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Pregnancy and Back Pain

Most women experience back pain while pregnant.  Throughout pregnancy the body undergoes many changes: hormones release to relax connective tissue, the body’s center of gravity shifts with weight gain, and weight distribution—especially the abdominal area adds stress on the low back (lumbar spine).

Talk with your doctor
Before you begin any type of back pain treatment, be sure to talk with your doctor.

In general, the following may help you to relieve and possibly prevent back pain:

  • Cold therapy to reduce inflammation
  • Heat therapy to ease muscle spasm and pain
  • Regular stretching and exercise; stay as fit as possible
  • Practice proper posture during rest and activity (proper body mechanics)
  • Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees
  • Change positions often
  • Avoid high-heeled shoes
  • Talk with your doctor about a maternity support belt
  • Use a lumbar support while seated
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) only with your doctor’s consent

In addition, your doctor may prescribe physical therapy that includes passive treatment such as massage.  Physical therapists understand the challenges you face during pregnancy to maintain correct posture at rest and activity.  They can offer you beneficial information to make the remaining months or weeks as comfortable as possible.

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