Back pain is a common pregnancy complaint that often occurs due to the physical and hormonal changes to your body that pregnancy brings. The ligaments in your back and hips loosen as your body releases a hormone called relaxin, which prepares your body for labour. However, looser ligaments can leave your muscles feeling sore and put strain on your spine.
Additionally, your spine can move out of alignment as your bump grows. This happens due to your body trying to compensate for the change in your centre of gravity, which can cause you to alter your posture and leave you with back pain and trapped nerves. There are also not many painkillers considered safe in pregnancy, and painkillers often only mask your symptoms, so here's an overview of three drug-free treatment options for back pain that are safe in pregnancy:
A massage carried out by a therapist trained to work with pregnant women can be an effective way to loosen tight muscles and increase the blood flow to your back. Boosting your circulation can aid healing by providing damaged muscles with oxygen and nutrients. You shouldn't lie on your front when having a prenatal massage as this can put too much pressure on your bump. Instead, lie on your side or use a massage therapist who has a specially-designed therapy table with a hollowed out section for your bump.
Yoga classes suitable for the general population often contain poses that are not considered safe in pregnancy as they may prevent blood reaching your uterus as efficiently as it could. The gentle poses used in pregnancy yoga classes are suitable for all stages of pregnancy, so stick to a class designed especially for pregnant women. Pregnancy yoga classes are ideal for relieving tight muscles, improving circulation and strengthening your back and core in preparation for your growing baby and labour.
This is a hands-on treatment that uses targeted manual manipulations to free trapped nerves, ease tension and realign your spine into a healthy position. Osteopaths, such as those at Keilor Health Centre, use a range of gentle movements to flex and neutralise the muscles in your back, which promotes a healthy posture. They can also show you how to do suitable exercises at home to improve your back health. Additionally, osteopaths can give you advice on pregnancy aids that can support your back, such as belts, cushions and chair wedges, and help you maintain a healthy posture throughout your pregnancy and postnatal period.
If you're experiencing back pain, give these alternative treatments a go. They aren't associated with any serious side effects, but you should always make the practitioner aware of any health issues you have as this will allow them to work safely.