If you are an expecting mother, feeling back pain is pretty normal. Among all the pain and discomfort that a pregnant woman has to go through, back pain is the most common and often underestimated one. Research shows that around 50% to 80% of pregnant women go through this at some point or the other during their pregnancy.

As your body undergoes significant changes to carry the growing baby, your muscles, spine, and ligaments get affected, resulting in different types of back pain. So, if you have an aching back when pregnant, remember you're not alone!

Causes of Backache During Pregnancy

Various reasons can lead to back pain during pregnancy. Some women feel it in their lower back right from the beginning of their pregnancy journey. Especially women who are overweight might have a higher chance of getting back pain, or those who were already dealing with this discomfort before getting pregnant.

Here are a few possible causes why you get back pain during pregnancy—

  • Weight Gain: It is natural to gain weight during pregnancy. You can normally put up to 25 to 35 pounds. This is where the problem starts— Your spine has to carry this extra weight, leading to lower back pain. The development of your baby and the uterus puts pressure on the blood vessels and nerves in your pelvis and back, adding to the discomfort.
  • Changing posture: Pregnancy affects your body balance by shifting all your weight to the lower part of the body impacting the way to stand or walk also leading to back pain or strain over time.
  • Hormonal Changes: During pregnancy, your body makes a hormone called relaxin. It helps your pelvic ligaments relax and your joints become looser, to help you prepare for the delivery. But this hormone also loosens the ligaments supporting your spine, making it less sturdy and causing pain.
  • Muscle separation: As your uterus grows, the muscles in your belly spread along the center. This separation of abdomen muscles, called diastasis recti, can lead to severe backache.
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How Can I Get Rid of My Back Pain During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy Back Pain Symptoms

Pregnancy Back Pain Symptoms

Symptoms of backache when pregnant are a lot similar to the generic ones that you might have even felt before you were pregnant. Here are some signs and symptoms to look out for when you have pain and discomfort—

  • In the middle of your back
  • Around or above your waist
  • Over the pubic bone
  • In your hips and thighs

You can also feel this pain spreading down to your legs along with a feeling of stiffness after sitting or standing for a while.

How to Prevent and Deal with Back Pain During Pregnancy

Back pain is pretty common when you're pregnant and usually, there’s nothing to be worried about. While it is difficult to completely prevent backache, there are certain tips that you can follow to reduce the intensity of the pain.

Here are some ways to treat pregnancy back pain—

1. Heat and Cold

Applying anything hot or cold like a heating pad or hot water bag on the affected area for about 20 minutes can help ease your pain. Just be careful not to put anything hot on your belly when pregnant.

2. Exercise

Exercising regularly can help strengthen your muscles and more flexible, easing the stress out of your back. Pregnancy workouts for backaches include walking, swimming, or mild jogs. Apart from these, various other exercises can be suggested by your doctor depending on your level of pain.

3. Improve Posture

Getting used to the correct pregnancy postures while sitting, working, or even sleeping can help eliminate pain. Sleeping on your side with the right pregnancy pillow can be really helpful.

4. Counseling

Try managing stress by talking to a friend, counselor, or therapist. Talking to someone might help release anxiety or stress.

5. Medication

If your back pain is worsening day by day, your doctor might prescribe certain medications to reduce inflammation and relieve your symptoms. Acetaminophen is one of the over-the-counter pills that is usually safe during pregnancy. Remember to avoid aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs at all costs. It is always a better idea to talk to your medical team of professionals before taking any pain relief medicines.

Tips and Tricks to Ease Pregnancy Backache—

how to Prevent and Deal with Back Pain During Pregnancy
  • Say no to high heels and go for flat comfortable shoes.
  • Instead of bending over, squat down to pick things up.
  • Don't sleep on your back. Instead, try side-sleeping
  • Use a pregnancy body pillow even while you are sitting.

Unless you have a medical history, your pregnancy back pain will likely get better with time.


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When to See a Doctor

Having an aching back doesn't always mean that it is serious and you need to call your doctor. However, make sure to contact your healthcare provider when you go through the following—

  • Severe back pain that is increasing day by day
  • Back pain that's getting worse with time or comes on suddenly
  • Regular cramping—This might be a sign of preterm labor.

Remember if you have severe backache during pregnancy, it could be a symptom of osteoporosis, vertebral osteoarthritis, or septic arthritis. Therefore always check with your doctor when facing any kind of discomfort during pregnancy.

The Bottom Line

causes of Backache During Pregnancy

Back pain during pregnancy is pretty common and tends to fade away with time. You can easily handle such pain and discomfort if you follow a few simple tips and preventive measures. However, it is important to consult with your doctor before making any changes to your routine or consuming unprescribed medicines.


WebMD: Back Pain in Pregnancy

American Pregnancy Association: Back Pain During Pregnancy

Medical News Today: What to Know About Back Pain in Pregnancy