Back Pain and Pregnancy
During pregnancy, approximately 50-70 percent of women experience back pain. While causes for back pain may differ, the majority are due to increased hormones, gaining additional weight, a change in the body's center of gravity, a change in posture and added stress. Therapy can be useful for alleviating back pain. Talk to your health-care provider before starting any type of therapy!
- Back pain often begins in the second half of pregnancy when changes in your body weight and center of gravity put additional strain on your spine.
- For most women, pain occurs in the sacroiliac joint -- where the pelvis attaches to the spine.
- The added weight from the baby must be supported by the spine. The uterus puts pressure on the blood vessels and nerves in the pelvis and back.
- Your center of gravity changes which can change your posture and cause back pain.
- Your body produces a hormone called relaxin when pregnant. This same hormone can cause ligaments that support the spine to loosen, leading to instability and pain.
- As your uterus expands muscle separation occurs. This separation can worsen your back pain.
- Emotional stress can cause muscle tension in the back, which may be felt as back pain or back spasms.