Low back pain is very common in pregnancy especially after the fifth month, so it is very important for you to know the different types and to be able to distinguish them from labour pains. The good news it that low back pain is treatable, and does not indicate any change in the health of your baby.
The cause of low back pain is usually your expanding uterus, combined with hormonal changes that loosen the joints and ligaments around your hips and pelvis. The expanded uterus weakens your abdominal muscles and puts pressure on your spine, while the structural weakening in your pelvic area can cause you to be less stable and predispose you to back pain.
The two types of low back pain common during pregnancy are lumbar (lower back) and posterior pelvic pain. Lumbar pain is basically the same type of low back pain you might feel above the waist even before you were pregnant, and this type of pain may radiate into your legs. Posterior pelvic pain is felt below the waist, either deep inside your buttocks or on one or both sides of the back of your thighs. This is the more common type of low back pain during pregnancy, and will not radiate below the knee. Posterior pelvic pain can be aggravated by doing simple movements such as prolonged bending over, walking, climbing stairs, or even just rolling over in bed.
Labour pain is a very different type of pain - more like an intense menstrual cramp. The pain will be more persistent, will increase in intensity and frequency, and will not be relieved by postural changes. If you think you are having labour pain, call your doctor or midwife immediately.
If your pain can be considered either lumbar pain or posterior pelvic pain, there are some tips to follow to ease the discomfort:
- Despite the natural urge to not move, yoga and other exercise can be very good for this type of pain, as muscles and joints being stretched and strengthened can help re-align your body. Postural changes can be very helpful as well, most of which can be taught in a one-on-one yoga session.
- Acupuncture and TCM are excellent for relieving pain, as the acupuncture can relieve stress on pinched nerves and can help you relax.
- Prenatal massage is excellent for providing relief as well.
Contact us for a FREE consultation on how natural therapy can help you and your baby be healthy throughout your pregnancy.
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