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How To Stop Back Pain During Pregnancy

Back pain during pregnancy is a common problem that can be relieved with conservative measures such as rest, exercise, stretching, heat packs, ice packs massage, physical therapy and chiropractic care. Attention to good posture is also recommended to relieve discomfort. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be helpful, but you should check with your OB/GYN doctor before taking medication.

The physical changes of pregnancy can lead to increased pressure on spinal structure. Individuals may experience pain when bending or sitting, discomfort during sleeping or numbness and tingling down the backs of the legs from pressure on the sciatic nerve. These symptoms are generally not a sign of a serious problem.

Table of Contents

Importance of addressing and managing back pain for pregnant women

Back pain can be a problem during pregnancy, even from the earliest months. Learning to manage back discomfort can help to make pregnancy easier.

Effects of pregnancy hormones on the body’s ligaments and joints

Special hormones, such as relaxin, that loosen the muscles and ligaments can put additional pressure on spinal structures, which may lead to frequent back pain.

Managing Pain at Home

A number of at-home methods can help to relieve back pain during pregnancy.

Using heating pads or cold compresses for relief

A heating pad set at a low setting can be used for back pain relief, as well as cold compresses to reduce discomfort.

Belly bands and abdominal support garments for added support

Belly bands and other special pregnancy support items can help to relieve common back discomfort.

Importance of regular exercise during pregnancy

A daily regime of gentle exercise can help to keep muscles in the back and torso strong, which can help to prevent back pain from the physical changes of pregnancy.

Seeking Professional help

If home measures don’t adequately eliminate back pain during pregnancy, you should seek additional therapy from a healthcare professional.

Physical therapist

A physical therapist can provide safe exercises you can do during pregnancy to strengthen back muscles and relieve pain.

Massage therapist specializing in prenatal care

Massage from a trained pre-natal massage therapist can be very helpful in relieving the aches and pains from pregnancy, including common back pain.


Chiropractors often have special training in pregnancy chiropractic care, which can help to provide effective relief from back pain.

Common Causes of back pain in pregnant women

Pregnancy changes can cause a number of problems that result in back pain.

Weight gain

The normal weight gain associated with pregnancy can lead to increased pressure on the spine and can result in back discomfort.

Shift in center of gravity

The growing fetus and expanding uterus will also cause changes in your center of gravity that can lead to back pain.

Hormonal changes

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, pregnancy hormones help to relax muscles in the body, which can cause pressure on spinal structures.

Posture changes

The changing body structure that occurs during pregnancy also causes changes in posture, which can cause back pain.

Muscle separation

As the fetus grows, the uterus expands, and the abdominal muscles separate to accommodate this change, which can cause increased strain on back muscles.


The stress of dealing with physical changes of pregnancy, as well as concerns about health and life changes can lead to increased back pain symptoms.

Pre-existing conditions

Pre-existing spinal problems, such as herniated discs, can cause worsening back pain as pregnancy progresses.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why does my back hurt so much while pregnant?

Weight gain, the pressure of the growing fetus on spinal structures and the effects of pregnancy hormones can all lead to back pain.

How can I ease the pain in my back during pregnancy?

Gentle stretching, avoiding lifting activities and proper sleep position can all help to relieve back pain during pregnancy.

What causes pain during pregnancy?

Physical changes of pregnancy can cause increased pressure on the spine, tendons, ligaments and muscles, which may result in back discomfort.

What sitting positions should be avoided during pregnancy?

Sitting in a slouched position or one in which your lower back is in a curved position should be avoided during pregnancy because it adds more stress to structures in the spine and back.

Does walking help back pain in pregnancy?

According to the Healthline site, walking can be a good exercise during pregnancy because it is low impact and strengthens muscles of the torso.

What is the best position for back pain during pregnancy?

Good posture can help to relieve back pain during pregnancy. Keep the shoulders and head in good alignment and avoid standing with a curvature in the lower spine.

Is pregnancy back pain biological?

Yes, back pain during pregnancy is biological. Pregnancy hormones to prepare the body for birth can cause looseness in spinal vertebrae that can result in pressure on discs and nerves.

How to stretch the lower back when pregnant?

According to the Mayo Clinic, you can do a number of stretching exercises safely during pregnancy, such as getting down on a mat on all fours and gently curling the spine inward, holding the position for several seconds. You can also stand with your back to a wall, gently tilting your pelvis inward to stretch the lower spine.

Is it safe to use a heating pad on your back while pregnant?

You can use a heating pad for backache during pregnancy, but you should keep it on a low setting.

When does back pain start in pregnancy?

Back discomfort can begin as early as the first trimester, when the production of pregnancy hormones begins the physical changes needed to carry a fetus to term and to give birth.

How to manage backache during pregnancy?

A number of conservative methods can help to relieve pregnancy backaches. Warm compresses, ice packs, massage, exercise, physical therapy, chiropractic care and stretching can all help to relieve back discomfort.

When should i worry about back pain in pregnancy?

Most back pain during pregnancy is benign. However, if you have additional symptoms, such as fever, vaginal bleeding or burning during urination, it could indicate a health issue that requires investigation by your obstetrician.