Backache: Effective ways to deal with it

As your baby bump grows with your progressing pregnancy, a persistent problem that will rear its head is pain in the back.

Backache can start early on in your pregnancy, and may persist until you give birth.

What causes back pain during this time?

As your belly gets bigger, a hormone called relaxin causes the otherwise stable joints in your pelvis to loosen up, to allow easier passage of your baby during delivery. This phenomenon, plus the weight of your growing uterus, causes your balance to get thrown off as your center of gravity shifts forward. Your lower back curves more than usual to accommodate the load. This results in strained muscles, stiffness and pain.

The good news about back pain during pregnancy is that there are several ways to relieve it. Try our top tips to counter back pain.

Monitor your weight

Extra weight can put added strain on your back muscles.

Be aware of your posture when you’re sitting

Your chairs should provide good support and ideally have a straight back, arms, and a firm cushion. Use a footrest to elevate your feet slightly, and avoid crossing your legs. This causes your pelvis to tilt forward, straining your back muscles further.

Sitting or standing for too long can make your back hurt even more

Take frequent breaks. Walk or stand and stretch every 30 minutes. If you work on your feet, try to place one foot on a low stool to take some pressure off your lower back.

Sleep on a firm mattress

This will provide your back with the adequate support it requires.

Try not to lift heavy loads

If it cannot be avoided, do it slowly. Stabilize yourself by assuming a wide stance; bend at the knees, not at the waist; and lift with your arms and legs, not your back.

Wear the right shoes

Avoid shoes with very high heels and also completely flat ones. A low-heeled shoe is best to keep your body in proper alignment. You might also try orthotics, special shoe inserts designed for better muscle support.

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