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How to avoid and relieve back pain in pregnancy.

Worthing chiropractor, Jan Olsen from Park View Acupuncture and Chiropractic Clinic offers tips and advice on how to avoid or relieve back pain in pregnancy.

So, if you are pregnant or you know someone who is. Then you should know that 50% of pregnant women get back pain. What can you do about it? We may just have the answer.

1. Improve your posture

Maintaining good posture is important but as you gain weight this becomes increasingly difficult. A trick, which is not that well known is to make sure that your ears and your shoulders stay inline with each other. Also avoid locking your kness straight when you stand. These small adjustments make a far reaching postural change that can relieve back pain. Best checked by someone else as looking at yourself from the side in a mirror is impossible.

2. Avoid standing up. take more rest

Don’t be brave and stand up when you could be sitting. The hormone Relaxin courses through your system softening ligaments in preparation for the birth, hence weakening your postural support. Make sure you rest regularly. Use the priority seats if you use public transport; don't be afraid to ask.

3. Use a pelvic support belt before and after the birth

Keep your face glowing with pregnancy pride, not a painful grimace. Your hourglass shape has gone for the time being so swapping your shape enhancing fashion belt for a pregnancy support belt makes loads of sense. A smaller pelvic belt is available to support your back after the birth.

4. Sleep with a pillow between your knees

Straddling a pillow at night may just provide the necessary support for your tired back and pelvis. Specially designed pregnancy pillows are widely available. Prices vary so shop around, and do it before or early on in the pregnancy as a day’s shopping is far less enjoyable when heavily pregnant.

5. Desk work make back pain in pregnancy worse

During pregnancy even the smallest problems with your setup at work and at home are amplified. What may have seemed OK before conceiving now hurts. Check your desk and seat height, angles and distances. You are also more prone to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome so it may be worth exploring alternatives to the conventional computer mouse such as an upright controller or a trackpad.

6. Have a warm bath

A warm bath may help ease back aches. Only warm though as a HOT bath may be stressful for the baby. Baths are not suitable if you have acute or severe pain as this may indicate the presence of inflammation, which is worsened by heat - grab the ice pack instead and apply for 15 to 20 minutes at 2 to 4 hour intervals.

7. Go shopping for new shoes

Hahaa, sounds good doesn't it. Alas, your excitement is dashed as it won't be for glamorous stilettos and kitten heels but something rather more sensible and supporting (that word again!). As your weight increases and your centre of gravity shifts there is a tendency for your foot arch to flatten putting huge strain though your knees, hips and - you guessed it - back. Running shoe type trainers are not always a good idea. Some provide plenty of cushioning but little support, so make sure that you ask the retailer for advice before buying. Therefore a pair of supportive lace-up shoes to match your pregnancy belt is just what the chiropractor ordered.

Any pre-existing problems with your back and pelvis are also highlighted during pregnancy, so it may also be worthwhile popping round to see us to check this out, maybe even before you conceive. Help and advice is available from chiropractors, acupuncturists and massage therapists on 01903 230066.

See also our ‘What? Why? and Who?’ page on pain in pregnancy.

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01903 230066