Back pain and related discomfort are the most common complaints during pregnancy. Multiple factors can contribute to back pain complaints and discomfort during pregnancy. Biomechanical changes, increased body weight, hormonal changes, and psychosocial factors are some common factors associated with back pain during pregnancy.
When is pregnancy-related back pain generally experienced?
Pregnancy-related back pain may be experienced as early as during the first month of pregnancy. A study published by the Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine Journal noted that pain and discomfort are most common between the fifth and the seventh month of pregnancy.
What are the general characteristics and symptoms of back pain complaints during pregnancy?
Pregnancy-related back pain can be characterized as pain or discomfort in the lumbar or the low back of the spine or the pelvic region. Sometimes, the pain can also manifest as radiating pain down the buttocks and back of the thighs.
Pregnancy-related back pain is experienced differently from individual to individual. The pain may be experienced as mild discomfort or as severe pain that can have a substantial impact on daily life during pregnancy. The pain and associated symptoms may be experienced intermittently or as chronic dull and aching pain, or it may be experienced only in certain positions or after certain activities.
Pregnancy-related back pain may also be described as stabbing pain in the lower back, a dull aching pain, sharp shooting pain, or burning pain.
Associated symptoms of pregnancy-related back pain may also include stiffness and limited range of motion in the lower back or legs. Sometimes symptoms may include deep pain in the inner thigh or a cold and icy feeling or buzzing and vibrations in the thigh.
Women with pregnancy-related back pain may often experience worsening symptoms during the night and as a result, may experience sleep disturbance.
Activities like prolonged sitting or standing, coughing, sneezing or even walking can often aggravate symptoms. Bending forward, twisting, and lifting can also worsen symptoms and increase pain and discomfort.
What are some common risk factors of pregnancy-related back pain complaints?
A previous history of pelvic trauma, chronic low back pain, and back pain during a previous pregnancy are some common risk factors associated with developing pregnancy-related back pain complaints. Being overweight and having a sedentary lifestyle may also increase the risk of developing back pain complaints during pregnancy. Women with joint hypermobility (the ability to move joints easily, painlessly beyond the normal range of motion) are also considered at higher risk of developing back pain and related complaints during pregnancy
When to seek professional care for pregnancy-related back pain complaints?
Though back pain during pregnancy is a common complaint, it is advisable to seek professional medical care if your back pain and associated symptoms are affecting the quality of your life during pregnancy.
If you have sudden worsening symptoms, fever, vaginal bleeding, vaginal discharge, muscle weakness, dizziness, or experience uterine contractions it is recommended to seek immediate professional medical care as it may be a sign of pre-term labor or infection.
How to treat pregnancy-related back pain complaints?
Physical therapy, massage, exercises are some common conservative treatments to manage pain and symptoms of your back pain during pregnancy. Supportive belts, postural pillows, heat and cold treatment, yoga can also help to provide much-needed relief from pain and discomfort from pregnancy-related back pain.
If you have any questions or need help determining your treatment plan, contact Cianci Chiropractic. We are here to help you with your health and wellbeing goals.