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What Causes Back Pain During Pregnancy?

By Expert Author: Garima Anamdani

Back pain is one of the common problems during pregnancy. However, it is not as simple as it may seem because back pain is not directly connected to pregnancy. It can be caused due to numerous reasons. Yet, it should be correctly identified to be treated effectively. So, here are the causes of back pain during pregnancy.

Weight gain: It is healthy for women to gain substantial weight during pregnancy. Most of this weight is the weight of the baby and the support system for the baby. But, it is a huge pressure on the spine. Though the spine is a strong bone; it is a significant weight gain for most women. In certain cases, this additional weight puts extra pressure on the nerves in the lower back, which can lead to back pain as well.

Posture variation: To adjust the extra weight, most women shift their centre of gravity and posture consequently. It is essential to note that as this change is in accordance to the weight, it is hardly noticeable or intentional. However, it can cause back pain during pregnancy.

Hormones alteration: There are abundant hormonal changes during pregnancy. However, one of them is called relaxin, which could cause back pain. This hormone is released to ease the ligaments in pelvic region. This allows womenís body to accommodate the swelling belly. But, it can also loosen the ligaments in spinal region, causing instability and back pain.

Stress: This is one of the main causes of back pain during early pregnancy. Pregnancy is known to cause a lot of emotional stress, which may lead to back spasms and/or back pain.

Muscle separation: The uterus expansion pressurises the rectal abdominis muscles, which connect rib cage to pubic bones. This pressure could separate these muscles may worsen the back pain.

Most experts identify the cause of pain through right diagnosis and treat it accordingly. However there are certain basic practices that can help you with these potential problems. Back exercises promote strength and muscle flexibility. It can minimize the obvious strain on the back muscles. Thatís why women exercise from the beginning of the pregnancy. If you include posture and back excises along with typical abdomen exercises, it could alleviate the pain. Chiropractics and acupuncture are also good options for treating the back pain. However, right diagnosis is the key element to effective treatment for this type of pain, in most cases.

Dr Garima Anandani (P.T.), CMP, Dip. MDT
Head- Clinical Operations, Qi Spine Clinic
Dr Anandani is the first clinician from India to qualify for the prestigious Diploma in M.D.T. from The McKenzie Institute International and University of Otago. She has acquired specialized training in subjects related to Spine rehabilitation, back pain during pregnancy from St David's Spine and Sports Therapy, Austin, Texas (USA) and from The Polyclinic, Seattle (USA). She is also one of the few Certified Mulligan Practitioners in India, with over 14 years of clinical experience in handling musculoskeletal disorders.

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