Treatments for Back Pain in Pregnancy
More good news: Unless you had chronic backaches before you got pregnant, your pain will likely to ease gradually before you give birth.
Meanwhile, there are many things you can do to treat low back pain or make it rarer and milder:
- Exercise. Regular exercise strengthens muscles and boosts flexibility. That can ease the stress on your spine. Safe exercises for most pregnant women include walking, swimming, and stationary cycling.
- Heat and Cold. Applying heat and cold to your back may help. If your health care provider agrees, start by putting cold compresses (such as a bag of ice or frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel) on the painful area for up to 20 minutes several times a day. After two or three days, switch to heat — put a heating pad or hot water bottle on the painful area. Be careful not to apply heat to your abdomen during pregnancy.
- Improve your posture. Slouching strains your spine. So using proper posture when working, sitting, or sleeping is a good move. For example, sleeping on your side with a pillow between the knees will take the stress off your back. When sitting at a desk, place a rolled-up towel behind your back for support; rest your feet on a stack of books or stool and sit up straight, with your shoulders back. Wearing a support belt may also help.
- Counselling. If back pain is related to stress, talking to a trusted friend or counsellor may be helpful.
- Acupuncture. Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine in which thin needles are inserted into your skin at certain locations. Studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective in relieving low back pain during pregnancy. Check with your health care provider if you’re interested in trying it.
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