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There are several common pains felt during pregnancy, and backache is the one that nearly every pregnant woman complains about. Backaches can consist of sharp pains, dull pains and general achiness in the lower back area.

The majority of backaches during pregnancy are caused by the extra weight of the fetus pressing on the lower back. As your baby grows larger, the weight on the front of the body is often too much for the lower back muscles to handle. While these backaches during pregnancy are common, they should not be ignored. Lower back pain during pregnancy can also be a sign of labor.

Causes of Backache

Pregnancy backache is often caused by the weight of the baby. As the tummy grows, the abdomen gets larger and heavier. The spine tends to curve forward with the weight the increasing weight of the baby, and this can cause backache. In addition, relaxin is released into the body to promote ligament relaxation to ensure the tummy can grow as large as it needs. This hormone can also cause pains in the lower back as back ligaments are relaxed and stretched forward.

Important Facts About Backache During Pregnancy

While lower back pain and achiness is common, sharp pains in the lower back can also be associated with labor. If backache pains are accompanied by sharp pains in the abdomen, spotting or discharge, it is important to contact your obstetrician immediately.

Treatments for Backache During Pregnancy

Fatigue can often increase backache pain during pregnancy. As the female body becomes more stressed, slumping shoulders and “giving in” to the curve of the spine is common. Women often feel relief from their backache if they maintain good posture and stance while standing, walking, and sitting. In order to correct your posture, you can simply stand tall and pull your shoulders back. This will elongate the spine and reduce any curve in the spine.

Other important treatments for pregnancy backache include resting with your feet propped up, taking frequent breaks when standing is necessary, and wearing shoes with lower heels or no heels at all. After the first trimester, a pregnancy massage can also bring relief from lower backache. Pregnancy massage, however, should only be performed by a professional masseuse trained in proper techniques.

Preventing Backaches During Pregnancy

There are several ways to preventing the worst of the backaches during pregnancy. All of these remedies are associated with removing the additional burden from the lower back. The most common treatments prescribed are belly straps, propping up the legs and total body rest.

Belly Straps

Belly straps are used during pregnancy to redistribute the weight of the fetus (which is usually concentrated on the front of the body) onto a larger muscle area of the body. If the back muscles are not strong enough to handle the extra weight, they bow under the pressure and this causes the strain felt in the lower back or the backaches during pregnancy. The belly strap laces around the back of the body and under the growing tummy. This strap lifts the weight of the belly and evenly distributes it to places other than the lower back. 

Leg Prop

Propping up the legs is one of the most effective ways to stop backaches during pregnancy. This is due to the total alleviation of the extra weight on the lower back. Propping up the legs for 15 minutes once an hour can help prevent backaches as well as varicose veins.

Total Body Rest

Total body rest is essential to the health of both mom and baby. Taking frequent naps during the day is a great way to renew the body's resources and relieve back pain. As the pregnancy progresses, you should try to lie on your right side to prevent additional pressure on the liver and increase circulation in the body.

When Back Pain Signals Labor

As the final weeks of the pregnancy approach, you need to be in tune with the backaches you have been experiencing since lower back pain can also be one of the main signs of impending labor. These backaches during pregnancy often present with other symptoms such as cramping and a feeling of pressure in the vagina.