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Back Pain during Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

Last updated 3 years ago

As a whole, pregnancy is a wonderful and life-changing experience—there are, however, several unpleasant side effects of pregnancy that most women would rather do without, including back pain.

Read on to learn more about the types of back pain associated with pregnancy and find out what you can do to prevent and treat any muscle tension or spinal discomfort that arises.

Causes of Back Pain

There are several cited causes of pregnancy back pain, all of which can be exacerbated by preexisting spinal conditions and obesity. These causes include:

  • Additional Weight Gain—Pregnancy will typically cause a woman to gain approximately 25 to 35 pounds, all of which places pressure on the back and spinal chord. Additionally, a woman’s expanding uterus will press against the pelvic nerves, which will cause further pain.
  • Posture Changes—With this added weight, a woman’s center of gravity will shift, resulting in a forced curvature that the spinal column is not accustomed to.
  • Hormone Imbalances—As the pregnancy progresses, the female body produces more of the relaxin hormone. This hormone acts upon both the ligaments and the joints in the pelvic area, loosening both and causing a general instability at the bottom of the spinal chord.
  • Stress—Stress and anxiety often cause the muscles in the back and neck to spasm and tighten. These symptoms, in conjunction with all of the above, can cause serious back pain.

What You Can Do

Back pain during pregnancy is usually only temporary and can be lessened or remedied through the following measures:

  • Executing physician-approved exercises and stretches.
  • Sleeping on one’s side.
  • Opting for flat, well-supported shoes over high heels with inadequate support.
  • Alternating hot and cold compresses when symptoms are present.
  • Using anti-inflammatory medication.
  • Investing in a massage given by a professional experienced in pregnancy massage techniques.

For more details on back pain during pregnancy, call Laser Spine & Pain Specialists at (908) 851-7161. We can help diagnose the root of your problem and come up with a treatment plan to suit you symptoms and schedule.


The materials available at this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing medical advice. You should contact your doctor to obtain advice with respect to any particular medical issue or problem. Use and access to this website or any of the links contained within the site do not create a doctor-client relationship. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the medical office or any individual doctor or physician. 


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