As your body changes during pregnancy, your back must work in new ways. Like swollen ankles, a never-ending need to pee and the impossibility of finding a comfortable way to fall asleep, a sore back just seems to go with the territory for many pregnant women. It can be hard to tell whether it’s just standard pregnancy aches and pains or a sign of something else.
Physical changes to your body can strain your back and its supporting muscles. More baby in the uterus means your center of gravity is shifting, which can make your spine curve more, resulting in more strain on your back. The extra weight makes your muscles work harder, so your back is may become more fatigued as the pregnancy continues. Also, certain hormone levels increase during pregnancy. This can affect how the muscles and joints work together. All of these changes can lead to pain.
When should I go to the doctor with my back pain?
If it’s mild, let your OB know at your next visit, they may have some good ways to ease the pain. If it’s severe and came on all of the sudden it may be Sciatica. This is severe pain in your lower back and down your leg. You will probably want to seek the help of a specialist if you are experiencing Sciatica. Sometimes stomach cramps or contractions can feel like back pain, so pay attention to your pain and inform your OB.
What should I do to treat my back pain during pregnancy?
To help your back stay healthy, practice safe mechanics even early on in your pregnancy: squat to pick up the stray sock rather than bending forward from the waist. Once you start to get bigger, keep pain at a minimum by exercising regularly ( stretching, yoga, swimming or walking are gentle ways to exercise your body). At night, try sleeping on your side (a pillow between your knees can take pressure off your back).
The good news is, most of the time, back pain disappears almost immediately once pregnancy is over. If your pain is severe and intolerable, please contact our office to see if Dr. Anden can help you.
Dr. Corey Anden is quadruple Board Certified and specializes in Sports Medicine and Non-Surgical Orthopedics.
She has been treating patients in the Ogden area for the past 30 years.