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Natural Remedies For Pregnancy Back Pain
Pregnancy back pain is one of the more common complaints pregnant women have, particularly in the third trimester, is back pain. This is partly because the center of gravity of your body shifts as the front part of your body grows and takes on weight.
Your back feels the strain of having to carry your fetus inside an expanding belly, leading to chronic back pain, which can become acute with subluxations of the spinal vertebrae. Vertebral subluxations happen when one vertebra slips forward on the vertebra beneath it, causing spasms of the surrounding muscles and strain on the ligaments holding the spine together.
The only medication recommended in pregnancy for pain is Tylenol® (acetaminophen) but many women would prefer not to take any medications at all during pregnancy and acetaminophen does not work very well for the inflammation often seen in Pregnancy Back Pain and acute back injuries.
Fortunately, there are several natural remedies that seem to work for the back pain of pregnancy that don’t involve putting substances or medications into your body.
Let’s take a look at some of these natural remedies:
The Use of Ice and Heat:
The local application of ice and/or heat to the lower back can ease the tension in the back and reduce inflammation. Ice packs are used in the first couple of days following a sudden onset of pain such as can occur when you twist your body too much and experience a sharp pain in your back. Apply ice or a cold pack to the affected area for 15-20 minutes at a time, resting for a few hours before applying ice again. This can be done throughout the day and night during the acute phase of back pain.
- When the pregnancy back pain becomes chronic and there is muscle spasm contributing to your pain, applying low heat to the back muscles can ease some of the tension in the back so that the muscles do not tighten so much. Some people choose to alternate 20 minutes of heat with 20 minutes of an ice pack or cold pack so that the inflammation and spasm of the back are relieved.
Sometimes the subluxations of the spine that contribute to pain cannot be fixed by any other method besides chiropractic manipulation. Because you cannot usually lie on your stomach in the second and third trimesters, the chiropractor must use sitting techniques in order to manipulate the spine so that the vertebrae line up as expected. Sometimes the pain can be resolved immediately, while at other times the manipulation of the spine must be repeated a few times. Many chiropractors will recommend local ice and/or heat after a spinal manipulation.
Many good massage therapists have special tables for women who are pregnant and cannot lie directly on their growing uterus in the prone position. Message therapists are specially trained in prenatal massage and they can work on your back, releasing trigger points and massaging the back muscles so they are not so tense. A good prenatal massage can leave your back relaxed and less likely to have pain for several weeks after massage therapy.
Yoga is the ancient practice of doing ‘asanas’ or poses that improve the flexibility of your core muscles, including those of the back. Yoga can be practiced with modifications during pregnancy, even in the third trimester. Yoga can diminish your sensation of pain as well as loosen your muscles so there is less back spasm and an increase in strength and support of the back. If you decide to use yoga to manage your pregnancy-related back pain, choose an instructor who has worked with pregnant patients and knows which poses can be most beneficial and which poses should be avoided. There are many prenatal yoga classes available in cities across the United States and the world.
Keep in mind that your body is working hard growing and developing a new life, so it is important to get proper rest when you are pregnant. Aches and pains are exasperated when one is tired or overworked.
Pregnancy back pain does not have to ruin your experience of pregnancy. By trying the above natural remedies and exercises, your back pain can be greatly reduced or can be eliminated altogether.