Treat Back Pain with Exercise during Pregnancy

Submitted by Pallavi Pandit on September 11, 2012

Back pain during pregnancy is a common occurrence. The changes to a woman’s body during this period of time, along with the additional pressure on the spine, can cause discomfort and pain. Joints loosen; your center of gravity changes and your back has to bear the physical burden of carrying a growing baby. While this pain cannot be done away with for the duration of the pregnancy, you can manage the pain with exercise.


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Lower back pain is the most commonly experienced during pregnancy. This pain is called lumbar pain. Women sometimes experience posterior pelvic pain too and this refers to pain which can spread to the thighs and buttocks.

Best Ways to Treat Back Pain During Pregnancy

There are a number of basic exercises for relief from back pain during pregnancy. Gentle cardiovascular exercises like walking and swimming are good to deal with back pain. You can also try back strengthening exercises like pelvic tilts. In a pelvic tilt, lie down halfway on the floor with support for your back. Bend your legs at your knees. You will notice some space between the spine and the floor. Gently try to flatten the spine to the floor. You need to keep your buttock muscles relaxed so that the back and abdominal muscles can benefit.

You can even do arm and leg raises, which are a standing form of the pelvic exercises, to deal with back pain in pregnancy. Kneel on your hands and knees, keeping your spine erect. As you keep your pelvis stiff, raise one arm and leg. After pausing in this position, gently lower your arm and leg. Repeat this with the other arm and leg.

Wall squats and Kegel exercises are also good exercises to strengthen the back muscles for a pregnant woman. You can also try back stretches, calf stretches, hamstring stretches and neck stretches for exercising your back muscles. There are some yoga poses too that can be done to alleviate back pain during your pregnancy.

While doing exercises, ensure that you do them parallel to a wall. That way you will always have some support to recline or bend or even squat with. When a pregnant woman does any form of exercise, especially one that involves bending, squatting and stretching, it is important that she does it with supervision. You should not exercise by yourself when pregnant.

If exercises do not remedy the pain, you should bring it to your doctor’s attention. Back pain usually does not have any impact on the baby and heals itself post partum.

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