Are you expecting?
Chances are you can expect some back pain too! Back pain in pregnancy is very common. Such pain can range from mild pain associated with specific activities to acute back pain that can become chronic back pain. Studies show that lower back pain in pregnancy usually occurs between the fifth and seventh month of being pregnant. In some cases, pregnancy pain in the lower back can begin as early as 8 to 12 weeks after becoming pregnant. Women with pre-existing lower back problems are at higher risk for back pain, and their back pain can occur earlier in the pregnancy.
Where Does It Hurt?
Lower back pain during pregnancy is generally located at and above the waist in the middle of your back. You may have back pain with or without pain in your legs. Pain that radiates into the leg or foot is known as sciatica. Sciatica is NOT a diagnosis. It is a symptom. The term sciatica describes the symptoms of leg pain (and possibly tingling, numbness, or weakness) that originate in the lower back and travel through the buttock and down the large sciatic nerve in the back of each leg.
Low back pain during pregnancy is similar to lower back pain experienced by non-pregnant women. Your pain may increase with prolonged postures (such as sitting, standing, or repetitive lifting), and tenderness may also be present in the muscles along the spine during pregnancy.
SacroIliac joint pain or posterior pelvic pain in pregnancy can extend down into the buttock and upper portion of the posterior (in back of) thighs, and does not usually radiate below the knees. It can be associated with pubic pain. The pain does not quickly resolve with rest, and morning stiffness may also be present.
SI joint or pelvic pain during pregnancy is usually made worse by rolling over in bed, using the stairs, sitting and rising from a seated position, lifting, twisting, bending forward, running and walking.
Why Does It Hurt?
Pregnancy related back pain is not necessarily a bad thing, it means your baby is growing and your body is doing what is supposed to be doing. There are several reasons for increased back pain during pregnancy, while they are all very common (and normal), there are ways to lessen the pain and make your pregnancy more comfortable.
One of the most common causes of pregnancy related pains is due to weight gain. During a healthy pregnancy, women typically gain between 25 and 35 pounds. That’s a lot of extra weight for the spine to support. The weight of the growing baby and uterus also puts pressure on the blood vessels and nerves in the pelvis and back which can cause a whole host of uncomfortable symptoms.
As your baby grows, your posture changes. Pregnancy shifts your center of gravity. As a result, you may gradually, perhaps without even noticing, begin to adjust your posture and the way you move. This may result in back pain or strain.
Changes in your hormones as your body gets closer to the delivery date can greatly increase your pain. Your body makes a hormone called relaxin that allows ligaments in the pelvic area to relax and the joints to become looser in preparation for the birth process. The same hormone can cause ligaments that support the spine to loosen, leading to instability and pain.
As the uterus expands, your ab muscles may begin to separate. Your abs are two parallel sheets of muscles which run from the rib cage to the pubic bone, may separate along the center seam. This separation may worsen back pain.
Another very common condition associated with any pregnancy is stress. Emotional stress can cause muscle tension in the back, which may be felt as back pain or back spasms. It will increase your stress hormones and you may find that you experience an increase in back pain during stressful periods of your pregnancy.
How Dr. Fuhrmann Can Help?
A proper history and physical exam will determine what is injured and once we diagnose your problem (s), a specific treatment plan will be designed to get you pain free as fast as possible. Chiropractic treatments are SAFE and EFFECTIVE for expecting mothers and their babies. Dr Fuhrmann has experience treating women through all stages of pregnancy, including up to and on the day of delivery. Dr. Fuhrmann has several treatment options available to reduce and eliminate your pain:
- Spinal Decompression
- Spinal Manipulation
- Soft Tissue Therapy /KT tape / Trigger point Therapy
- Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
- Cold Laser / Low Level Laser is NOT recommended for expecting mothers
- Rehabilitative Exercises
- Patient Education