Pregnancy & Postpartum
Back pain during pregnancy can range from mild pain when you do certain things, to pain that sticks around all day! Pain pops up most often months 5-7 of pregnancy; but you may not even get out of the first trimester without back pain! It can start as early as 8 to 12 weeks after becoming pregnant and it may not leave after you give birth!
The two most common places that pregnant women have back pain: the lower back & the back of your hips & butt cheeks.
Both happen for several reasons, because of changes that happen naturally while you’re pregnant.
Your weight changes,
Your posture changes, to accommodate the other changes in your body
You are using your muscles and joints differently than before.
You are making a human, and doing more work, so you are tired more quickly
Your hormone levels change
Normal activities become painful:
Rolling over in bed
Bending forward or back.
Low Back Pain
During pregnancy, low back pain is generally right above the waist, in the middle of the low back. It often hurts worse while bending, lifting, and staying in one position too long (sitting or standing). It also often hurts along the spine, up to about the bra line, during pregnancy.
Back of the Hips & Butt cheek Pain
A deep-feeling pain at the back of the hips and waistline is quite common during pregnancy. Whether it is on one side or both, it often goes all the way down the butt cheeks and even into the upper part of the thighs. Rest usually feels better, but it comes right back, and you may feel really stiff in the mornings.
Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction
When pain lasts a long time during pregnancy, it could also be a sign of Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction. When the joints in the pelvis become unbalanced, it causes pelvic stiffness and pain.
Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction occurs frequently during pregnancy. This condition is not harmful to your baby, but it can affect your ability to move, and cause severe pains, and will make your delivery more intense.
Labor Pain During Pregnancy
Labor Pain is a different type of pain! It is like an intense menstrual cramp:
the pain is persistent,
it increases in intensity and frequency over a short period of time,
it is not affected by your level of activity.
We can’t do anything about this pain! If you are having this type of pain, please contact your OB/GYN!
Traditional treatment for back pain during pregnancy and after:
Any back pain that has gone on for more than 6-8 weeks needs to be treated to keep your chronic pain from becoming a recurring back problem. Chronic pain during pregnancy usually means you will continue to have back pain, after you are pregnant. For this reason, pregnant women are often encouraged to seek appropriate back pain treatment while pregnant.
Due to the significant risks involved with common treatment options like drugs, injections, and imaging tests, most available options involved partial and temporary relief from the pain. I’m sure you’ve tried ice or heat, braces or support pillows, some medications to treat inflammation, massage, changing your sleep position or pattern, or making changes to the way you live.
*DISCLAIMER: Some discomfort during pregnancy is normal and expected, however periods of prolonged or intense pain could be a sign of an underlying condition. It’s important to communicate with your doctor about what activities you can reasonably do during and after pregnancy, and when to seek further care, to help minimize any potential risks.