That pregnancy is the most beautiful time in a woman’s life is not true for everyone. This period can be different for every pregnant woman and while one feels fine for 9 months, the other may feel nauseous all the time. While complaints such as nausea and vomiting are typical of early pregnancy, there are also those limitations that accompany women throughout their pregnancy. These include, for example, back pain. This affects more than half of all pregnant women. There are actually many reasons for the back pain during pregnancy, with the ever-growing baby bump being perhaps the most common of them. But what can you do to relieve this pain? Here are a few simple exercises you can try at home.
What causes back pain?
During pregnancy, there are major changes in the body that can lead to various limitations and pains. In the first trimester, hormonal changes can be to blame. The body secretes more hormones from the first day of pregnancy, including the hormone relaxin, which can lead to back pain, especially in early pregnancy. Some women do not describe the sensation exactly like a pain, but more like uncomfortable pulling in the back and pelvic area.
Another reason for back pain can be described as the change in statics due to the growing baby in the abdomen. In the second and third trimesters, the baby is constantly gaining weight, which puts pressure on ligaments, tendons and muscles in the lower back. Posture deteriorates as well, which can continue to cause tension and pain in the upper back. To avoid the pain in the lower and upper back, you must try to always maintain a straight posture despite the baby bump. However, if you have always had weak back muscles, then the back pain during pregnancy is most likely. Some stretching exercises can help you feel better , especially during pregnancy. They also help to relieve the back pain.
Exercises to relieve back pain during pregnancy.
Stretching exercises offer many benefits for pregnant women. They help to stay fit and relaxed and prepare for childbirth. More importantly, they can help relieve some of the pain you may experience because of pregnancy.
The better the back muscles are trained, the better they can cope with the additional load. There are some strengthening and stabilizing exercises that can help against the annoying back pain. The exercises presented below are usually allowed during pregnancy. However, we still recommend that you talk to your doctor or midwife first, especially if you are already in your third trimester.
Cat-Cow Yoga Exercise
This exercise gently strengthens the lower back, which can help relieve hip and back pain during pregnancy.
Equipment needed: yoga mat
1.Start on all fours with your knees under your hips, hands under your shoulders, fingers pointing forward and abdominal muscles tightened to keep your back straight.
2. Draw in your abs and raise your back toward the ceiling like a cat hump, letting your head and butt gently relax downward. Do not bring your elbows together and move your back only as far as you can.
3. Hold for a few seconds and then slowly return to the starting position. Be careful not to bring your back down. It should always return to a straight, neutral position. Allow your spine to sag a little.
4. Do this slowly and rhythmically 10 times so that your muscles work hard and you move your back carefully.
Relieve back pain during pregnancy with Foam Roller.
The pain you feel in your lower back can be relieved with a simple exercise using the Foam Roller. This will massage your lower back.
Equipment needed: fascia roller, yoga mat.
1. sit on the floor and place the fascia roller behind you. 2.
Lift your body and position the roller slightly above your buttocks. Use your arms to support yourself on the floor, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your fingers pointing toward your body.
Now, using your arms and leg strength, gently and slowly move your back over the roller – from your buttocks, down your lumbar spine to the base of your ribs and back.
For a few more Foam Roller exercises for pain relief during pregnancy, see the video.
Position of the baby
This resting pose is great for gently stretching sore hips, pelvis and thighs. It also stretches the spine, especially the lower back.
Equipment needed: Yoga mat
1. Start on all fours on the mat, with your knees directly under your hips.
2. your big toes are touching. This gives your belly room to slide between your knees and not put weight on your hips. You can also spread your toes apart a bit if they put pressure on your knees when you touch them or there is not enough room for your belly.
3. Inhale and feel your spine lengthen.
4. as you exhale, bring your buttocks up onto your heels and lower your head toward the mat while resting your chin on your chest.
5.Rest in this position with your forehead on the floor. You can also fold a blanket or use a yoga block and rest your head on it if the floor is too far away. Keep your arms outstretched.
6. hold the pose for at least 5 deep, steady breaths.
The Stretched Triangle
This exercise strengthens the back and spine while stretching the hips, hamstrings and pelvic area. When done correctly, it can still improve digestion and strengthen the pelvic floor.
Equipment needed: Yoga block (optional)
1.Stand with feet wide apart, right foot out and right heel on the arch of the left foot. Raise arms to shoulder height and outward with palms facing the floor.
2. Bend forward from the hips over the right leg and place your right hand on your shin, ankle or a yoga block as you extend your left arm palm forward toward the ceiling. Turn your head to face the ceiling.
3.Hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.
Piriformis stretch at chair (modified half pigeon).
The pear-shaped muscle (piriformis) is a small muscle located deep in the glutes that can spasm during pregnancy. This can often cause back and leg pain due to its close relationship to the sciatic nerve. A gentle stretch of this muscle can help relieve tension and pain. This stretch is helpful also for those with lower back pain or sciatica.
Equipment needed: Chair
1.Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
2. cross one foot over the other knee like the number “4”.
3.Slowly lean forward as you exhale, keeping your back straight until you feel a stretch in your lower back and buttocks. Remember to lengthen your spine instead of hunching your shoulders toward your lap.
4. Hold position for 30 seconds.
5.Repeat on the other side.
What exercises should I avoid?
There are some exercises and postures that can be harmful to you and the fetus. So, during pregnancy (and especially in the second and third trimesters), you should avoid the following:
- Prone position: avoid any stretching exercises that require you to lie on your stomach.
- Long supine position: avoid stretching exercises that require you to lie flat on your back for more than a minute or two, as this position can decrease blood flow to your uterus and cause low blood pressure and lightheadedness.
- Abdominal positions: As your uterus grows, your abdominal muscles begin to separate and weaken. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid the boat pose and the abdominal press position during pregnancy.
- Twists: Avoid any poses that involve excessive twisting, as you may put too much strain on your growing belly and restrict blood flow to your uterus.
Tips for preventing and relieving back pain during pregnancy
Here are a few more tips that can help you in your everyday life to prevent or relieve the annoying back pain.
- Bend your knees and keep your back straight when picking something up off the floor.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects.
- Move your feet when you turn to avoid twisting your spine.
- Wear flat shoes to distribute your weight evenly.
- Try to distribute your weight evenly between 2 bags when shopping.
- Keep your back straight and well supported when sitting at work and at home. Try a pregnancy pillow.
- Get enough rest, especially later in pregnancy.
- A massage or warm bath can help.
- Use a mattress that supports you properly. You can put a piece of hardboard under a soft mattress to make it firmer if needed.
Back pain during pregnancy: when to see a doctor?
Back and pelvic floor pain, while uncomfortable, is harmless in most cases and is not a reason to call the doctor right away. In some situations, however, a visit to the doctor is absolutely necessary. Although back pain occurs in many women even in early pregnancy, you should inform your doctor about it. This discomfort may indicate some complications, such as ectopic pregnancy. To rule out this condition, you need to schedule an ultrasound examination with your gynecologist. If the back pain in later pregnancy is persistent and very severe, then you should also go to the attending physician.