexibility.

You can learn how to relieve back pain when pregnant from online sources or a pregnancy fitness trainer. It is important to strengthen key muscles around the spine for added stability. Tight muscles tend to exert excess force on unstable joints, leading to discomfort. However, there are other measures that you can take to successfully manage back pain during pregnancy.

According to American Pregnancy Association, the main causes of back pain when pregnant are: stress, posture, additional weight, center of gravity, and increase of hormones. As a result, the measures you take must be able to address these issues. The following techniques should help you learn how to relieve back pain when pregnant.

Good Posture When Pregnant

Good posture is more important during pregnancy. Posture and stability are inseparably linked. A pregnant woman’s center of gravity changes throughout pregnancy. As the abdomen grows big, most women tend to slump when standing. That should not be the case. You must maintain the same good posture prior to becoming pregnant. Proper posture helps to prevent back pain or chronic backache.

Good posture:

  • Alleviates back discomfort.
  • Improves digestion.
  • And helps the baby settle into the best birth position.

You have to do the following to achieve good posture:

  • Hold the head erect, knees slightly bent, shoulders relaxed, and chin tucked when standing.
  • Keep the knees, level or higher than your hips when sitting; and you can place a pillow behind the back for comfort.
  • Place a pillow under the upper leg when lying on your side.
  • Place a pillow under the knees when lying on your back so as to elevate the legs.

Good Sleeping Posture

Prenatal Yoga

Not every woman knows and appreciates the importance of yoga. In fact, some people may argue that yoga is not suitable for expectant women. That should not be the case. Prenatal yoga is beneficial during pregnancy, it helps you breathe properly and relax. As a result, you will be able to effectively adjust to the pregnancy physical demands. Yoga ensures that you are free of emotional and physical stress associated with pregnancy.

Can I learn how to relieve back pain when pregnant through hot yoga? According to Aaptiv, one cannot say for certain that it is unsafe, since there is no irrefutable research that completely rules out hot yoga in pregnancy. In most cases, expectant women are recommended to consult their physician regarding hot yoga. Experts suggest that there may be the increased risk of neural tube defects among other possible malformations.

The following are the top 3 prenatal yoga poses that will help you relieve back pain when pregnant:

1.      Extended Side Angle Pose

This vibrant diagonal stretch works the upper body of a pregnant woman while strengthening and reshaping the legs and thigh.

To do this pose:

  • Lean to your right and place your right hand on the right knee.
  • Lift your left arm over your head to form a straight line from the back heel to the fingertips.
  • Exhale and look up under your left arm and toward the top.
  • Maintain the position for five breaths.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

1.      Triangle Pose

This pose requires you to create an extended triangle with your body. It involves a forward bend, balance and stretching. This pose is recommended for the second trimester. It stretches your muscles from the heel to the fingers of the raised hand.

To do this pose:

  • Place your feet one stride apart, drop your pelvic muscles.
  • Breathe in and raise your arms sideways.
  • Turn your right foot outwards to 90 degrees and your left foot slightly inwards.
  • Breathe out slowly and bend at the waist to your right side.
  • Extend your right hand downwards towards your ankle while lifting your left arm up.
  • Turn your head to look upwards and hold the position for five breaths.
  • Return to the standing position and repeat on the other side.
  • You can place a support for the hand if you cannot completely stretch the right hand to touch the ground.

1.      Child Pose

The child pose is one of the simplest prenatal yoga. It is used to refresh and relax the body, since no effort or force is needed once the pose is obtained. It does a good job of stretching the back muscles and relaxes the abdominal muscles.

To do this pose:

  • Kneel on the ground and position your buttocks toward your heels.
  • Position your arms lengthways, alongside your body.
  • Gently stretch your chin forward and lower your forehead to the ground.
  • Round your shoulders and spine.
  • Assume the pose and relax your neck muscles.
  • Hold the position for at least 3 breaths.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

In summary, the possibility of a woman experiencing back pain when pregnant is high. Postural changes, weight gain and joint stability are the major problems to deal with. Use the above information to learn how to relieve back pain when pregnant. Good posture and prenatal yoga will help you maintain a good balance of strength and flexibility.

Note: Talk to your doctor if you want to practice hot yoga in pregnancy.

About Dr. Brent Wells

Dr. Brent Wells has been practicing chiropractic physician in Anchorage, Juneau & Wasilla, Alaska since 1998. He is the founder of Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab, a multi-disciplinary clinic that utilizes a team approach to provide a full range of effective, conservative treatments, including chiropractic care, rehabilitative therapy and massage therapy, as well as other advanced high-tech complementary therapies. His clinics have successfully addressed pain and spine-related conditions without addictive drugs or invasive surgeries for more than 15,000 patients.