Simple Techniques to Avoid Backache during Pregnancy: Starting from around five months up to pregnancy, you experience a rapid weight gain and some structural changes in your body. As a result of this your natural reaction is to try to adjust to these changes. These may cause backache.
Weight gain – By the end of the second trimester, i.e. around 5 months into pregnancy, the mother generally gains weight at a rate of about a kilogram per week (although this may vary from woman to woman). During this phase, the enlarging uterus and the baby are slung forwards in the middle of the body. This in turn lays excess weight towards the front of the body.
Structural changes in the body – This gain in weight is complemented with the other structural changes taking place inside the body and together these changes result in a slight shift in the center of gravity. Add to this, the pelvic ligaments in the pelvic area are softened in order to relax the pelvis sufficiently to accommodate the passage of a full term baby through its previously rigid walls. As a result of this, the pelvis does not function as a stable girdle for the next few months, thus making you potentially prone to frequent backaches.
Instinctive backward leaning – To compensate for these changes the mother generally jeans backwards by bringing the shoulders back and arching the neck. Standing in this posture thrusts forward your belly: the result is a deeply arched lower back, strained ligaments in abdomen, back and pelvis. These finally lead to backache.
Back strains in the third trimester – If the strain on the ligaments persists for long it may lead to specific back problems in the third trimester. Problems like sciatica, pubic symphysis etc. may arise.
How to get rid of backaches?
In order to alleviate back pain, here are some quick tips to help you maintain your balance and avoid the pain.
Sit smart – Stress on your spine is highest when you are sitting. Make sure that the chair you use provides good support, preferably with a straight back, arms, and a firm cushion. The seat needs to support your thighs. Another good idea is supporting your lower back with cushion.
Choose your chair – A chair that reclines a bit can also help take some pressure off your back. Use a footrest to elevate your legs slightly and do not cross your legs since it can cause your pelvis to tilt forward and strain your back further.
Don’t get stationed – Do not sit for very long hours. If you are at work, try to take walking or stretching breaks every hour for a few minutes.
Stand tall – While standing, adopt a good posture. Stand tall and hold your shoulders back to keep your back straight. If you slouch on your tummy, it can strain the back and worsen the backache
Don’t stand for long – Do not stand for very long hours either. If your work makes you stand for long, try to keep one foot on a low stool to take some pressure off your lower back. You can also use a skidproof rug under your foot to ease the pressure.
Rest well – While resting, raise your feet and legs to take the pressure off your spine and pelvis. Use a hard mattress to support your back and try sleeping on your sides to give rest to your spine. You can also use a body pillow for support.
Get out of bed smart – When you get out of the bed, first turn to one side, then swing your legs over the side of the bed. This position helps you to push your body up with the help of your arms without placing any strain on your back.
Avoid heavy weight lifting But if you have to do it, do it slowly. Bend on your knees, not your back. Lift the load using the strength of your arms and legs and not the back. If you have to walk with the load, like a shopping bag, try to divide it into two parts, holding one in each arm instead of holding it all in front of you.
Avoid high heels – Go for some good flat or low heeled shoes. Wearing high heels may make you unstable and put more strain on your back. Keep a watch on your weight Try to keep your weight gain under the recommended parameters. Every ounce of weight gained puts its load on your back and strain it further.
Exercise regularly – Do regular exercises that help to strengthen your back. Taking the help of a trained professional or joining some antenatal classes is a good idea.
Take massages and warm water baths – Relax your back by pampering it with massages and warm water baths.
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.