Management of Back Pain in Pregnancy

Fig. 1: Proper posture.
(larger view)

Fig. 2: Sleep on your left side.
(larger view)

Conservative (non-surgical) treatment of back pain in pregnancy generally includes performance of appropriate exercise and use of proper body mechanics. These efforts promote and support proper posture, which is essential to avoiding unnecessary stress to supporting structures.

Often just one or two visits to a physical therapist experienced in pre/post partum treatment can be very helpful to help minimize or alleviate unwanted pregnancy pain in the lower back. If more extensive back pain treatment is required, a physical therapist should perform an individual evaluation and recommend a treatment program for you.

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Back Pain Treatments during Pregnancy

Maintaining an optimal level of function throughout your pregnancy and having the least amount of discomfort are the main goals of treatment for back pain during pregnancy.

Your healthcare professional may utilize different treatments for pregnancy back pain, including instructions on:

  1. Proper posture while pregnant (See Figure 1)
  2. Specific body mechanics for routine activities, such as housework, job, sleeping (See Figure 2)
  3. A home exercise program appropriate for your stage of pregnancy
  4. Self-help techniques for pain management and mobilization during pregnancy
  5. Hands-on treatment (such as soft tissue work, gentle mobilization, and stabilization exercises) as determined by evaluation by a health care professional.

Remember, while back pain is fairly common during pregnancy, it should definitely not be accepted as just part of the process.

To help make your pregnancy as pleasant as possible and facilitate an easier delivery, back pain symptoms should always be addressed as quickly as possible and managed throughout your pregnancy.