Everyone knows pregnancy comes with a host of related symptoms and complaints. One of the most common problems, especially in late pregnancy, is back pain. Normally we think of lower back pain with pregnancy, but upper back pain can occur as well.
During pregnancy a woman is carrying around a lot of extra weight – not only the fetus itself, but amniotic fluid, weight gain from the pregnancy, and larger breasts. All of this extra weight is bound to cause strain on her back as well as other muscles in the body. Lower back pain often results from the weight of the pregnancy pulling a woman’s center of gravity forward. As she compensates for this by leaning slightly backwards, lower back pain can develop. Upper back pain can also happen due to being off-balance and compensating, and it can definitely be caused by larger, swollen breasts that a woman’s body is not used to carrying around.
Back pain during pregnancy can also be caused by sitting in awkward positions. With a large belly in the way, women will compensate for their changing size and find themselves sitting in positions that can cause muscle cramping and soreness. There are a number of back braces and belly supporting garments on the market that may help to alleviate this problem. Many are specially designed for pregnancy, and can be found in maternity stores or ordered from specialty catalogs. Reading reviews or getting a recommendation from other women in the same situation would be a good idea before ordering the product. There are also cushions and other devices that can help make sitting for long periods more comfortable.
When back pain is severe, the pregnant woman should talk to her doctor for advice on how best to deal with it. As with any other ailment during pregnancy, drugs to manage the pain are discouraged, but an OBGYN should be able to give some advice on how to deal with the discomfort.