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Backache is an extremely common pregnancy symptom. More than half of the pregnant women experience back pain during their pregnancy. As the pregnancy progresses, a woman can have more pain, especially during the last trimester.
Types of Back Pain
Certain back pain is considered normal during pregnancy. A woman may experience pain in different areas of the back and hence it can be categorized as: pain at night while sleeping, lower back pain during standing or sitting, and lastly pain at the back of pelvis and in buttocks.
Causes of Backache
Back pain is caused due to the strain put on the back by the weight of the growing baby. This is the reason that a woman complains of more pain and discomfort as the pregnancy progresses. The weight of the baby pulls the muscles of lower back forward and puts pressure on pelvic muscles. The abdominal muscles are stretched, and as they support the spine it can cause pain. Also, the pelvis can ache as the ligaments of the body become softer to prepare it for giving birth.
What can you do?
There is a lot that can be done to improve your troubling back ache. Improving your posture and doing some simple exercises can do wonders in this regard. Some useful tips are mentioned here:
Posture: Always be aware of your posture. Keep your back straight. Do not slouch because of the weight of the bump as it can only worsen the pain. Support your back by sitting on a comfortable cushioned ring.
Exercises: Certain exercises prove useful in stretching and strengthening back muscles. Practice pelvic floor exercises, tummy exercises and yogasan to improve your posture. All these should be done after consulting the doctor and in proper supervision; otherwise it could do more harm than good.
Sitting: Always try to sit on chairs that provide your back with good support.
Standing: While standing, always try to stand erect. Avoid standing for long periods to put unnecessary strain. Take frequent breaks if you have to stand for long periods.
Stretching: Keep objects at a sufficient distance so that you do not have to bend or stretch unnecessarily to pick up objects. Take help from someone if required.
Lifting: Do not pick up heavy objects on your own as it will pressurize your back even more. Avoid bending over from the waist. For picking up something from the floor, always squat down instead of bending your back.
Sleeping: Sleeping on your side is considered better. Also, sleep on a firm mattress rather than an extremely soft one and keep a pillow between your legs or under your tummy.
When should you see a Doctor?
Severe back ache should be given timely care and attention. Medication is not considered a good option for treatment of backache and doctor must be consulted before taking any type of medicine. If you think you have sciatica (a rare condition in which inflammation in back causes swelling in sciatic nerve), it is important that you bring the symptoms to doctor’s attention immediately.
Severe backache accompanied with symptoms like fever can point to certain infections and complications and must be treated right away.