Bringing a baby into this world and raising it is definitely one of the greatest achievements in life, but if it has wrecked your back in the process, you need to find ways to ease that pain and continue being the best mom you can.
Here are the common issues many moms face and ways of making things better.
Common back problems
Just one look at a woman in her third trimester shows that pregnancy and back pain go hand in hand. With your belly and breasts getting bigger and heavier, moving around and handling daily responsibilities can put a strain on your body causing your shoulders to hunch and lower back to bend and curve inward.
Moreover, during pregnancy, your body produces many hormones that can weaken the joints and ligaments which may lead to instability and possible injuries. Joint laxity can even linger for some time after you have delivered your baby, which is why many new moms continue to suffer from back problems for months later. Other triggers may include carrying the baby on one hip, lifting heavy bags and strollers, lugging diaper bags and car seats and leaning over the crib.
Most often, moms suffer from sprains and strains. A sprain is an injury to the ligament commonly caused by a sudden twist, jerk or a fall, and a strain is an injury to the tendon or a muscle that results from a bad lift that put too much pressure on a muscle or from a prolonged repetitive movement. In both cases, the pain remains located in your back without spreading to the limbs but is intense enough to indispose you for days.
Another frequent problem is a herniated disc which happens after an awkward or sudden movement that makes the cartilage between the vertebrae strain or even tear. If this happens in your lower back, the pain or numbness can move down your leg and even increase over time. If it happens in your neck, the symptoms are similar and the pain usually radiates into your shoulders and arms.
Finally, sciatica is a condition common in the third trimester of pregnancy and it occurs if a slipped disc creates pressure on the sciatic nerve, or if the nerve gets pinched either due to the loosening of ligaments or shifting of your centre of gravity. The symptoms vary, from mild discomfort to severe and sharp pain, and in most cases, it stays located on one side of your body radiating to the lower back, your behind and legs.
Ways to feel better
Regardless of how much pain you feel, the surest path to recovery is seeing a doctor who can give you a thorough examination and determine with certainty where the problem is. It’s essential you do research to find the best experts in the field. Search online or in case of Dr Timothy Steel, go through the expert texts they have published in medical journals that are a great educational source and offer the latest information on new research and techniques in the field.
In the meantime, you shouldn’t sit with your hands crossed as there are many things you can do to help yourself. For instance, you can put ice or heat for pain relief and maybe take certain painkillers allowed by your doctor. Also, you should rest as much as possible and slowly start doing moderate exercise approved by your doctor, such as yoga, swimming or walking. You might also get physical therapy that involves traction, which is pulling your trunk, neck or limbs to stretch your back and temporarily relieve pressure and ease the pain.
Once you’ve fully recovered after our delivery, you can start taking more action in order to strengthen your body and prevent further pain. Start by keeping up a regular workout routine such as moderate aerobics or Pilates focusing on strengthening your core. This will give your back more support but it will also help reduce tension, depression and help with insomnia and fatigue. Moreover, stretch on a regular basis, from small movements by bending your head sideways to stretch the neck to more intense stretches of your core, back, glutes, hamstrings and hips
In addition, getting enough sleep is also crucial in relieving chronic back pain, although with a demanding baby, that can be hard to achieve. What you can do is to get a better mattress and replace your old and unsupportive pillows. Also, try sleeping on the side and, if it helps, prop a pillow between the knees.
Back pain is no joke and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Be proactive about the pain and you’ll be able to prevent it from getting worse so you can enjoy your life as a new mom.