Back pain and soreness is something I had to deal with even before pregnancy. Now that I’m pregnant, taking care of my spine and joints is even more important. I had some pretty significant pelvic and back pain during the second trimester, and it was only later (when I couldn’t walk for a few days…) that I realized I was suffering from Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD), a type of Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP), in addition to back pain exacerbated by scoliosis and baby weight gain.
SPD, PGP and Back Pain
First of all- experiencing back pain during pregnancy is completely normal! Over 50% of women experience back pain during pregnancy. While you’re pregnant, an appropriately named hormone named relaxin makes your ligaments nice and loose.
This is perfect for delivery too when you’ll need the joints in your pelvis to relax, but the counter side is that your entire body feels the relaxin– meaning you may be more susceptible to things like sprained ankles or overstretching in your pelvis.
Unfortunately for me, my pelvis and spine have been twisting and rotating a lot during pregnancy, causing a lot of misalignment.
5 Ways to Relieve Back Pain During Pregnancy
With your care provider’s approval – regular physical activity can actually ease back pain. While your instinct when you’re in pain may be to curl up and move as little as possible, staying active can actually help strengthen the muscles you need to keep your abs, back, glutes and pelvic floor strong.
In addition to hiking and swimming, here are some exercises I love:
I had never been to the chiropractor before I got pregnant, so I was a little bit skeptical about my first treatment– that is until I stood up and realized how miraculous chiropractic treatment can be!
I found an amazing chiropractor in Hong Kong who specializes in prenatal and postnatal care and I can’t rave enough about what a difference her adjustments have been. In just 15 minutes, a trained chiropractor can relieve pain and help you sit, move, and sleep better without any medication. I don’t think I could get through this pregnancy without it and highly recommend finding a trained chiropractor if you’re having any muscle or skeletal pain.
A prenatal massage is a prenatal must. I raved about the one I had a few weeks ago and if you can indulge in a prenatal massage to relax and ease muscle aches, do!
4. Maternity Support Belt
I love my Upsie Belly maternity support band from Belly Bandit. I don’t wear it all day, every day, but it’s great for when I know I’ll have extended periods of walking or sitting. A maternity support band helps support the weight of your belly to relieve the strain on your back.
The Upsie Belly comes with a handy hot/cold pack that I usually microwave and slip into the back pocket. After giving birth you can flip the band around, freeze the pack and wear it over a healing belly.
Bring on all the pillows. You can buy one of the specially designed pregnancy pillows, but if you don’t want to invest in one (in a tiny HK apartment, a giant personal S-shaped pillows isn’t exactly space friendly…) be sure to support yourself before bed in a cradle of pillows. Sleep on your side and have a pillow under your head, behind your back, between your bent knees, and under your growing belly.