How to Relieve Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy

Written by: Gabriela Alvarado



Time to read 8 min

Plenty of women find that their lower back becomes sore or achy as their pregnancy progresses. This is mainly caused by the changes that your body goes through. But don’t worry, there are some simple and effective ways to relieve this pain and make your journey more comfortable.

Continue reading to learn what you can do to decrease and prevent lower back pain during your pregnancy. 

9 Tips to Relieve Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy

Lower back pain can negatively affect your mood, sleep, and daily activities. Fortunately, there are some ways to ease the discomfort and make your pregnancy more enjoyable. Here are some tips you can try to relieve your back pain during pregnancy: 

Avoid Standing for Long Periods of Time

Staying on your feet for too long can put extra pressure on your lower back and pelvic area. Try to sit down or lie down whenever possible and use a footstool or a cushion to elevate your feet. You can also use a maternity support belt or support garment if you’re going to engage in an activity that requires you to stand for a long time.

One of the best ways to relax and achieve back pain relief is to rest in a comfortable and supportive chair. The Nurture& Glider with power recline is designed to provide you optimal comfort and support during your pregnancy. It has a smooth gliding motion that soothes your body and mind, and its power recline feature allows you to adjust the angle to your preference.

The Glider is not only great for pregnancy, but also for breastfeeding after your baby is born. It has a wide seat and armrests that make it easy to hold and feed your baby, and a soft fabric that is gentle on your and your baby’s skin. 

Avoid Lifting Heavy Objects

Lifting heavy objects can strain your back muscles and ligaments, and increase the risk of injury. If you need to lift something, ask for help or use a cart. If you have to lift something by yourself, bend your knees and keep your back straight, and hold the object close to your body. 

Get a Massage or Take a Warm Bath

A massage can help relax your muscles and improve your circulation. You can ask your partner, a friend or a professional massage therapist to give you a massage, focusing on your lower back, shoulders and neck.

A warm bath can also soothe your muscles and joints, and reduce swelling and inflammation. If you need some quick pain relief, you can also try placing a heating pad on the painful area to achieve a similar effect.

Pregnancy massage

Wear Flat Shoes

Wearing high heels or shoes that are too tight or too loose can affect your balance and posture and cause back pain. Try to use low-heeled shoes that are comfortable and have good arch support, such as sneakers, sandals or slippers. 

Get Enough Rest

Getting enough rest is essential for your health and well-being during pregnancy. It can help you cope with stress, fatigue, and mood swings, and prevent your back pain from getting worse. Try to get at least eight hours of sleep every night and take naps during the day if you feel tired. 

Improve Your Posture

Having a good posture can help prevent and reduce backaches and sciatica pain by keeping your spine in alignment and reducing pressure on your nerves and discs.

Try to sit in chairs that have a backrest and armrests. You can also place a pillow or a rolled-up towel behind your lower back. When you stand, keep your shoulders back and your chest out, and avoid slouching or leaning forward. When you walk, keep your head up and look straight ahead, and avoid twisting or turning your body.

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Get Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on your body to stimulate energy flow and relieve pain. It is considered safe and effective for treating various conditions during pregnancy, including lower back pain.

You can consult an acupuncturist who has experience working with pregnant women, and ask about the benefits, risks, and costs of this type of therapy. 

Get a Chiropractic Alignment

Chiropractic is a form of alternative medicine that focuses on adjusting the spine and other joints to improve their functioning. It can help treat lower back pain by correcting misalignments, reducing inflammation, and restoring mobility. 

You can visit a chiropractor who is trained and certified in prenatal care to learn if you could benefit from a chiropractic alignment. 

Ask Your Doctor about Stretching Exercises

Stretching exercises can help loosen up your tight muscles and ligaments, and increase your flexibility and range of motion. They can also improve your posture and balance and prevent injuries.

You can ask your primary healthcare provider, ob-gyn, or physical therapist for recommendations on what stretching exercises are safe for your stage of pregnancy. You can also join prenatal yoga or pilates classes to learn some stretches and poses that can benefit your back and the rest of your body.

Remember to listen to your body and avoid any activities that cause you pain or discomfort. If you’re experiencing back pain, you should ask your doctor what medications you can take. However, acetaminophen is generally safe to use during pregnancy.

Exercises to Relieve Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy

If you’re pregnant and suffering from lower back pain, you’re not alone. Many expectant mothers experience this discomfort, especially in the later stages of pregnancy. But don’t worry, there are some simple exercises you can do at home to ease the pain and improve your posture. 

