May 15, 2017
While it’s a comforting thought to know your baby is continuing to grow during pregnancy, the additional weight you’re carrying also means more strain on your spine, which can often lead to back pain. As many as 75% of pregnant women will experience back pain at some point in their pregnancy, and this usually occurs towards the end of the second or early third trimester. The good news is that exercise and physical therapy can help address any pregnancy-related back pain in Glenn Dale/Bowie that you may be experiencing.
Though the 25-35 pounds of weight a woman will typically gain during a healthy pregnancy is the main cause, it’s not the only factor that leads to back pain. The extra weight will also lead to posture changes due to a shift in your center of gravity, while hormonal changes will loosen joints to create a feeling of instability, and emotional stress can lead to additional muscle tension in the back. Together, these changes put excess stress on the spine, which often results in pain, especially in the lower back.
At CAM Physical Therapy and Wellness Services, our physical therapists see and treat pregnant women frequently. It should be reassuring to know that in most cases, unless you’ve had chronic back pain before your pregnancy, your pain will gradually subside before you give birth. But in the meantime, there are a number of simple changes you can make to reduce your pain levels. We recommend the following to reduce any pregnancy-related back pain in Glenn Dale/Bowie you may be dealing with:
- Engage in regular exercise like walking, swimming or using a stationary bike, which will strengthen your muscles and boost flexibility
- Work on improving your posture by standing up straight and tall, keeping your shoulders back and relaxed, and holding your chest high
- Also practice good posture by using a rolled-up towel behind your back while sitting and sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees
- Avoid high heels and flats at all times; instead wear low-heeled shoes with good arch support
- Try heat or cold treatment, such as ice packs or heating pads, to the affected area of your back
- When picking items up of any weight, never bend at your waist or lift with your back; bend with your knees, squat down and lift with your legs
- Try wearing a maternity belt and see if it works for you
While occasional back pain for a short period of time is normal, if you do experience severe back pain or if it lasts more then two weeks, you should come in to see us at CAM Physical Therapy and Wellness Services for an evaluation and further assistance. Contact us at 301-776-9443 to schedule an appointment at any of our three clinics in Laurel, Hyattsville or Glenn Dale/Bowie, MD today, or click here for more information on preventing back pain in Glenn Dale/Bowie during pregnancy.