Back pain is a common problem experienced by many women during pregnancy. Clinical researches suggest that more than 80 percent women experience back ache or pain mostly so when the pregnancy completes 4 or 5 months. If the woman is working and has to stand long hours, then she can face discomfort due to back pain. If the pain is casual and wanes off after resting, it is not a problem. But if it is persistent, then certain exercises can help in the long run to relieve the pain and help you go through the remaining period of pregnancy with comfort. But first let us find out what causes back pain during pregnancy.
Causes of back pain in pregnancy
- Hormones are produced in excess amount during pregnancy due to which the joints become unstable. This is necessary for expanding the pelvis so that the baby gets ample space while it grows.
- Another cause is increase in weight of around 25 to 35 pounds in pregnancy. Most of the weight is settled around the abdomen leading to back pain.
- There is also enhancement in postural strain as the body has to compensate due to the change in center of gravity in pregnant woman’s body.
During pregnancy, if you are suffering from back pain you might prefer to rest and relax a bit. But if mild stretches and exercises are done, they can be more beneficial in decreasing the spasms in muscles and also recuperate the paining back. There is a tendency to become lethargic during pregnancy, or to sit in a particular position which can also lead to back pain. Gentle exercises can restore as well as improve spinal function and help in relieving pain. Three types of exercises viz. cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training (stretching) can be done during pregnancy. These exercises are also good for easy labor and delivery.
Cardiovascular exercises during pregnancy
Some of the regular cardiovascular exercises include biking, swimming and walking, and these are very safe for pregnant women. These activities and exercises help in increasing the heart rate for a while and can be performed for 20 to 45 minutes depending upon the state of pregnancy. These exercises should never be performed to the point of exhaustion. During pregnancy, the intention is not to sweat out, but to give exercise and mobility to all rigid parts of the body.
Strengthening exercises during pregnancy
Strengthening exercises help to provide flexibility to pelvic muscles, abdominal, thigh, buttock and the spinal muscles giving relief from back pain and other muscle spasms. If you are not familiar with them, get some tips from your doctor so that you can perform them rightly. For this, you need to hold your body for 10 seconds in different poses and repetition can be carried out till the count of 30. Pelvic Tilts for abdominal muscles, rising of arm and legs for back and arm muscles, Kegels for pelvic floor muscles etc. are some of the strengthening exercises. Some stretching exercises like chest stretch, back stretch, hamstring stretch or neck stretch too help in relieving muscle pain and stiffness. But before starting the exercises, it’s always advisable to get guidance from your doctor.
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