Expecting Back Pain?HEALTHTRACK - JUL/AUG 97
A SUPPLEMENT TO THE PHYSICIAN AND SPORTSMEDICINE FOR THE WAITING ROOM
Pregnancy, especially the later stages, is fertile ground for back pain. Your center of gravity shifts because your uterus expands. And hormonal changes temporarily loosen important support structures—ligaments and tendons leaving you with back and pelvis muscles that seem to groan under the stress of increased weight.
Up to 50% of pregnant women will experience back pain, which usually starts during the third trimester and can last up to 6 months after delivery. There are three types of pregnancy-related back pain, which is largely unavoidable. Some women experience a combination of the three:
Your doctor can advise you about minimizing discomfort. The following tips may help:
If back pain interrupts your sleep or daily activities, you should talk to your doctor. Ice, heat, massage therapy, and physical therapy visits are treatments he or she may consider. But check with your doctor before treating your own symptoms—it's risky to take certain drugs, sit in a whirlpool, or undergo certain joint manipulation when you're pregnant. Many doctors prescribe strengthening and flexibility exercises to reduce back pain. Try the ones in figures 1 through 3 (not shown) for starters. When done correctly, they're easy to perform at home and should not be painful. If exercise and preventive measures aren't effective, your doctor may advise other options such as pool exercises or a supervised exercise program.
Copyright (C) 1997. The McGraw-Hill Companies. All Rights Reserved