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What Can Cause Back Pain During Pregnancy?

Written and reviewed by
MBBS, DGO
Gynaecologist, Bangalore  •  47 years experience
What Can Cause Back Pain During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is not always a breeze and is associated with few to many problems. One of the common problems is the back pain, and statistics report that about half of all pregnancies are coupled with severe back pain.

Many women complain of terrible back pain while pregnant, and the pain may become so severe that it can also interfere with one’s ability to work or carrying out normal day to day activities. Here is an account of the possible causes and risk factors of back pain during pregnancy-

  1. Some key factors that are associated with developing lower back pain include having a history of low back pain before conceiving, lifting and bending, and undertaking physically strenuous work.
  2. When it comes to the causes of back pain during pregnancy, malfunction of the sacroiliac joint is the most common. Though it tends to be immensely painful, it can be treated and tends to get better after the delivery of the child.
  3. The sacroiliac joint is the functional unit of the pelvis which contributes to the normal alternating movement while walking. With the advancement of pregnancy, the alterations of the hormonal level prepare the pelvis to deliver the child by gradually loosening the ligaments that are in charge of these joints. The associated rise in motion, as well as instability around the sacroiliac joint, often leads to pain in this region.

Some other causes of back pain during pregnancy include:

  1. Gain in body weight: At the time of a healthy pregnancy, the backbone has to support and carry around 25 to 35 additional pounds. It can lead to pain in the lower back region. Also, the weight of the growing baby, as well as the mother’s uterus, exert pressure on the nerves and blood vessels in the back area and the pelvis.
  2. Changes in posture: Pregnancy invariably shits a woman’s centre of gravity. This can gradually and unconsciously lead to adjustment of body posture along with the way she moves. As a result, a woman may suffer from lower back pain and strain.
  3. Alterations in hormone levels: At the time of pregnancy, the body produces a hormone known as relaxin that causes the ligaments present in the pelvic region to relax while the joints become looser in order to prepare the body for the process of delivery. This hormone can also lead to the loosening of the ligaments supporting the spine and therefore cause back pain.
  4. Separation of the muscle: With the expansion of the uterus, two sheets of muscles running parallel from the rib cage to the pubic region may start separating from the centre beam thus causing intolerable back pain.

Though back pain is quite common when you are pregnant, it is advisable to consult an expert to be assured that you are not heading for any risk or complication that may be detrimental to the baby. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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