Lower back Pain During Pregnancy

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  Lower Back Pain in Early Pregnancy

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Lower Back Pain in Early Pregnancy

Lower back pain in early pregnancy (often referred to as lumbar back pain) can being at around two
months into the term, but is most typically experienced from the fifth month onward.

If a woman has a history of lower back pain prior to becoming pregnant, it is likely that she will be more
prone to suffer with it during her pregnancy, as the increase in weight will put extra pressure on the
vulnerable lower back area. The symptoms will be very similar to that of the lower back pain
experienced before pregnancy.

Lower back pain during pregnancy usually becomes worse if a position is adopted for too long - for
example, standing, sitting or lying down in the same position for long periods, or continual bending or
twisting - will increase the level of pain as the nerves in the lower back area become compressed. To
avoid this, it's best to try and keep as mobile as possible, as changing position after a long period of time
can cause temporary muscle spasms, which, in turn, can also lead to secondary pain.

In some cases, lower back pain in early pregnancy can travel from that area, through the buttock and all
the way down the leg and into the foot. It may feel like a sharp pain, or pins and needles - often for
prolonged, but sometimes for very short, periods of time.

How the Correct Posture Can Help to Relieve Lower Back Pain in Early Pregnancy

It's important to remember that weight gain during pregnancy will completely change the usual posture
of a woman - regardless of where the majority of weight is being carried, the center of gravity will
change to accommodate it.

A good illustration of this (but don't do this if you're pregnant) is to imagine yourself standing with your
normal posture. Then imagine lifting up two heavy bags, or putting a heavy rucksack on your back. For
a second or two, you feel a little off-center until you've found your point of balance, don't you? That's
because when you carry extra weight, your body needs to adjust its normal center of gravity (point of
balance) so that you don't fall over.

However, to help support this extra weight, certain muscles will need to work a little harder, as a result
of which, they may feel sore, tender and weak, causing increased lower back pain.

As at any time, but particularly during pregnancy, it is advisable to distribute weight between both sides
of the body when lifting or carrying anything - this will ensure that the weight is evenly balanced on the
spine. For instance, don't carry two bags in one hand and nothing in the other - make sure that both
bags are of a similar weight, and carry one in each hand. Likewise, don't carry something under one arm
if you can carry it in both.

Posterior Pelvic Pain during Pregnancy

There is another very common type of lower back pain in early pregnancy, and this is posterior pelvic

This is far more commonly experienced than lumbar pain, and is a deep-seated pain which is felt in the
waist area or just above the buttocks at the base of the spine. It can be felt on one or both sides of the
back, and can radiate down through the buttock and into the top of the leg.

Posterior pelvic pain can cause a degree of temporary immobility, particularly first thing in the morning
when the body has been inactive and is a little stiff.

It can be caused, or aggravated, by the most simple of movements, for example; turning or twisting
awkwardly whilst in bed or whilst standing, climbing up stairs or a steep slope, rising from a sitting
position, getting out of a car, getting out of bed, over-lifting, bending, walking or running.
It's important not to confuse back pain with labor pain. Whilst they can both be acute and agonizing,
labor pain is more like intense, and continuous, menstrual cramp, the level of which increases and
decreases as contractions come and go, and the labor progresses.


Whilst it's unlikely that lower back pain in early pregnancy will be completely avoided, it's true to say
that different women will experience their pregnancies in different ways. Some may sail through with
little or no lower back pain, whilst others may experience it consistently and excruciatingly.

If you are pregnant, and are suffering with lower back pain, speak to your doctor or health professional
who will be able to advise you with regard to possible pain relief for your symptoms.

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