Back Pain in Pregnancy
By Paula Daly, Chartered Physiotherapist.
Back pain during pregnancy makes for a miserable time, especially if you already have young children to look after. If you have complained to your midwife about your discomfort, chances are, you will have been fobbed off with the, "Your joints are loosening" line - in preparation for the birth. Well what use is that? You are not allowed to take ibuprofen or any kind of serious pain medication, so what can you do?
Firstly, feel free to complain as much as you like and recruit some willing bodies to help you with the necessary chores. If somebody offers to do your shopping, let them. People really do enjoy being useful.
Next, incorporate rest into your day. Lying down in the afternoon will give your over worked back muscles a chance to recover. These postural muscles are really only used to holding you upright. Now, not only must they keep you vertical, they also have to stop you from falling forwards, as the weight of your bump increases. I used a maternity support belt during each of my pregnancies and frankly, could not have managed without it. Since I was bending over patients all day long, I quickly developed lower back pain with sciatica. The support belt would take some of the weight and I was able to continue working.
Another good idea is to wear supportive undergarments; the maternity baby belt will support the weight of your bump, but if you find that the weight of your breasts is causing discomfort then try a Maternity Light Support Top.
The vest is designed to support over the spinal and lower back sections, easing back ache and improving posture equally distributing weight between the shoulders. It will lift and support the abdomen, giving relief to stretched ligaments. The lower panel of the Carriwel Maternity Vest supports the lower back and eases the downward pressure that is present during the second half of pregnancy by lifting weight off the pelvis.
If you have lower back pain -
Ice pack the area twice a day for 30 minutes. Do not place the ice pack directly on to the skin, you want to wrap it in a tea towel first.
Sit with a cushion in your lower back. If you slump when you sit, the joints of the spine will nip on the nerves, and your pain will increase. Don't put your feet up on a stool if you have pain down your leg.
Join a yoga class. This will give you a lot of relief and is really worth doing.
Often, pregnant women ask if they should swim. Swimming will neither help nor harm your back, but by all means do it if you enjoy it.
If you have back pain around your bra strap area -
Rest flat on your back in the afternoon if you are able to.
Have a hot bath in the evening.
Wear a good, supportive bra.
Get your spouse to give this area a rub.
You need to lie on your side, on the bed and he should kneel next to it so that your back is facing him. Ask him to massage (using his thumbs) the sore muscle which runs along either side of the knobbly bits of your spine. He wants to pay particular attention to the bra strap area. Even if you think that he is doing a lousy job at this, it will still help - so don't nag.
If you find a supportive bra too uncomfortable consider the Noppies Maternity Vest or Anita Maternity Crop Top as an alternative. Both offer support, but without wires or seams to pinch and restrict circulation.
All our maternity support garments can be found here.
Taken From DIY Physiotherapy by Paula Daly