Avoiding Low Back Pain When Pregnant

avoiding low back pain when pregnant

A growing child inside a woman’s body during pregnancy has various effects and one of the most uncomfortable one is low back pain. Pregnancy causes weight gain, ligament-loosening hormones and a shift in a woman’s center of gravity. All these things stress the lower and mid back especially in the fifth and seventh month. 

As the baby bump grows, the spine sways, thus proper posture is compromised, thus various pains and discomforts are felt. Aside from all these, pregnant women are also not allowed to take any medications to ease the pain. Fortunately, there are a plethora of remedies that can help you avoid low back pain during your pregnancy. It includes chiropractic treatment, yoga, and a few lifestyle adjustments.   Here the options that you can explore to avoid the discomfort and pain that comes with the growing baby. 

Prenatal Massage

pregnant woman getting adjustment

Getting a prenatal massage from a certified therapist can provide quick relief when you feel acute back pain. Sometimes, the muscles clenches with the weight of the growing baby and this can irritate the sciatic nerve in the legs and buttocks. Studies show that apart from pain relief, regular prenatal massage also alleviates anxiety and depression during pregnancy. The gentle and soothing strokes of the Swedish massage are the most common and often advised type of massage for pregnant women. However, it is best to consult with your doctor first to make sure that it is safe for your condition. 

Prenatal Yoga

pregnant lady sitting in middle of room

Yoga practice is a movement-based flexibility and strength exercise that roots in ancient India. It is one of the most popular and safest alternatives for pain relief. It is also the top choice for pregnant women experiencing muscle, back, joint and nerve pain associated with pregnancy. The practice of prenatal yoga helps improve posture and prepares the body in preparation for birthing. Additionally, prenatal yoga also helps women manage emotional stress through mindful breathing exercises. It also helps you relax your muscles and mind so that you sleep better. Yoga practice provides focus and grounding especially during a period of changing hormones and emotions.     


hand holding needle

This ancient medical practice in East Asia involves the use of fine needles on specific pressure points of the body. Through this technique, blockages interfering with the body’s smooth flow of energy are cleared. A certified practitioner may also stimulate acupuncture points to improve digestion, improve morning sickness and boost energy level. More importantly, it provides relief from pain associated back pain, migraine and headaches. Similar with other alternative treatments, it is best to consult with your doctor first to ensure that this treatment is safe for your condition.


pregnant woman swimming

Swimming is a low-impact exercise and it is one of the most recommended for pregnant women. It takes off the pressure from the spine while you are suspended in the water. Paddling up and down pool lanes can help decompress the spine, tone down the legs, arms, back and the core muscles. Floating in the pool while you breathe deeply will relax you physically and emotionally. As you progress on your pregnancy you can try breaststroke swimming to strengthen your back and chest muscles. Remember to hydrate while you swim to prevent feeling lightheaded or dizzy. For high-risk pregnancy cases, consult your doctor before heading to the pool. 

Sleep Support

sleep support pregnant

Many pregnant women lose sleep because of various pain and discomfort associated with sleeping on the side. The spine is negatively impacted as it drops down when you sleep on the side. Placing a thick rolled towel on your waist will provide additional support without the need for readjustment in case you roll over in your sleep. You may also sleep on the side with a pillow between the knees to lessen the strain on the lower back and pelvis.  

Sleeping on the side is essential during pregnancy especially in the first trimester. Body pillows are great support for the hips, chest and back. Likewise, sleeping on a firm mattress , following a smart sleeping schedule and having a relaxing routine before bedtime helps you achieve better quality sleep.    


pregnant meditation

Meditation is a relaxing technique that you can perform anytime or any place. There are various ways to practice this technique. You can sit or lie down in a quiet place and focus on mindful breathing. Inhale and exhale deeply while in silence or listening to calming music. Practicing meditation shows that you can gain a biological relaxation response wherein the brain is stimulated to control the release of stress hormones. Keeping stress hormones at bay reduces toxic effects like tension and high blood pressure. Regular meditation also increases tolerance to pain, thus you can better cope with back pain, as well as labor and delivery pain.    

