Back Pain during Pregnancy

As your pregnancy progresses, the increased weight alters your posture and places pressure on your spine. Pregnancy hormones progesterone and relaxin soften the ligaments that support your back. Breast and bottle feeding a newborn also puts strain on the upper back. If your spine is out of alignment, this can inhibit the flow of blood and nerve supply to your organs and tissues. As a preventative measure, visit an osteopath for assessment and correction before you conceive. If you are already pregnant, an osteopath will modify the treatment accordingly.

  • Deep tissue massage and osteopathy work well together to help chronic back pain and improve posture.
  • Correct your posture in front of a mirror. Stand tall, facing forward with feet waist-width apart and parallel. Drop and pull your shoulders back and lengthen your spine by elongating your neck and tucking your tailbone under.
  • Alternatively, crouch on all fours with your back straight and let your bump hang down.
  • Sleep on a firm mattress and use support pillows to improve comfort.
  • Wear flat shoes.
  • Bend your knees when picking up objects.
  • Encourage toddlers to stand on a chair before picking them up.
  • Are you dehydrated? Drink 2-3 litres of water daily, as lower backache is often a sign of dehydration.
  • Eat small amounts often to avoid congestion in the bowels. Lower backache can also signal constipation.
  • Swimming is highly recommended during pregnancy to relieve backache.
  • Working with an Alexander technique practitioner will help correct your postural awareness.
  • Pilates can strengthen the interior muscles supporting the spine.
  • Herbalists recommend drinking meadowsweet tea twice daily.
  • Freshly squeezed pineapple juice helps eliminate the lactic acid that accumulates to form knots in muscles. Blend with fresh ginger for a tasty refreshment.
  • Acupressure points Kidney 3, Bladder 60, for sciatic pain, Bladder 23, Bladder 47
  • Prepare an aromatherapy bath with two drops each of the essential oils neroli, lavender and mandarin (As a precaution AVOID all essential oils in first trimester).
  • Apply the homeopathic remedy Arnica, either as a cream or gel to the localised area. Taking arnica in oral form can also help ease bruising or pain.
  • Bach Flower Rescue Remedy can help with pain.
  • Should symptoms not improve, see an osteopath 

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