pregnant woman with back ache

Is your pregnancy turning out to be a pain the back—literally? You are unfortunately not alone since back pain is among the most common complaints of pregnant women. When pregnant, back pain is typically in the form of soreness, stiffness, and aches in the lower or upper backs that could sometimes also be felt radiating to the butt and legs. In some women, it starts very early on during pregnancy and could last or become worse up until the last trimester.

Common Back Pain Causes In The First Trimester of Pregnancy

Lots of things can cause back pain during the first trimester of pregnancy, and for some, it is actually one of the earliest indications that they’re pregnant. If you have back pain during this time, these two factors might be to blame:

  • Increase in Pregnancy Hormones – During pregnancy, the body releases certain hormones that make the pelvic joints and ligament softer and looser, which would come in very handy when giving birth later on. However, these hormones won’t just target the pelvis, but also affect the ligament and joins in the entire body. During your first trimester, this loosening and softening action can result in back pains and aches.
  • Elevated Stress – This increases tightness and pain in the muscles, especially in weak areas. In the event that pregnancy hormones are already negatively affecting your ligaments and joints, just a smidge of anxiety over being pregnant, family, work, or anything that causes stress could contribute to your back pain.

Common Back Pain Causes In the Second and Third Trimesters of Pregnancy

Other things could come into play and make your back pain worse as you go into your second and third trimesters. These include the following:

  • Weight Gain – The back should be strong enough to support you and your baby’s increasing weight, which could, in turn, strain your back muscles. This is particularly inevitable if you have weak back muscles and have poor posture.
  • Shifting Gravity Center – One of the side effects of the stomach getting bigger is the center of gravity shifting forward. Consequently, this could result in postural changes that could impact the way you sleep, move, stand, and sit. In addition, poor posture, bending over, and standing for a long time could exacerbate or trigger back pain.

pregnant woman at the chiropractor

Safe Back Pain Treatments for Pregnant Women

Fortunately for you, there certain things that you can safely do to ease your pregnancy back pains and aches. Of course, you should check in with your doctor, but typically, below are some treatments that you can try:

  • Applying heat or ice
  • Wearing back support devices such as a brace
  • Taking OTC meds for inflammation
  • Sleeping on your left side with a pillow for support under the knees
  • Consulting a licensed massage therapist or chiropractor for back pain relief in Orem

Back is just one of those things that ordinarily come with carrying a child. In some cases, however, it could indicate a more serious issue such as a UTI or urinary tract infection, or preterm labor. That being said, back pain that comes with fever, vaginal bleeding, pain when urinating warrants a visit with your ob-gyn.

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