Pregnancy: back pain

During pregnancy, women experience a number of rather predictable discomforts. One of these is undoubtedly back pain, a pain that often manifests itself in a rather intense manner and that particularly affects the lower back, especially the lumbar region. But the pain may also radiate to the legs or involve the pelvic bones. In some cases, the discomfort can also be felt in the shoulder blade area.

When does the problem occur? Which areas of the body are affected?

Back pain can start at any stage of pregnancy (sometimes even between the second and third month), but it is more likely to occur around the fifth or sixth month and increase in intensity as the weeks go by. Certainly, the women most at risk are those who are overweight or who have already suffered in some way with their back before pregnancy. We are talking about a widespread problem that affects about 60% of mothers-to-be.

The pain can manifest itself in different ways: lower back pain or posterior pelvic pain.  Lumbar pain occurs in the lumbar vertebrae and in the lower-middle part of the back. It can also spread to the muscles along the spine, up to the leg or foot. It tends to increase when static postures are held for a long time, but can also intensify after repetitive specific movements.

Pelvic pain, on the other hand, is located in the back of the pelvis and may extend downward (buttocks) and into the thighs (upper part). It may be generated or aggravated by very common activities such as walking or climbing stairs, but also by the simple act of turning over in bed. It is a difficult and time-consuming problem to solve, so the advice is always the same: do not neglect it.

But what kind of back pain are we talking about?

Let’s take a look at the types of pain that can affect an already delicate period. We must distinguish between acute and chronic pain.

Acute: this is certainly a very annoying pain, because it manifests itself at the specific moment in which we make a certain movement or effort, such as lifting a weight or maintaining certain positions.

Chronic: this is the pain that causes most concern, because not only can it last for a long time, but it is usually an – unwelcome – anticipation of postpartum back pain.

Chronic back pain presents more complexities and for this reason should not be neglected. It is true that pain can be part of pregnancy, but it should not be accepted passively, also because it can turn into a more important problem, such as chronic low back pain, for example. We therefore always recommend that you undergo specialist examinations (both during and after childbirth) if the pain continues.

What causes back pain during pregnancy?

There are many factors that cause back pain during pregnancy and very often they all contribute to the problem. Certainly, one of the main factors is weight gain (which is why we pay a lot of attention to this aspect during pregnancy) and the inevitable shift in the centre of gravity (the spinal column becomes more unbalanced).

Also not to be overlooked is the impact of poor posture, but other elements that come into play are stress (which can cause muscle stiffening in the back of the body), increased hormones and an enlarged uterus (which can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, among other things).

The peace of mind of a safe check-up

Today it is possible to monitor a pregnant woman’s health in complete safety, thanks to non-invasive Spine 3D technology. Neglecting back pain can have long-term consequences and it is good to take care of your health.

You can also contact us for simple information. We are at your disposal.


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