Back pain in pregnancy

Back pain in pregnancy
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"Certainly those who already suffered from the disorder before it are more predisposed to having back pain pregnancy or during a previous gestation. Women who do heavy or psychologically demanding jobs are also at risk - it seems incredible, but psychological factors also come into play in the onset of back pain! Contrary to what one might believe, however, the height, the weight of the mother and the weight gain during pregnancy seem to have no relation to the episodes of low back pain ".

This is the premise of Salvatore Atanasio, physiatrist of Isico, the Scientific Institute of the Paeseno Spine of our city, who explains how to prevent and relieve back pain in pregnancy.

In this article


How does back pain manifest itself?

In a smaller percentage of cases, back pain is localized exclusively in the dorsal seat. Other times it affects the lumbar region, with or without irradiation to one or both of the lower limbs.

In other cases, pain is prevalent in the sacroiliac joint (pelvis) area, but sometimes radiates to the thigh or leg. "The latter is unfortunately the largest group and the one that accuses the most annoying symptoms" points out Athanasius, "which not infrequently cause less autonomy to walk, greater difficulty in climbing stairs and in inclining the trunk".

Why does back pain come?

"Undoubtedly there is a mechanical factor" replies the physiatrist: "the antigravity muscles of the back are in fact called to a super job due to the inefficiency of the abdominal muscles and the increase in volume of the uterus. To this is added the factor. hormonal: during the nine months the levels of relaxin increase considerably, a hormone that allows the necessary relaxation of tissues and joints (especially in the pelvis) at the time of birth. It is hypothesized that this hormone, by weakening the osteoligamentous structures, can make the back more vulnerable to increased load ".

How can it be prevented?

The first rule to prevent back pain is to strengthen your muscles: it has been shown that physical activity carried out with constancy and diligence tones the trunk muscles and helps it to better support the changes in the body over the nine months.

Exercises for back pain in pregnancy


  1.  Sitting, back straight, legs stretched and spread apart: reach out as if to touch one foot, now the other, 10 times per leg.
  2.  In the all-fours position (on all fours), inhale and create a downward curve with the whole back, head facing the ceiling, then exhale creating an upward curve with the whole back, head facing the floor. Repeat 15 times, slowly.
  3. Standing, knees slightly bent, legs slightly apart, rock the pelvis back and forth.
  4. In the same position, rotate the pelvis, imagining that you have a piece of chalk on the tip of the coccyx and that you have to draw a circle on the floor as wide as possible, being careful to move only the pelvis and keep the trunk still.

In the last trimester, the use of specific corsets for pregnant women, which can commonly be found in maternity stores, can also be useful.

How is back pain treated?

In cases of pain localized to the pelvis, the use of a non-elastic sacroiliac band has been shown to be advantageous. "In the absence of a specific pelvic belt (which in Del Paese is difficult to find), you can use a common women's leather belt 8-10 cm high or the belts used by weight lifters" suggests the physiatrist.

Other practical tips:

  • Avoid prolonged immobilization: the column has been 'designed' to stay in motion!

  • If you spend a lot of time sitting, put a lumbar support (roller, pad…) behind your back, which helps to maintain natural lordosis.

  • In bed, preferably sleep on your side with your hips flexed and a pillow between your knees.

When to go to the doctor?

"Given that back pain is not a rare occurrence and therefore should not alarm pregnant women, referral to a doctor will be necessary when the disorders are such as to significantly hinder the normal acts of daily life and work activity , or when the painful symptomatology, albeit mild, is continuous and never remission "concludes the physiatrist.

Video: Back Pain in Pregnancy

In this video Dr. Daniel Di Segni, physiotherapist, talks about back pain in pregnancy: the causes, how to prevent it and how to intervene.

Questions and answers

How does back pain manifest in pregnancy? 

Sometimes back pain is localized only in the dorsal site, in other cases it affects the lumbar region, with or without irradiation to one or both lower limbs.

Why does back pain get in pregnancy? 

The antigravity muscles of the back are called to overwork due to the inefficiency of the abdominal muscles and the increase in volume of the uterus. To this is added the hormonal factor.

  • backache
  • pregnancy weight
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