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Elizabeth Street


How to Relieve Troublesome Back Pain During Pregnancy in No Time

Aug 30, 2013

How to Relieve Troublesome Back Pain During Pregnancy in No Time

No, you’re not a wimp—back pain is a very common complaint in pregnancy. The added pounds you’re carrying up front change your center of gravity, throwing you off balance and your back out of whack. Your ligaments are also stretching and loosening (you can thank pregnancy hormones for this), which compounds the ache. Here’s how to treat the back pain during pregnancy—and prevent it from returning:

Stand tall
It’s normal to lean back as your middle expands, but in this case, try to do the opposite. Stand as straight as you can, with your shoulders back, chest high and knees relaxed (not locked). This will help take the pressure off your back.

Shoes matter
It’s hard to give up heels, but now is the time to scale back on the height and wear comfortable, low-heeled footwear with a solid arch (flats won’t give you this kind of support).

Side sleeping
Your back gets a break when you lay on your side. Keep your knees bent and use pillows between them and behind your back for extra support.

Stretch it out
Exercise and a good stretching routine can help to strengthen back muscles and may prevent further pain. Speak with your doctor about safe moves to try, and ask about low-impact workouts, like stationary biking and swimming.

Ice, Ice baby
Cold, heat (from a heating pad) and/or massage can all work toward alleviating back pain in pregnancy. But check with your doctor first—you don’t want to overdo any of these.

Be Zen
Stress can contribute to muscle pain in your neck and back, so be mindful of the levels of tension you experience. Do what you can to relax a little bit each day by taking a nap, a bath or reading.

By Jennifer Kelly Geddes

Want more advice on a pain-free pregnancy? Try out these four lower back exercises that'll strengthen your core.

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