Backaches are common during pregnancy and can become quite bothersome in your last trimester.
- There are various changes happening in your body towards the end of your pregnancy. Weight gain and a rapidly growing belly cause a shift in your body’s center of gravity. This results in your back arching back, resulting in lower back pain.
- Hormone relaxin, released during this period, causes ligaments and joints in the pelvic area to loosen up. This makes several body movements like walking, sitting, standing for long hours and getting up, painful.
- Stress and anxiety also have an effect your back.
- If your leg is hurting more than the back, it could be due to the compression of sciatica nerve. You will also feel the pain below the knees all the way to the toes.
Here are some tips on how to avoid straining your back further and relieve any existing back pain.
- Maintain a good posture with shoulders and back straight while standing or walking. While sitting for long hours, use a chair with a good back rest and an extra pillow for supporting your lumbar joint. Use a foot stool while sitting to keep your legs rested and do not cross your legs. Avoid standing or sitting for long hours and take breaks to move around.
- Eat right to ensure that your weight doesn’t grow too much too fast which can strain your back suddenly.
- Wear the right shoes with good support. Avoid high heels.
- Sleep on your side and use a pillow in between your legs and belly for support. Use a firm mattress.
- Do not stretch your back by lifting heavy objects and do not try reaching out to the top shelves of your kitchen.
- While you may feel the urge to rest, moving around and exercising will be more effective. Learn to do pelvic tilts along with your Kegel exercise to strengthen the muscles.
- Warm baths and a prenatal massage can give good relief. You may also ask your spouse for a gentle massage. This will help you get intimate and will leave you feeling loved and relaxed.
- Prenatal Yoga is a growing favourite amongst women. It helps in dealing with stress along with physical fitness. Other alternative treatments like acupuncture and chiropractor are also found to be useful.
- Try to avoid stressful situations or visit a counsellor if you think you are under stress.
- Consult your doctor who will be able to prescribe a safe acetaminophen or a muscle relaxant.
The above guidelines around a healthy lifestyle work for most back troubles. However, if the pain is severe, getting worse with time or is accompanied with fever see a doctor immediately. Also, be watchful for signs of early labour.