Just as important as preventing back pain during pregnancy is knowing what can cause them. The great changes that occur in the body of pregnant women are the main causes of back pain, although they're not the only ones.
It is very common that lumbar pain or sciatica appears during pregnancy and even after delivery, and in very few cases it occurs an alteration in the spine. During pregnancy, the back pain that women feel the most are:
- Sciatic pain
- Waist pain, when sitting or standing, or when lying down
- Pain in the back of the pelvis and deep in the buttocks
In addition to the natural changes that occur in the body of the pregnant woman, such as weight and enlargement of the breasts and belly, hormones, etc., there are some risk factors that can cause back pain during pregnancy and childbirth:
1. Lack of firmness in the abdominal muscles. When the abdominal and back muscle tension is balanced, the muscles can better support the weight of the belly and breasts. It also prevents the pregnant woman from arching further back, favoring the balance of her weight between the abdominal and back muscles. This balance avoids back pain and discomfort, which can often end up affecting the legs. In this case, prevention is better than cure.
2. Lack of strength and firmness in the buttocks The buttocks also have an important influence in stabilizing the pelvis and supporting the lower back of the pregnant woman. If the woman is in good physical shape and has strong buttocks, her weight gain will not affect her back.
3. The sedentary lifestyle. Starting a pregnancy in good physical shape is essential for a woman's health. Physical exercise improves flexibility, coordination, and helps a woman maintain balance despite her belly size. A sedentary lifestyle, on the other hand, causes a loss of strength and muscle mass, and therefore, increases the probability that the woman will be injured and have back problems.
4. Bad posture. Postural habits are very important to avoid back discomfort. Women who sit for a long time without getting up between meals can develop back problems. Posture must be monitored even during sleep and rest hours. The best posture is sideways.
5. Too much physical activity. The more the pregnancy progresses, the bigger the belly and the less physical efforts such as squatting, running, jumping, the pregnant woman should do, to avoid back discomfort. The best exercise for the last months of pregnancy is walking. This will help your circulation, and it will keep you calmer.
6. Obesity and weight gain. All the weight that a woman gains during pregnancy will be located in the front part of her body, that is, in the belly. If under normal conditions, the weight of the belly can affect the back, with overweight the pressure is even greater. Ideally, the woman should follow a diet suitable for pregnancy to avoid being overweight or obese.
7. Labor. The moment of delivery involves a significant muscular effort for the woman. The pelvis dilates to allow the baby to come out and it is very normal for the bones that make up the pubis to separate. This circumstance can affect the spine, and cause muscle pain in the lower back and buttocks. The effort used in childbirth can also trigger a fissured or herniated disc, which can lead to back pain or sciatica.
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