Cat-Cow Stretch

The cat-cow stretch helps to stretch and strengthen your lower back and abdominal muscles. Make sure to follow these steps:

  1. Start on all fours with your knees under your hips to keep your back straight.
  2. Pull in your stomach muscles and raise your back up towards the ceiling. Move your back as far as you comfortably can.
  3. Hold for a few seconds and then slowly return to the starting position.
  4. Do this slowly and rhythmically 10 times.

Pelvic Tilt

The pelvic tilt helps stabilize your pelvis and relieves the pressure on your lower back.

  1. Lie down on your back on a mat or a carpet, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place a pillow under your hips for support, if needed.
  2. Inhale and relax your lower back, allowing it to curve slightly.
  3. Exhale and tilt your pelvis, flattening your lower back against the floor and tightening your abdominal muscles.
  4. Hold this position for five seconds, then release.
  5. Repeat this movement 10 times, gently and steadily.

Side-Lying Leg Lift

The side-lying leg lift helps to strengthen your hip and gluteal muscles, which support your lower back.

  1. Lie on your side on a mat or a carpet, with your head resting on your arm or a pillow.
  2. Bend the leg that’s under you slightly and keep the other leg straight.
  3. Inhale and lift your upper leg up to about 45 degrees, keeping it in line with your body,
  4. Exhale and lower your leg to the starting position.
  5. Repeat this movement 10 times.
  6. Then, switch sides and repeat.

You can also do this 15-minute exercise routine first thing in the morning or at the end of a long day to help relieve your back pain. Remember to get cleared by a healthcare professional before starting a new exercise routine or physical therapy while pregnant.

Causes of Back Pain in Pregnant Women

Most pregnant women experience backaches, usually starting in the second half of pregnancy—especially during the third trimester and the postpartum period. Pregnancy back pain is typically felt where the pelvis meets your spine. There are many reasons why this happens, but the most common causes are:

  • Weight gain: During pregnancy, you may gain up to 25% of your body weight. This extra weight puts pressure on your lumbar area, causing inflammation and lower back pain.
  • Posture changes: As your belly grows, your center of gravity shifts forward. This can affect your posture and make you lean backwards for long periods of time to balance yourself. This can strain your back muscles and cause discomfort.
  • Hormone changes: During pregnancy, your body produces a hormone called relaxin, which loosens the ligaments in your pelvic area and joints. This can make your spine less stable and more prone to injury and low back pain.
  • Muscle separation: As your uterus expands, it can stretch and separate the muscles in your abdomen. This can weaken your core muscles and affect your posture and spinal support.
  • Stress: Pregnancy can be a stressful time for many women, especially if you have other worries and responsibilities. Stress can cause back tension and spasms, as well as affect your mood and sleep quality.
  • Other causes: Other factors that contribute to pregnancy-related back pain include previous back injuries, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, smoking, and wearing high heels. 

When to See a Doctor

Back pain during pregnancy is common, but it doesn't have to ruin your experience. By knowing when to see a doctor, you can enjoy a more comfortable and healthy pregnancy. Some of the signs that you need to see a doctor for your back pain are:

  • Lower back and pelvic pain can be a sign of preterm labor, especially when it comes and goes in a regular pattern, along with contractions, cramping, vaginal bleeding, or leaking fluid.
  • If your back pain is accompanied by fever, chills, a burning sensation during urination or flu-like symptoms, you may have a urinary tract infection. These infections can be dangerous for you and your baby if left untreated.
  • If you’re experiencing severe back pain that interferes with your daily life, there’s a wide range of treatable medical conditions that could be causing it, from sciatica to appendicitis, so you should call your doctor or go to the emergency room as soon as possible.

Don't let back pain keep you from enjoying your pregnancy! Just follow this guide and be mindful of your well-being.

Have you been experiencing lower back pain during your pregnancy? Check out Nurture&'s gliders with power recline and lumbar pillows and start feeling better. If you want more tips on pregnancy related issues or what to do when your baby is born, you can browse through Our Journal.

L. Elizabeth Forry

Medically reviewed: Gabriela Alvarado

Medical surgeon with certifications from Imperial College London and Johns Hopkins University. Committed to medical excellence, she has conducted several academic research projects that have contributed to the advancement of the field.

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