The Best Exercises to Relieve Back Pain During Pregnancy

Entering parenthood is one of the greatest joys in a woman’s life- but pregnancy and its implications on health can also be incredibly challenging for a woman to adjust to. There is no doubt that pregnancy takes quite a toll on a mother’s body. Moreover, the health issues during pregnancy can not only affect the mother but can have an impact on the baby’s health as well. Therefore, it is imperative that women should take health and well-being seriously and include regular exercise in their lifestyle. 

One of the most common physical health issues for expecting mothers is severe musculoskeletal aches and pains, especially in the back.

Back pain may affect pregnant women seriously during the later stages of their pregnancy. The severe pain, disruption of daily activities, or interference with a good night of sleep may result in stress which could also adversely affect a mother’s health during pregnancy. Increased levels of stress for a prolonged time may even cause other severe health problems, such as high blood pressure and heart disease.

Exercises or Medications: Which is the Best Way to Relieve Back Pain During Pregnancy?

For decades, medications containing acetaminophen were considered the single most effective over-the-counter remedy for back pain. And pain relievers containing acetaminophen were largely viewed as safe to take during pregnancy. Due to its widespread availability, pregnant women relied on paracetamol, APAP, or Tylenol to overcome common problems, like a cold, mild headache, backache, mild fever, and even back pain during pregnancy. 

But last year in 2021, a group of doctors and scientists issued a consensus statement in Nature Reviews Endocrinology suggesting that prenatal exposure to acetaminophen might have serious consequences on the health of the mother and child. 

These issues with the consumption of medications and painkillers during pregnancy and its side effects have compelled people to look for safer alternatives. Experts agree that exercises are the safest method to relieve back pain for pregnant women. Moreover, regular physical activity during pregnancy may help psychological well-being and possibly even reduce depression and anxiety during the postpartum period. Furthermore, it is also believed that women who exercise during pregnancy may recover more quickly after giving birth.

But before learning about the best exercises to relieve back pain during pregnancy, let us first understand what causes back pain in pregnant women.

What Causes Back Pain in Pregnant Women

Having severe backache or back pain is very much common in women during their pregnancy period, especially in the later stages. This is because during pregnancy, a mother’s body prepares her for labor and as a result, the ligaments naturally become softer, and more flexible in order to stretch while giving birth. This can put a significant strain on the joints of their lower back and pelvis, which can cause back pain. 

Here are some of the more likely causes of back pain in pregnant women.

  • Significant Weight Gain
  • Changes in hormones
  • Muscle separation
  • Stress
  • Postural changes

Best Exercises for Women to Relieve Back Pain During Pregnancy

There are a lot of exercises to relieve back pain but not all these exercises can be done by women during pregnancy. Therefore, below are some highly recommended exercises that are safe and highly effective in relieving back pain during pregnancy. 

1. Pelvic Tilt for Back Pain

If you are in your first trimester, pelvic tilt exercises can be performed while lying on your back. For pregnant women who are in their second or third trimesters, it is highly recommended that they perform this exercise while sitting or standing.

Pelvic tilt for pregnant women in their first trimester

Step 1: Begin the exercise by lying on your back. Keep both your feet flat on the floor and bend your knees.

Step 2: Exhale and contract your abdominal muscles while slowly tilting your pelvis upward.

Step 3: Hold this position for at least 3-5 seconds and then go back to the initial position.

Step 4: Repeat the same procedure 10 times.

Sitting Pelvic tilt for pregnant women in their second or third trimesters

Step 1: Seat yourself in a chair with your weight distributed through your feet on the floor.

Step 2: Exhale and contract your abdominal muscles while slowly tilting your pelvis upward.

Step 3: Hold this position for at least 3-5 seconds and then go back to the initial position.

Step 4: Repeat the same procedure 10 times.

Standing Pelvic tilt for pregnant women in their second or third trimesters

Step 1: Stand upright with both your feet hip-width apart. 

Step 2: Exhale and contract your abdominal muscles while slowly tilting your pelvis upward.

Step 3: Hold this position for at least 3-5 seconds and then go back to the initial position.

Step 4: Repeat the same procedure 10 times.

2. Quadruped Cat Exercises for Back Pain

Step 1: Start the exercise in a quadruped position. This means that you have to get on your hands and knees, with shoulders over your hands and hips over your knees.

Step 2: Exhale and contract your abdominal muscles while pushing your spine up and moving your chin towards your chest.

Step 3: Hold this position for 10-15 seconds and then get back to the initial position.

Step 4: Perform 10 repetitions.

3. Bird Dog Exercise For Back Pain

Step 1: Start in a quadruped position. Make sure your hands and knees are aligned with your shoulders and hips respectively. 

Step 2: Engage your abdominal muscles and keep your spine straight.

Step 3: Gradually raise and extend your right arm and left leg to be level with your spine.

Step 4: Hold for at least 3-5 seconds and resume the starting position.

Step 5:Then alternate the exercise with your left arm and right leg.

Step 6: Perform ten repetitions.

4. Squat to Relieve Back Pain

Step 1: Stand upright and place both your feet shoulder-width apart.

Step 2: Bend your knees and slowly move your hips backward as if you were going to sit in a chair. Keep your knees behind your toes.

Step 3: Only bend as far as you feel comfortable, then return to the starting position.

Step 4: Perform ten repetitions.

5. Side-lying Leg Raises for Back Pain

Step 1: Lie straight on your left side. You can also keep a small pillow or folded towel under your side to keep your spine straight.

Step 2: Slowly and gradually, raise your right leg to a 45-degree angle then lower your leg.

Step 3: Perform ten repetitions with your right leg.

Step 4: Switch to lying on your right side, and perform 10 repetitions with your left leg.

Conclusion

For new mums to be, severe back pain during pregnancy can be extremely daunting and can affect their everyday lives. It will increase stress, and depression and can spoil one of the most beautiful times of their lives. But with proper exercise and physiotherapy in Richmond Hill, pregnant women can not only relieve back pain but also ensure that they are physically and mentally fit.

Exercises during pregnancy can provide multiple benefits including preventing excessive weight gain, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, back or pelvic pain, and urinary incontinence. It can also significantly improve mood and sleep which is imperative during the pregnancy period. However, if you still experience severe back pain even after regular exercises, make sure to consult with a professional physiotherapist or health specialist. 

John Wick

I am currently working as a writer/author with Newsnblogs. I have more than 4 years of experience in the same field of reporting and coordinating in the media company.

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