It's very common to have back pain or back pain during pregnancy, especially in the early stages. During pregnancy, the body's ligaments become softer and stretch naturally to prepare you for labor. This can strain the joints of the lower back and pelvis, which can lead to back pain. Get information on COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines, and updates for Mayo Clinic patients and visitors.
You can also stretch your lower back. Rest on your hands and knees with your head aligned with your back. Pull on the stomach, slightly rounding the back. Hold for several seconds, then relax your stomach and back by keeping your back as flat as possible.
Work gradually up to 10 repetitions. Also ask your healthcare provider about other stretching exercises. During pregnancy, the body also produces the hormone relaxin, which helps prepare the body for delivery. One of the effects of relaxin is the loosening of ligaments throughout the body, which makes pregnant women less stable and more prone to injury, especially to the back.
Some women may lean back to regain balance. Leaning back places additional strain on your back muscles, which can lead to lower back pain and muscle stiffness. One of the most common complaints during pregnancy is back pain. In fact, it is estimated that more than half of women experience some degree of back discomfort.
Most back pain is related to physical changes that occur during pregnancy, such as hormones, changes in the center of gravity, and posture. Unfortunately, it usually worsens as the pregnancy progresses. Back pain can also arise near the center of the back when doctors call it low back pain, or in the coccyx when they refer to it as posterior pelvic pain. To avoid falling forward, you can compensate by leaning back, which can strain your lower back muscles and contribute to back pain during pregnancy.
Posterior pelvic pain is the more common of the two and is a deep pain that is felt below and on the sides of the waist, on one or both sides of the buttocks, or in the back of the thighs. The symptoms of back pain during pregnancy are very similar to the symptoms of back pain before pregnancy. If you have back pain during pregnancy that is accompanied by vaginal bleeding, fever, or burning when urinating, contact your doctor right away. Severe back pain may be related to osteoporosis associated with pregnancy, vertebral osteoarthritis, or septic arthritis.
Low back pain occurs in the area of the lumbar vertebrae in the lower back, in and above the waist in the center of the back. Finally, relaxin affects the ligaments that stabilize the spine, which can cause instability, postural changes, and low back pain. If you don't have complications that prevent you from doing so, staying active during pregnancy reduces back pain and increases your ability to do your daily activities. Back pain can be experienced at any time during pregnancy; however, it most often occurs later in pregnancy as the baby grows.
Keep in mind that back pain during pregnancy could be a sign of preterm labor or a urinary tract infection. Back pain can also be a sign of something else, such as the onset of labor or a urinary tract infection (UTI). Once other causes of pain are ruled out, your gynecologist or other obstetric care provider may recommend that you see a rehabilitation specialist or physical therapist. While it may not be completely preventable, there are some changes you can make to reduce the severity or frequency of back pain.
Because back pain during pregnancy can be a symptom of more serious problems, such as preterm labor, always talk to your healthcare provider if symptoms are severe or last longer than 2 weeks. .