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Updated: Jun 1, 2023


All the happiness and the good news pregnancy bring in woman’s life it also comes with the fair share of aches and pains with it. Back pain is the most common complaint in pregnancy. Pregnant woman can feel a dull aching and deep pain which they may feel at their waistline and tailbone. Back pain can start in early pregnancy till the childbirth in some cases it can further go to after delivery (post partum) back pain.

What are the causes?

There are various causes of back pain in pregnancy one of them is hormonal changes. During pregnancy our body secrete a hormone called as Relaxin which loosens up the ligaments in order to prepare our body for easy passage of the baby. The ligaments which connects the two vertebrae loosen ups, the stability in them gets compromised which may lead to back pain.

During healthy pregnancy a woman gains approximately 15 to 20 kilograms of weight. The spine has to support the growing uterus causing strain on the muscles and nerves leading to back pain {1}.

Due to the growing uterus, weight distribution is in front of your body which shifts your center of gravity ahead. Without even noticing we began to compensate our posture. This compensation may lead to overact the superficial lower back muscles leading to back pain{2}.

Our spine is stabilized by deep back muscles and abdominal muscles, during pregnancy our abdominal muscle called as rectus abdominals which is a.k.a ‘Abs’ gets separated to have a enough space for the growing uterus. This abdominal muscle separation in the front creates instability at the lower back region which worsens the back pain {3}.

Pregnancy is the most beautiful phase in the woman’s life but sometimes we do stress about how our journey of motherhood is or how labour will be, emotional stress can cause tension in your muscles and may lead to back pain{4}.

How To Avoid It?

There are several ways from which you can avoid back pain during pregnancy, whenever you bend and lift something try and bend your knees and pick up. Try and avoid prolonged sitting and standing postures. Whenever you want to turn try and turn your entire body instead of just twisting from your spine. See to it that your mattress is firm it should not be too hard too soft, if it is then it’s time to change it. Avoid wearing high heels instead use a footwear with proper arch support which will help you to maintain your alignment of your body. Including pelvic floor and back strengthening exercises during the second and third trimester will help you to maintain the strength of your muscles around your spine and will avoid back pain.

If you have back pain during pregnancy then doing simple lower back, mid back, upper back and shoulder stretches will ease out the pain {5}.

‘Pregnancy is the most powerful creation to have life growing inside you, there is no biggest gift!’- Beyoncé


1] Chen XL, Peng YY, Xu XQ. Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2018; 98(19):1493-1497. doi:10.3760/cma.j.issn.0376-2491.2018.19.008.

2] Süsse HJ, Würterle A. Die Schwerpunktverschiebung im wachsenden Fetus [The shifting of the center of gravity in the growing fetus]. Zentralbl Gynakol. 1967; 89(27):980-984.

3] Sperstad JB, Tennfjord MK, Hilde G, Ellström-Engh M, Bø K. Diastasis recti abdominis during pregnancy and 12 months after childbirth: prevalence, risk factors and report of lumbopelvic pain. Br J Sports Med. 2016;50(17):1092-1096. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2016-096065.

4] Virgara R, Maher C, Van Kessel G. The comorbidity of low back pelvic pain and risk of depression and anxiety in pregnancy in primiparous women. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2018;18(1):288. Published 2018 Jul 4. doi:10.1186/s12884-018-1929-4.

5] Haakstad LA, Bø K. Effect of a regular exercise programme on pelvic girdle and low back pain in previously inactive pregnant women: A randomized controlled trial. J Rehabil Med. 2015;47(3):229-234. doi:10.2340/16501977-1906.

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