Pregnancy back pain is a common complaint. In fact, between 50 and 70% of pregnant women complain of back pain at some stage. In particular, lower back pain or tailbone pain.
Some women complain of back pain already in the first trimester of pregnancy. However, more women experience pregnancy back pain during the third trimester of pregnancy.
It is important to be aware of the causes of back pain during pregnancy so that you can start with preventative exercises or habits early on in your pregnancy.
What causes back pain during pregnancy?
You body is gradually changing shape and you are gaining weight. Changes to the way you carry your weight can affect your back, causing back pain during pregnancy.
There are many bodily changes during pregnancy which could contribute to back pain:
- Hormonal changes.Increase in Relaxin hormone, causing joints and ligaments to loosen up and therefore not be as strong.
- Muscle tightening.Tightening of some muscles in order to compensate for other muscles that have relaxed – causing joints and ligaments to slightly move out of their normal positions. This could cause longer term problems if not corrected, due to disalignment of muscles.
- Increased weight,putting extra pressure on joints and ligaments.
- Bad posture.Back pain can happen when your posture changes during pregnancy and is not corrected properly. It is very easy to slip into a posture where you push your belly out and curve your spine. Imagine what this is doing to the bones and ligaments – pushing them into new places, causing unnecessary stress.
- Trapped nerves (see Sciatic nerve). When joints and ligaments loosen, or muscles change, this can lead to nerves getting trapped, causing back pain.
- Stress.According to the >American Association of Pregnancy, stress can build up in weaker areas of the body, which could be in the pelvic area, which supports the back, thus creating back pain. Stress can also lead to tightening of muscles.