Physical Therapy

pregnant lady getting belly checked

Apart from treating acute injuries, physical therapists may also work with pregnant women to address pain and discomfort during their term. Similar with chiropractic treatments, therapists will manipulate joints, nerves, pressure points and muscles to find relief from pain. Expectant monts may also continue exercises at home and follow proper ways to sit, bend, lie down, stand, walk, and exercise. During pregnancy, the joints become relaxed due to hormonal changes; thus, it is crucial to limit the range of motion.  

Wearing a Maternity Belt

maternity belt pregnancy

One of the simplest means to avoid low back pain during pregnancy is to wear a maternity belt. These contraptions are easily bought online and in all maternity clothing shops. It is an undergarment that holds up the belly so that the pelvic girdle and the lower back are not strained. For belly bumps protruding in a more pronounced way, maternity belts work as an alternative for the abdominal core muscles. These belts can be used and work to reduce the occurrence of back pain. However, it should complement other remedies as it cannot solely treat back pain.    

Wearing the Right Shoes

Women love being fashionable even during pregnancy, however, high-heels may not do good on your back pains. High-heels increase the curvature of the back and increased pressure on the hips and lower spine. With a growing belly and the increasing weight, you may lose your balance when your high-heels are not stable. Keep in mind that weight shifts  and the center of gravity changes as you advance in your pregnancy.  

On the other hand, using flat sure is not the answer, because they have no support for your feet which tend to spread during pregnancy. Improper foot position can cause imbalance and lead to pain in the legs and back. Ideally, you can use low-heeled shoes with built-in comfort arch support. A slight rise of the heel will evenly distribute weight on the legs and make it more stable.  

Chiropractic Treatment for Pregnant Women

chiropractic treatment pregnant

Chiropractic care may sound intimidating for pregnant women. Most of the time, chiropractic sessions are associated with “cracking” spinal adjustments. However, therapists use a range of techniques to help relieve back pain. Routine joint manipulation, soft tissue, and chiropractor prescribed exercises will help prevent muscular tightness, joint misalignment and nerve compression during pregnancy. It is crucial to approach only certified and experienced chiropractors when seeking relief from back pain during pregnancy. As your doctor to be referred to one if you want to experience the benefits of chiropractic care for pregnant women.      

The Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment For Pregnant Women

As the body prepares for delivery, many changes happen and these cause discomfort and pain. Thus, chiropractic treatment should become an essential part of your prenatal care along with yoga, meditation and other preparations.    

Chiropractors will determine the root cause of your pain instead of just masking or treating the symptoms. A certified chiropractor can safely make pelvic adjustment and alignment for pregnant women. 

Chiropractic treatment during the pregnancy can benefit the baby and mother in many ways. The relief of aches and pains is the most significant advantage that this treatment can provide. Regular spinal manipulation you can avoid poor nerve functions in the neck, back and organs. Chiropractic adjustments while you are pregnant is a great way to realign the spine, relieve discomfort, treat and prevent various aches and discomfort. 

pregnant woman getting chiropractic care

Additionally, prenatal chiropractic care may also help prepare the body and the baby reach a proper position for birthing. Receiving adjustment while you are pregnant can help you labor out normally.  

Wrap Up

Not many women are aware of the various options available that can help them manage the aches and discomfort that comes with pregnancy. Some women think that it is all part of the experience. However, you do not need to suffer and make your term miserable. Choosing to practice some of the recommendations above can help you avoid low back pain as you progress in your pregnancy. At present, many women are exploring prenatal yoga, meditation and chiropractic treatment to reduce the pain they experience and enjoy their pregnancy even better. Practicing relaxation techniques may also improve your mental and physical state. A well-prepared body and mind has a lasting impact on your emotional health, thus you are more ready to welcome the bigger challenge that comes after the baby is born. 



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O’Dell Family Chiropractic

Primary Location
853 Ridge Rd
Webster, NY 14580
(585) 671-9210

Secondary Location
144 Metro Park
Rochester, NY 14623 US
(585) 671-9210