Pregnancy: Causes of Back Pain

Pregnancy, an obvious cause of back pain, isn't something that you can easily make go away with a pill. It is a state of affairs that you are going to have to wait out for 9 months. That being said, there are things women can do to make themselves more comfortable during their pregnancy and to moderate their levels of pain. Let's take a look at how pregnancy can affect the back and some things you can do to make the time spent, waiting for the delivery, more comfortable.

Pregnancy and your back. Pregnancy, obviously, can cause a quick increase in weight in the abdomen, probably the worse place to carry an excess amount of weight, as far as the muscles of the lower back and discs are concerned. Also, pregnancy stretches and weakens the muscles in the abdomen that help support the spine, forcing your back muscles, tendons, and ligaments to take on a heavier load and taxing your lower back. The increasing diameter and length of the fetus presses on the structures in the abdominal and pelvic cavities, stretching the muscles and creating a greater depth of lumbar lordosis. A mother with a well developed fetus may experience a continuous level of discomfort, or may experience increased discomfort of pain when doing activities such as walking, lifting, forward bending, sitting, or standing. Back pain in pregnancy symptoms, other than the typical low back ache, may include pain radiating into the thigh and buttocks, night pain significant enough to cause awakenings and trouble getting back to sleep, pain that increases during the night, and pain that increases during the day.

Pregnancy and back pain. About half of all women experience lower back pain during pregnancy. Though most women who do experience back pain during their pregnancy manage suffer only mild or moderate comfort, some women do experience severe back pain and disability. Mothers are also much more likely to experience significant symptoms during a second pregnancy if they experienced significant pain and disability in their first one. Though pregnancy related back pain is a difficult thing to a mother to have to experience during a long pregnancy and something physicians (and maybe even husbands!) should be sensitive to, it is not indicative of any medical problems of the mother or of an increased risk of child birth problems. Most women with mild to moderate gestational back pain are able to work productively through most of their pregnancy, exercise, and have healthy babies.

Ways to avoid, moderate or relieve pregnancy related back pain. Obviously, you are going to want to quit, or at least take a sabbatical from your professional weightlifting career, until after the delivery. While you are waiting for your little miracle(s) to come along, you should avoid high impact, weight-bearing activities and especially that asymmetrically load the muscles in your lower torso, hips and thighs. Activities to avoid during this time include repetitive motions at or near the end-ranges of hip or back, several floor stair climbing ,single-leg stance postures, and extensive twisting with lifting. If you need to bend forward to get something off the ground, you should use your legs and knees to take some of the strain off your lower back. Bending towards the ground without a bending of the knees could put added pressures and strain in the lumbo-sacral region, which could strain the multifidus (a muscle that connects to the spinous process if the vertebrae, and stabilizes the spine).