Pregnancy-related back pain

Back pain is a nearly universal phenomenon at some point during pregnancy. The pain is presumably related to changes in hormone levels and posture, which can be caused by increased spinal loading. In fact, as much as 50 to 70 percent of all women experience some degree of back pain during their pregnancy. However, pain can be minimized, and potentially avoided with the right approach.

Tips for reducing back pain during pregnancy

Here are some helpful pregnancy-related back pain tips:

  • Always bend with your knees, and if you need to pick something up squat, don’t bend.
  • Sleep on your side.
  • Elevate your feet when sitting or lying down.
  • Speak with your doctor about specific exercises you can do to strengthen and stretch your back.
  • Work with a nutritionist to eat food that is healthy for your baby and you.
  • Practice good posture.

Check with your doctor to make sure that any lifestyle changes you make or new activities you try are safe for you and compatible with your current state of health.

Treatment for back pain and other symptoms

If in spite of your best efforts you continue to experience pregnancy-related back pain, there are a number of ways you can find relief while you wait anxiously for your due date. If your doctor approves, you may try using heat or ice packs or treating yourself to a massage. And if pain worsens, visit your doctor to learn about what, if any, medications you are safe to take while pregnant. Above all else, do not be afraid to ask for help. These are exciting times; do not let pregnancy-related back pain wear you down and get in the way of this important step in your life.

If pain continues after pregnancy

Most of the time, back pain will subside during the postpartum recovery period, but if it persists after pregnancy, it is important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Spine conditions like a bulging disc or herniated disc that weren’t issues before can potentially be worsened by pregnancy and child birth. Conservative treatment options are often effective, but spine surgery may be recommended if weeks or months go by and symptoms remain debilitating. If you are in this situation, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about the benefits of our minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery.

We happily provide a free MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.