Lower Back Pain in Early Pregnancy
A lot of pregnant women complain of lower back pain starting in the first trimester. While for some ladies, the discomfort is short lived and ceases in the latter stages of pregnancy, for others it is a nine month ordeal. Although lower back pain in early pregnancy is no cause for alarm, it would be best to consult with your gynecologist. It is certainly not advisable to use OTC painkillers when pregnant unless they have been prescribed by your health care provider.
Why do Women Experience Lower Back Pain in Early Pregnancy?
Back pain is one of the most common concerns faced by pregnant women; it is caused due to the expansion of the uterus to accommodate the growing fetus. By the ninth month, the uterus expands by 1000 times of its original size. This growth is often centered in one area which negatively impacts the balance of the body, making the back muscles work harder. This in turn causes the pain and discomfort experienced in the lumbar area.
Other Causes of Lower Back Pain in Pregnancy
Lower Back Pain in early pregnancy is primarily caused due to the strain on the back muscles. However, as the fetus grows, the center of gravity changes and this impacts the posture of many women who tend to walk with a distinct backward tilt. This puts undue pressure on the back muscles and causes tenderness and fatigue. On the other hand, in some women, lower back pain may also be a result of weak abdominal muscles. Pregnancy hormones can also cause back pain.
Is Lower Back Pain Always a Sign of Pregnancy?
No, lower back pain in early pregnancy can be attributed to scores of factors; from bad posture to stress and from musculoskeletal and spinal issues to something as serious as a spinal tumor. So, it is highly recommended that you get your back pain evaluated even if you do suspect a pregnancy. Women who suffer from lower back pain before conceiving will find that their condition gets aggravated as their pregnancy advances since they may already have weak paraspinal, spinal and abdominal muscles.
What can you do to Relieve Lower Back Pain in Early Pregnancy?
Do not wear high heels when pregnant; as a matter of fact, shoes with good arch support are highly recommended. They also help to relieve the swelling in the feet experienced by most women in the third trimester. Do not lift heavy objects as this will stress your back muscles further. When bending down to pick something off the floor; do not bend at the waist, squat down by bending your knees but keep your back straight. If the pain and tenderness persists, apply heat or cold to the sore area or massage lightly.
Lifestyle Changes that will Ease Lower Back Pain in Early Pregnancy
Do not stand for long periods, if you must then use a stool or box under one foot. Make sure that your bed is not too soft and gives your back all the support that it needs. This will certainly be a good time to invest in a quality mattress. When sitting, make sure that your chair provides good back support; alternatively, you could use a small pillow behind the lower part of your back. Finally, try sleeping on your side instead of on your back. Using one or two pillows between your legs for support will help.
While lower back pain experienced during the early stages of pregnancy and beyond is normal, this is certainly no reason to ignore it. Pregnancy and confinement put a lot of pressure on the abdominal, pelvic and back muscles, so a fantastic way to prevent spinal issues in the future is to take care of your back through your pregnancy.