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Back pain during pregnancy is common. Approximately half of all pregnancies are complicated by back pain. About 10% of the time, the pain becomes so severe that it can interfere with the ability to work or carry out normal activities during pregnancy. Key factors that are associated with increased risk of developing lower back pain during pregnancy include:
1. Physically strenuous work
2. Lifting, bending, and child care
3. A history of low back pain prior to pregnancy
Your expanding uterus shifts your center of gravity and stretches out and weakens your abdominal muscles, changing your posture and putting strain on your back. It may also cause back pain if it's pressing on a nerve. In addition, the extra weight you're carrying means more work for your muscles and increased stress on your joints, which is why your back may feel worse at the end of the day. Moreover, hormonal changes in pregnancy loosen your joints and the ligaments that attach your pelvic bones to your spine. During pregnancy, 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. This can make you feel less stable and cause pain when you walk, stand, sit for long periods, roll over in bed, get out of a low chair or the tub, bend, or lift things. Certain medications, rubs and exercises are prescribed for back pain and they are quite effective too. Please contact your doctor for suggestions regarding exercises and medications to ease back pain.
Hope this helps.
These Q&A’s are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.