No Pain, No Gain? Managing Back Problems During Pregnancy
Although some women claim they’ve never felt better than when they were pregnant, it’s only natural for pregnant women to experience discomfort sometimes. Hormones, the weight of the fetus, and the exertion of carrying on with normal day-to-day activities throughout pregnancy can all put a tremendous strain on the body.
Why Some Pregnant Women Experience Back Pain
The growing uterus places additional stress on the muscles and ligaments in the lower back. That’s why back pain is one of the most common complaints during pregnancy. Even though the complex structure of the back allows us to do all the bending, twisting, and turning we need to, experts warn that it also leaves us prone to back problems.
Many pregnant women develop a sharp pain up and down their backs, legs, and buttocks. This is caused by the baby’s head pressing on the pelvis, resulting in added pressure on sciatic nerves that causes the legs to feel weak and numb. This pressure can make sitting painful in later stages of pregnancy.
With an increasing number of women in their 30s and 40s having babies, the likelihood of existing wear and tear on the spine often increases the risk of back pain during pregnancy. Sitting at a desk all day at work or doing physically demanding tasks on the job can worsen the problem, too.
Fatigue can also add to the burden on your back. It’s easy to put stress on already tired muscles and joints, especially if a mom-to-be doesn’t get the proper rest. Overworked muscles don’t always respond they way they should, increasing susceptibility to back pain and injury.
How You Can Alleviate Back Pain
Back pain ranks high on a list of ailments that doctors say patients bring on themselves—but the good news is, patients can do something about it themselves, too. Exercising to strengthen the back is probably one of the best ways to prevent a backache.
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