Back Pain And Pregnancy: Two Tender Subjects, Five Key Ideas

‘Tender to the touch’ describes most back pain; ‘tender to the heart’ might describe your pregnancy. Combine the two conditions, and realize why most women are dismayed to find back or sciatica pain as part of pregnancy.

Here are five key points to consider if you or yours are facing back pain or sciatica during pregnancy. Be assured, most pregnancy-related back pain can be managed with instruction in conservative, specialized exercise and body mechanics.

1. Weight gain is not a statistically significant factor for back pain in pregnancy. Don’t let your pregnancy weight gain hold you back from finding solutions to lumbar pain or sciatica discomfort.

2. Hormonal changes, particularly an increase in the hormone relaxin during pregnancy, correlates with back pain. It’s natural.

3. Younger women are more likely than older women to experience back pain during pregnancy. It’s common.

4. The stresses of daily, western living that give rise to high rates of back pain in the general population don’t disappear when most women become pregnant. Learning to successfully manage traveling, sitting, computer use and other back and sciatica pain precipitators becomes more important to ensure comfort during this special stage of life.

5. While only 50% of pregnant women seek treatment from a health care professional for low back or pelvic pain, thorough assessment, diagnosis, treatment and education for symptom prevention and management can help turn a painful pregnancy into a pleasurable one...as it should be.

References

Biering-Sorensen F. A prospective study of low back pain in a general population. I. Occurrence, Recurrence and Aetiology. Scand J Rehabil Med 1983;15:71-79. (36)

Fast, Avital; Shapiro, Danile; Ducommun, Edmond J. Low-back pain in pregnancy: Spine. 12(4): May 1987; 368-371.

Hui A, Back L, Ludwig S, Gardiner P, Sevenhuysen G, Dean H, Sellers E, McGavock J, Morris M, Bruce S, Murray R, Shen G. Lifestyle intervention on diet and exercise reduced excessive gestational weight gain in pregnant women under a randomised controlled trial. BJOG 2012;119:70-77.

Kristiansson, Per; Svärdsudd, Kurt, von Schoultz, Bo. Back Pain During Pregnancy: A Prospective Study: Spine: 15 March 1996 - Volume 21 - Issue 6 - p 702-708

MacLennan AH, Nicolson R, Green RC, Bath M. Serum relaxin and pelvic pain of pregnancy. Lancet 1986;ii:243-5. (17)

Mogren IM. Previous physical activity decreases the risk of low back pain and pelvic pain during pregnancy. Scand J Public Health 2005;33(4):300-6. (8)

Mogren IM. BMI, pain and hyper-mobility are determinants of long-term outcome for women with low back pain and pelvic pain during pregnancy. Eur Spine J 2006;15(7):1093-102. (38)

Mogren IM, Pohjanen AI. Low back pain and pelvic pain during pregnancy: prevalence and risk factors. Spine 2005;30(8):983-91. (3)

Norén L, Östgaard S, Johansson G, Östgaard HC. Lumbar back and posterior pelvic pain during pregnancy: a 3-year follow-up. Eur Spine J 2002;11:267-71. (39)

OSTGAARD, H C MD; ANDERSSON, G B J MD, PhD; KARLSSON, K MD. Prevalence of Back Pain in Pregnancy. Spine: Volume 16, (5) May 1991 (4)

Svensson HO, Andersson GB, Hagstad A, Jansson PO. The relationship of low-back pain to pregnancy and gynecologic factors. Spine 1990;15:371-5. (1)

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
CONVERSATIONS