As with other pregnancy ailments, hormones are at play here as well; for some weeks now, progesterone and relaxin have been working on softening the ligaments, the spinal and pelvic joints. These have several repercussions:
- Your tummy bump has changed your centre of gravity since most of the weight is in the front.
- Your posture suffers due to baby's weight on your lower back and now weakened tummy muscles; as a result your spine is pulled forward.
- Lower back pain during pregnancy which travels down to the legs can occur; this is caused by the weighty uterus on the sciatic nerves located near the spinal column and that's why the name sciatica; when baby changes its position, you may get some relief.
- You will need to be confined to bed if pain gets more severe.
Things you can do..
- Avoid standing and sitting for long periods. If you have no choice but to stand for longer times, you should then tilt your pelvis forward so that your buttocks tuck under and your shoulders are kept back; don't slouch. If you are sitting, move to the back end of the seat (so that your posture is as erect as possible) and rest your legs on another chair if possible. Try walking around in intervals.
- Do some gentle stretching exercises, yoga that is recommended by someone who is well-versed with such a condition or some exercise that helps strengthen the back muscles. Swimming is the other option
- Wear flats only with good support. Avoid platforms, or heels. Now is the time to focus on comfort.
- Avoid back twisting movements such as racket games or housework like mopping or vacuuming
- Bend from knees when lifting things
- Avoid putting on too many kilos - it just brings its own load of problems.
Now to ease the backache during pregnancy itself..
- Go for a massage treat to unknot the muscles
- A maternity girdle to support the lower back may help; check with your doc
- Sleep on a firm mattress as sagging beds worsen the ache
- Relax in a warm tub or if using the shower, aim it at the target area
- Use a heat pack or cold pack
- Ask your doctor for an analgesic if the pain is unbearable
- If the pain is excruciating like in cases of sciatica, get a referral to a specialist who will know what to do with such conditions