It is estimated that between 50% and 80% of women experience some form of back pain during pregnancy, ranging from mild pain associated with specific activities to more acute pain that can become chronic. Pain most often occurs between the fifth and seventh month of pregnancy; however, low back pain can begin as early as 8 to 12 weeks after becoming pregnant. Women with pre-existing lower back problems are at a higher risk for back pain, and the pain can occur earlier in the pregnancy.
CAUSES AND SYMPTOMS OF PREGNANCY PAIN
There are two common types of back pain in pregnancy: lumbar (lower back) pain and posterior pelvic pain (in the back of the pelvis). Lumbar pain during pregnancy is generally located at and above the waist in the center of the back. This type of pain is similar to lower back pain experienced by non-pregnant women and typically increases with prolonged sitting or standing. Tenderness may also be present in the muscles along the spine during pregnancy.
Posterior pelvic pain is four times more prevalent than lumbar pain in pregnancy. It is a deep pain felt below the lower back and the waistline. This pain can be felt as low down as the tailbone. Such pregnancy pelvic pain may be experienced on one or both sides. It can extend down into the buttock and upper portion of the back of the thighs. This type of pain does not quickly resolve with rest, and morning stiffness may be present.
Posterior pelvic pain during pregnancy can be brought on or exacerbated by rolling in bed, climbing stairs, sitting and rising from a seated position, bending forward, running and walking, or a job that involves sitting at a computer all day. Unlike many other forms of lower back pain during pregnancy, a previous high level of fitness does not necessarily help prevent posterior pelvic pain while pregnant.
Both pregnancy pelvic pain and lower back pain may be caused by several factors related to changes that naturally occur in your body while pregnant, including changes in weight and center of gravity, muscular imbalances and fatigue, and hormonal surges.
LABOR PAIN DURING PREGNANCY
It is important to note that labor pain is a different type of pain. It is similar to an intense menstrual cramp and has the following characteristics: the pain is persistent, it increases in intensity and frequency over a short period of time, it is not affected by your level of activity. This is not the pregnancy-related low back/pelvic pain Airrosti can have an impact on.
TRADITIONAL TREATMENT OPTIONS
Lower back pain during pregnancy that lasts a long time (several weeks or months) is a predictor for postpartum back pain (pain after birth). For this reason, pregnant women are encouraged to seek appropriate back pain treatment during pregnancy.
Likewise, any postpartum pain that lasts longer than six to eight weeks should be treated in order to avoid chronic back pain or recurring back problems.
Traditionally, pregnant women suffering from back pain had few treatment options due to the significant risks involved with common treatment options for back pain like pharmaceuticals, injections, electrical modalities, and imaging. Most available options involve only partial and temporary relief from the pain, including ice or heat, braces or support devices, some medications to treat inflammation, massage, adjusting sleeping patterns, or making major lifestyle adjustments. None of these options are designed to fully resolve the pain and reduce the risk for chronic issues.
AIRROSTI IS DIFFERENT
We offer a safe and highly effective treatment for pregnancy-related back pain. It’s completely non-invasive, natural, and safe throughout the entire duration of the pregnancy (as well as postpartum). Our treatment is designed to significantly reduce or eliminate the source of your pain in a very short amount of time and help prevent future recurrences.
All Airrosti treatment provided during pregnancy is co-managed with your prenatal care provider. Your Airrosti Provider will work closely with your prenatal care provider to ensure you receive the best, most comprehensive care during your pregnancy.
Reviewed by Casey Crisp, Doctor of Chiropractic