Easing Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy

Discover practical strategies to alleviate lower back pain during pregnancy, from posture tips to safe exercises.

4 min read

The best of times, the worst of times

Getting ready to welcome a new family member into your home is a transformative, joyful, and magical experience. But pregnancy itself isn’t always a walk in the park. If you’ve been there, and chances are you have or you wouldn’t be reading this, then you know that it also brings its share of physical challenges. The most common? Lower back pain.

Lower back pain during pregnancy is incredibly common but surprisingly manageable. Read on for practical, evidence-based strategies to manage and alleviate lower back pain and discomfort, helping you navigate life’s ‘bumps’ with greater comfort.

Understanding lower back pain in pregnancy

Pregnancy-related lower back pain is a common complaint, influenced by several factors:

Hormonal changes: Pregnancy hormones, like relaxin, loosen ligaments and joints which can lead to instability and pain in the back and pelvis.

Shifting center of gravity: As the baby grows, your center of gravity shifts, altering your posture and putting more stress on the lower back.

Weakening of abdominal muscles: The stretching and potential separation of abdominal muscles, known as diastasis recti, can reduce back support and increase pain.

Stress and pre-existing conditions: Emotional stress and previous back issues can worsen lower back pain during pregnancy. Prenatal yoga and mindfulness can help you mitigate this discomfort.

Understanding these triggers can help you manage and reduce back pain, making pregnancy more comfortable.

Pregnant woman sleeping

Practical tips to manage lower back pain

Navigating lower back pain during pregnancy doesn’t have to be daunting. Here are some friendly, effective ways to keep the discomfort at bay:

Stay active: Keep moving! Engaging in gentle, pregnancy-safe exercises like walking, swimming, or prenatal yoga can boost your mood and strengthen your muscles to better support your changing body (always check with your healthcare provider before beginning a new exercise routine).

Pay attention to your posture: Pay attention to how you stand, sit, and move. Little tweaks to your posture throughout the day can make a big difference. For example, when lifting heavy objects, make sure to bend from your knees, not your waist, to avoid extra strain on your back.

Choose your shoes wisely: It might be time to give those high heels a rest – for now. Instead, opt for supportive footwear that gives you stability and comfort. There are some very cute and comfy shoes on the market so you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice style! Trust us, your back will thank you.

Rest and take breaks: Don’t push yourself too hard. It’s important to take regular breaks and avoid staying in one position for too long. Whether it’s a short walk or a quick stretch, giving your back a little rest can go a long way in managing pain.

Here are a few easy, at-home exercises you can do to relieve your lower back pain.

Better sleep and less lower back pain during pregnancy

If you’ve been struggling to get a good night’s sleep during your pregnancy, you’re not alone. The worst part is, poor sleep can actually contribute to lower back pain, and back pain can make it harder for you to get a good night’s sleep. Here are a couple tips that might help:

Sleep smart: Finding the right position is a little bit harder when you’re sleeping for two. We recommend lying on your side with a pillow between your knees to align your spine and reduce lower back pain.

Calm your mind to calm your body: When your back starts to flare up, it may be time for a gentle massage, warm bath, or a progressive muscle relaxation exercise. These will help soothe lower back pain and help you calm your mind, making it easier to drift into a peaceful sleep.

Here are a few more tips to help you break the pain and insomnia cycle.

Safe pain relief options

Medication: For those times when you need a little extra help, acetaminophen can be a safe over-the-counter option. Remember, it’s essential to steer clear of NSAIDs during pregnancy and always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new medication.

In-person or digital physical therapy: Physical therapy exercises, whether in-person or digital, can significantly alleviate your lower back pain by strengthening your muscles and improving flexibility. Check with your healthplan to see what kind of solutions are offered through your benefit. Digital solutions, like the one offered by Kaia Health, make it easy and convenient to complete therapy exercises and find relief from the comfort of your home.

Finding relief from pregnancy-related lower back pain

You don’t have to accept lower back pain as an inevitable part of pregnancy. There are plenty of safe and effective strategies to help you find relief and enhance your comfort, so you can spend more time getting excited for the baby, and less time managing pain.

To learn more about how Kaia digital pain management therapy can help you find relief during your pregnancy, visit kaiahealth.com.

Further Reading