One of the biggest complaints many pregnant women have is back pain.
As your body makes room for the new life growing in your tummy, things tend to get pushed out of the way. Your pelvis tilts forward, your lower back can curve, and your muscles can stretch and everything feels like it’s expanding. All of this can combine to create severe lower back pain, which can leave you sleepless, irritable, and tired.
So how can you relieve this pain without taking medication?
There are actually plenty of different natural ways to help you relieve pregnancy back pain without having to swallow any pills. We’ve put together a list of some of our favourite tried and tested methods. Read on to find out how!
One of the oldest and most widely used methods for dealing with pain is exercise.
During pregnancy, the shift in your pelvic orientation can cause your glute muscles to tense and become weaker. Confusing, right? They’re tight…but weak. Your weak butt muscles force other muscles to take over and do the work, resulting in back pain. Do squats, lunges, and kickbacks to help build glute strength and take the stress off your back. Swimming and walking can be low impact ways to keep moving as well, which can help keep muscles loose and prevent back pain from getting worse.
Chiropractic care can help relieve back pain during pregnancy as part of a holistic health care plan.
Pregnancy chiropractic care is different from normal treatment, as it is exceedingly gentle and allows for the woman to lie down comfortably with a belly. Your chiropractor should be specially trained in treating pregnant women, and will make a series of gentle, manual adjustments to your hips and pelvis. This will help realign your joints and ligaments, helping to ease the tension off your back and alleviate back pain.
Some chiropractors are even trained in techniques to help with ligament pain in the belly, so that you can get relief from the shooting pain that is plaguing your lower belly and to help relieve the feeling of heaviness out front. Balancing the front and back of the body are all parts of maintaining good alignment.
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
Another contributing factor to pregnancy back pain can be an overly tight pelvic floor.
Pelvic floor muscles are the supporting structure that holds up several internal organs, your diaphragm, vagina, uterus, and rectum. If these muscles are too tense and tight, they can exacerbate back pain. Pelvic floor physiotherapy is a technique that can help you gain better control of your pelvic floor muscles through a series of exercises, massages, and stretches. Not only can this help alleviate back pain, it can also reduce the incidence of tearing during pregnancy and help you bounce back post delivery.
Focusing on your breathing and learning how to control it can help you deal with back pain.
As your diaphragm and lungs get squished during pregnancy, breathing can often become laboured and more uncomfortable than before. Taking the time to learn how to control your breathing and taking deep, purposeful breaths can help you consciously block the pain in your back as well as stretch your ribs and relax your back muscles.
While many of us struggle with posture at the best of times, posture can certainly get really wonky during pregnancy.
Due to the shift in your centre of gravity, many women tend to start to lean forward with their upper bodies, and compensate by arching back right at their low back (so they don’t fall forward from the gravitational shift out front!). This can wreak havoc on your back and lead to overworked muscles, excessive tightness, and back pain. Take a moment to notice where you place your weight when you stand up. If it is all in the balls of your feet, try leaning back and shift the weight to your heels. This can help rebalance your posture and take the excess strain off your back muscles and let your abdominals and balancer muscles take some of the load.
Pregnancy massages are another enjoyable and natural way to alleviate back pain.
Registered Massage Therapists are highly trained in identifying sources of muscle tightness and pain and performing a series of stretches, manual manipulation and massage to help relieve some of the pain. By getting regular pregnancy massages, you can help keep your muscles loose and prevent your back pain from becoming too distracting or unmanageable.
Practicing mindfulness can also help you master back pain during pregnancy by putting mind over matter.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation that focuses on being present in the moment and truly in touch with what you are feeling in the now. By taking stock of your body and any pain you are experiencing, you can train your mind to help you reduce your perception of the pain without any medication. There are many mindfulness courses available in Toronto and York, as well as many apps you can download on your smartphone for guided meditation.
Another useful way to reduce back pain during pregnancy is to wear a maternity belt.
A maternity belt is a special harness that is worn around the pelvic girdle and lower back. It functions as a second set of ligaments and fascia and can help support your back, reducing the chance of exacerbating back pain. However, it should not be worn all the time, as this can lead to your muscles weakening and requiring extra training postpartum to get them back to normal. Seeking out a maternity expert who is experienced with maternity belts can help you wear it correctly, as wearing it too tightly can cause pelvic organ prolapse.
Acupuncture has been shown to provide a range of pain management benefits.
This ancient practice originated in China around 2,100 years ago and involves using extremely fine needles to realign energy channels and promote good health. During pregnancy, acupuncture can help alleviate back pain by opening up closed energy channels and helping muscles to relax, lowering tension and improving overall wellbeing.
West End Mamas offers a range of services to help new moms and moms to be with back pain associated with pregnancy and childbirth. Our expert chiropractors are highly experienced in treating various pain conditions, and our yoga instructors can help you through a series of movements to assist with back pain. We also offer extensive pelvic floor physiotherapy courses and pregnancy massage, offering a range of benefits to help treat back pain from pregnancy. Contact us today to book an appointment!