If you are suffering from lower back pain in pregnancy, you've come to the right place. Luckily back pain can be remedied in a variety of ways, read this article to find out 6 of the best!
Is Lower Back Pain Normal in Early Pregnancy?
Although lower back pain typically occurs between the fifth and seventh month of being pregnant, it is totally normal for some women to experience lower back ache as early as 8-12 weeks.
Back ache in early pregnancy is a common cause for many women as your ligaments loosen up and become softer in order to facilitate your baby. Unfortunately, this puts added strain onto your lower back and pelvic joints and can even lead to stomach cramps.
Stomach Cramps and Lower Back Pain in Early Pregnancy
So how are abdominal cramps and lower back pain linked? Well in early pregnancy your uterus begins to push against your abdominal wall, causing the muscles inside your wall to weaken and separate. Consequently, this pushes the stress onto your lower back muscles, which in contrast, are smaller and have a tendency to be not as strong.
Pregnancy support belt's help relieve this pressure on your stomach. A belt is able to support and lift your belly minimising the pressure and strain on your lower back, pelvis and hips. Wearing a pregnancy belt in short bursts will reduce discomfort when standing, sitting and walking and enable you to go about your daily routine much easier.
How to Ease Lower Back Pain in Late Pregnancy?
With an estimated 50-80% of pregnant women experiencing back pain in some form, it is important to understand how regular activity and stretching can help curb lower back pain in pregnancy before it becomes chronic.
The deep breathing and relaxation techniques in yoga, for instance, help ease and relax tense muscles around the pelvic region, offering quick and safe relief from lower back pain pregnancy.
Stretches to Help Lower Back Pain during Pregnancy
Stretching is extremely useful for pregnancy back pain relief as it strengthens and realigns muscles in the lower back and pelvic region, in addition to relieving stress, strain and tension on specific joints that take all the pressure during pregnancy. When you lower back muscles are relaxed and flexible, they can comfortably handle your baby’s weight.
Pregnancy Lower Back Pain Relief Exercises
Specific exercises and yoga poses can help strengthen the abdominal and lower back muscles, buttocks, thighs, hamstrings and pelvic floor – which in turn greatly reduce lower back pain pregnancy.
Back strengthening exercises with a birthing ball in particular are very useful for relieving lower back pain during pregnancy.
6 Simple Pregnancy Exercises to Relieve Lower Back Pain
- Sit down on the floor, bottom resting on your heels, knees tucked under and slightly apart. Now slowly lean forward as if reaching for something, resting your elbows on the floor once your arms are fully stretched. Stretch your arms as far as they will go, hold for a few seconds. Return to an upright position and repeat.
- Place your hands and knees on the floor in a box position. Draw or suck in your abdominal muscles, tucking your tailbone in and letting your head drop at the same time, as you gently raise your back toward the ceiling. Hold this position for a few seconds. Now return to a neutral position and lower your back down into an arch as far as you can while lifting your head up.
- Lie on your back on the floor with knees slightly bent and feet flat against the floor, placing them hip-width apart. Your legs should be bent enough to easily allow your fingers to touch the back of your heels. Inhale and draw you pelvis in towards yourself as you lift your hips and lower back off the ground, pressing down with your feet and maintaining a neutral spine. Hold for a few seconds, exhale and return to the starting position.
Birthing Ball Exercises
- Sit on a birthing ball with your shoulders down and back, your spine in a straight and neutral position. Keep your neck long and straight, chest lifted and tummy muscles only slightly pulled in without rounding your back. Now tuck your pelvis in so that your lower back/tailbone is slightly rounded. You will experience a gradual tension release in your lower back. Return to the starting position for another round of pelvic tilts.
- The child’s pose also happens to be an incredibly relaxing exercise for pregnant mothers. Start by placing your knees on the ground, slightly apart, and reach out with both hands, placing them on the birthing ball that’s in front of you. Sit back on your heels as much as you can as you feel the stretch in your back and shoulders. From the neck to your tailbone, feel each muscle in your back relax as you deeply inhale and exhale, while gently letting yourself sink down as much as possible.
- Sit tall on the birthing ball, keeping your spine neutral, your shoulders down and back, neck tall and looking straight ahead. Start by ‘pulling up’ your pelvic floor and squeezing those muscles – the same muscles you use to prevent yourself from passing wind. We refer to this as the ‘back passage’ of your pelvic floor. Now pull up the ‘front passage’ of your pelvic floor, as if preventing yourself from urinating. A good way to see if your lower abdominal muscles are working properly during this exercise is to place both hands right above your pubic bone (at the base of your baby bump) and feel them contracting with your pelvic floor. If you feel this area tensing up, then you are executing the movement correctly.