Pregnancy and Back Pain

Pregnant woman on a bed

At the beginning of your pregnancy if you exercise, eat healthy foods and follow your physician’s advice about weight gain, you are less likely to experience back pain during pregnancy. Even if you are doing everything right, most mothers do have achy backs and pain during pregnancy.

You can probably blame your growing baby and hormonal changes for your aching back.

As your baby grows, your uterus expands and shifts your center of gravity and stretches out and weakens your abdominal muscles. Your posture is affected which puts strain on your back.

You may also experience pain if your baby is laying in a way to press on a nerve.

During pregnancy you also carry extra weight which means more work for your muscles and increased stress on your joints. This may cause you to feel worse at the end of the day.

Many other changes occur in your body during pregnancy which may cause you discomfort, pain, and numbness in your lower extremities.

Most mothers experience some kind of pain during pregnancy. Most often the pain appears in the later months or becomes worse as pregnancy progresses. It may also persist after the baby arrives, but usually resolves in a few months.

Even though most mothers experience aches and pain during pregnancy, their babies are born healthy and strong.


Types of back pain during pregnancy

Experts describe two common patterns of low back pain during pregnancy: Lumbar pain occurs in the area of the lumbar vertebrae in your lower back, and posterior pelvic pain is felt in the back of your pelvis. Some women have symptoms of both types of low back pain.

Lumbar pain is like the low back pain you may have experienced before you were pregnant. You feel it over and around your spine approximately at the level of your waist. You might also have pain that radiates to your legs. Sitting or standing for long periods of time and lifting usually make it worse, and it tends to be more intense at the end of the day.

Even more pregnant women have posterior pelvic pain, which is felt lower on your body than lumbar pain. You may feel it deep inside the buttocks, on one or both sides or the back of your thighs.


Could it be sciatica?

When low back pain radiates into the buttocks and thighs, it’s often confused with sciatica – a condition that’s actually relatively uncommon.

If you think you have sciatica, be sure to see your practitioner. Call them immediately if you feel a loss of sensation or weakness in one or both legs or a loss of sensation in your groin, bladder, or anus (which may make it hard to pee or have a bowel movement, or – alternatively – cause incontinence).

The physicians and staff of Centro de Columna can help you with alternative treatments such as massage therapy and other ways to make you feel comfortable during your pregnancy. Please do not hesitate to call us!