Low Back Pain During Pregnancy: A Common Problem

One thing that isn't new is that most women experience low back pain at some point in their pregnancies. The experts tell us that there are two basic types of low back pain pregnant women experience. Lumbar pain is in the lumbar vertebrae region of your lower back and posterior pelvic pain is experienced at the back of your pelvis. Some women have the rather unfortunate experience of having both types of pain intermittently throughout their pregnancies. 

What Kind Of Back Pain Is It?

Lumbar pain is the kind of low back pain you would have had before you got pregnant. This pain is an all-over pain, felt in the low back and spine, a little above the waist with pain that can radiate down your legs. Sitting or standing for long periods make it worse, and by the end of the day it can be very uncomfortable. Posterior pelvic pain is the type of pain symptoms most pregnant women feel in their low back. It is lower than lumbar pain. You can feel it deep inside your buttocks, on either or both sides and in the back of your thighs. Almost anything can trigger it - getting out of a car, walking, climbing stairs or rolling over in bed. Women who have posterior pelvic pain often have pain over the pubic bone as well.

Is It Sciatica?

Sometimes the low back pain that radiates down into the buttocks and legs is confused with sciatica. In actuality, sciatica is quite uncommon in pregnancy. Sciatica, in its true form, can be caused by a herniated disc that is bulging in the lower spine. Herniated discs are quite common and millions of women go through their pregnancy with a herniated disc without major symptoms or problems. Pregnancy does not cause herniation, although a herniation may increase the susceptibility to back pain during pregnancy and birth. If you have sciatica the leg pain will probably be worse than the back pain, radiating down below the knee and into the foot. Severe sciatica leaves you numb in the groin and you may experience incontinence. If there is any loss of feeling or weakness in one or both legs, or loss of sensation in the groin, bladder or anus, then an immediate call to the doctor is critical.

Kidney Pain in Pregnancy

In pregnancy, kidney pain can generate low back pain that manifests as tenderness and discomfort in the lower back and around the abdomen. Kidney pain in pregnancy can be caused by a urinary tract infection, which is the cause of right kidney pain. As the uterus grows with the baby, pressure can cause difficulty in the passing of urine from the bladder. This can lead to a urinary tract infection, which shows up as low back pain. If you have a UTI, your symptoms will include discomfort while urinating, blood in the urine, excessive urination, pain in the region of the bladder, cramping and pain in the lower abdomen and pain during intercourse.

An untreated UTI in pregnancy can lead to a kidney infection. The difference between the pain from a UTI and that of a kidney infection lies in the degree of pain (which is severe with a kidney infection), along with accompanying symptoms of fever, vomiting, chills, increased urination, pain while urinating and blood in the urine. A pregnancy kidney infection can render a woman dysfunctional, tiring her out completely. Should either of these kidney pain situations occur, medical help is recommended immediately.

The Old Standard Balancing Act

One of the more common causes of low back pain and neck pain in pregnancy is the change in the center of gravity that comes as a result of the growing baby. With the release of relaxin into the body to encourage the loosening of ligaments and bones, the back and neck suffer the consequences of instability as your body prepares for labor and birth. As the body tries to balance and adjust to the constantly changing dynamics, stress and strain on the joints and ligaments contribute to pain in the low back and neck pain. Finding a comfortable place can be tough, but using pregnancy pillows and soaking in a warm tub have been shown to be of great benefit.

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