Last updated on July 27th, 2018 at 01:02 am
Before getting into the emotional and physical stress of pregnancy, back pain should be one of your least worries. Climbing stairs, moving around, bending down and standing for a long time typically do not cause any problems.
Now you are pregnant, you’ve realized what’s unusual before pregnancy, is common in a lot of women.
During pregnancy, taking your bath, bending down, sitting or standing for a long time, lifting light or heavy object, or running around will cause a sharp and discomforting middle back pain.
The truth is you may start experiencing mid upper back pain from the fourth month of pregnancy (Second trimester).
If you’ve already begun having this kind of pains early in pregnancy, there is still no need to worry yet. Some women may start having back discomfort as soon as eight weeks into pregnancy.
In fact, if you’ve been noticing pain in your back before getting pregnant, the chances are, you will continue to feel such pain when you get pregnant.
Why does back pain happen?
During pregnancy, women will notice that as each week passes, your weight continues to increase and you weigh more.
As your baby grows bigger during pregnancy, you may start getting back discomfort. This is because, as your pregnancy progresses, your growing baby will now stretch the round ligaments that support your womb, resulting in back pain, usually on either the right or the left side.
In some women, these kind of pains are not new and will not be severe. However, in others, it could result in serious problems affecting mood, daily activities and making some women stay idle.
If you now have this serious back pain, don’t lose hope. Back pain in pregnancy should not be seen as a norm. It can be managed with simple technique discussed later in this article.
This guide explains the types of back pain, causes of mid upper back pain during pregnancy, easy treatment, preventing tip and when your back pain means something more serious.
What are the types of back pain during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, between 4th and 8th weeks, you will notice pregnancy symptoms like breast soreness, body weakness, breast pain, nausea, and vomiting.
As your baby develops and increases in size, you will begin to notice ache at your back, buttocks or sometimes in your thighs.
These are the three types of pain you could experience while pregnant.
1. Mid upper back pain during pregnancy (lumbar pain)
Lumbar pain simply means pain in the lumbar region of your spine. Possibly, you’ve already had this pain before getting pregnant.
Pain is located just around your waist level and may occasionally extend to your thighs.
2. Posterior pelvic pain during pregnancy
This is the most common type of back pain women will experience in the second or third trimester. It is very common (about 3-4 times more common than the lumbar pain).
Usually, pain is located below your waist level (at the buttocks) either on one or both sides. Sometimes, pain may spread to the thighs.
3. Sciatica pain during pregnancy
This pain is usually severe and occurs because of herniation problems at your spine.
If you have sciatica during pregnancy, you will experience back pain, waist pain, and pain in your knees, legs, and foot.
Nevertheless, sciatica pain is not common during pregnancy, though, one percent of pregnant women will get this pain.
If you have pain in your back, chances are, you are experiencing a lumbar or posterior pelvic pain.
What causes middle upper back pain (first, second and third trimester)?
During your first trimester (8 – 12 weeks), second and third trimester, you could experience a lumbar or posterior back pain. Here’s why it happens
If you are taking a particular position for a long time, you will notice spasm at your back. Standing or sitting for too long or lifting heavy objects will result to back pain.
During pregnancy, estrogen and progesterone are elevated. These hormones make you feel pregnant. One other hormone that is elevated during pregnancy is relaxin.
Relaxin, like the name will imply, causes joints, muscles, and ligaments to relax, resulting in the posterior back or lumbar pain.
Increased weight during pregnancy
Usually, during pregnancy, it’s normal for women to gain more weight as baby grows. In a healthy pregnancy, about 20 – 35 pounds will be added to your pre-pregnancy weight.
Extra weight gain and effect of relaxin contribute to making you feel pain at your back. Usually, after pregnancy, the pain subsides and goes away.
How to ease mid back pain during pregnancy?
If you are already experiencing a persistent back pain or pain that comes and goes, these are some prove ways you could feel better.
1. Exercise and stretching
Don’t hide from your routine work or mild exercise. If you are getting pain on your back, you should quickly get going, and engage in mild to moderate exercise.
It’s also important that you inform your doctor or midwife about an exercise routine. (Don’t go too hard on your self. Very strenuous exercise may result in a miscarriage, especially in the first trimester)
A simple exercise routine is supporting your back on your hands and knees, then raising the right hand and left leg for a minimum time of 5 seconds. You should then try the same for the other side (by lifting the left hand and right leg)
2. Don’t just sleep, do it right
If you are about to sleep, it’s important you stay off your back. Lie on your side and get pillows to support your tummy from under.
Using pillows between legs will help you feel better
3. Don’t forget yourself for too long
Does your work or academic activity make you stand or sit for a very long time?
It’s important you take a break from time to time. Taking a particular position for a long time may worsen your pain.
4. Talk to your doctor
If your pain is now beyond your control, talk to your doctor. Some pain relief medications do help to ease pains fast. However, taking drugs without informing your doctor is unsafe during pregnancy.
When to worry about upper back pain during pregnancy
Though a lower or upper back pain occurs in two-third of pregnant women, other symptoms may indicate sometimes more serious
1. Severe abdominal pain
If you are in your first trimester, a severe abdominal pain and back pain may mean something more serious. Talk to your doctor as ectopic pregnancy or a miscarriage will present this way.
2. Vaginal bleeding
If your back pain is now occurring with vaginal bleeding, it likely you are having a miscarriage. Miscarriage bleeding will occur with clots and severe abdominal cramps.
See causes of bleeding during pregnancy here.
Worried about your mid upper back pain while pregnant? Ask The Medplux Team!!!