Back pain during pregnancy is just one more burden for expectant mothers-to-be to bear. There are several possible and often case-specific contributing causes to why women develop back ache when they are pregnant. Certain circumstances are universal, while others may only apply to some women. It is crucial to remember that pregnancy back pain is generally a temporary condition which should end shortly after giving birth. This, at least, makes it very different than the many varieties of back pain which normally become chronic and sometimes lifelong ordeals.
The focus of this article will concentrate on the potential causes of back ache during pregnancy.
Causes of Back Pain During Pregnancy
The following can all cause or contribute to the development of uncomfortable symptoms during pregnancy:
Center of gravity change is a universal contributor to symptoms. The protrusive abdomen of a pregnant woman completely changes her center of gravity. The lower back is pulled forward by the extra weight and mass in her abdomen. The distribution of added weight is almost all forward, not centered over a woman’s pelvis. This change puts huge stress on the lower spine and especially the lower back muscles. This cause is especially apparent in the third trimester.
Poor posture can be exacerbated by pregnancy. The changes that occur in the distribution of weight typically pull the lower back forward. In response, many woman will tuck their buttocks in and try to straighten out their lower back. This posture causes a straightening of the normal lordotic curve. The abdomen is pulling the lumbar spine forward and increasing the lordotic curve. The posture change is pulling the spine back and straightening the lordotic curve. The battle back and forth is a prime cause for muscular lower back pain. Other women will allow the abdomen to pull forward too much. They will slouch and increase the forward pressure on the lower back muscles. This posture will also cause temporary exaggerated lordosis in the lumbar spine.
Weight gain can definitely play a huge role in generating back pain during pregnancy, especially for already obese women. Besides for the baby weight, it is common for a woman to gain weight during pregnancy. Some weight gain is normal. Excessive weight gain can cause many problems. Back pain during pregnancy is one of the least serious of all the conditions associated with significantly excessive weight gain.
More mass = more force that is applied to the spine and muscles.
Hormonal changes contribute to back ache and other types of pregnancy-related discomfort. Chemical changes in a woman’s body alter the actual physical structure of her joints, ligaments and spine. The joints are relaxed and loosened. This can cause arthritis-like symptoms in the spine and elsewhere. The coccyx is also changed, to facilitate an easier birth. The coccyx is normally immobile, but during pregnancy it is free to move about, allowing passage of the baby during birth. This anatomical change can sometimes result in coccyx injury or tailbone pain.
Physical activity may increase the above reasons for pain. Leaning forward, for example, will increase the pressure on the lower back. Impact, such as jogging or rigorous walking, will cause the abdomen to move, also increasing muscular pressure in the lumbar back.
The actual baby can apply pressure to internal organs, bones and nerves as it grows. This is especially true in the third trimester. The baby’s head, in particular, can apply pressure to the spine and spinal nerves. It is common for woman to experience surges of back pain, as the baby moves in the womb.
Weak back muscles will be more affected by structural changes during pregnancy. Women who have a sedentary lifestyle will often have more discomfort during pregnancy than active women. Strong lumbar muscles will offer better resistance to the increased pressure during pregnancy.
Change of activity level can contribute to back ache during pregnancy. Previously active women who become sedentary during pregnancy might experience more back problems than women who remain active.
Pregnancy Back Pain Prevention
Remember that pregnancy is a natural explanation for some degree of back pain. Try not obsess over pregnancy-related discomforts. This will create a nocebo effect and create an opportunity for the symptoms to continue after the birth. Rather, think of the pain being born out of your body along with the precious child. It is important to move on from the back ache after pregnancy. Resume a normal and healthy state of mind and your healthy body should return again, pain-free.
To learn what you can do to cope with the back symptoms while pregnancy endures, talk to your doctor. There are several effective methods of care which may help you to feel better, but will not impart any risk to the beautiful child inside. Back pain during pregnancy should not become a chronic concern and if it does, we highly recommend considering alternative mindbody-enacted explanations for your pain.