How to Relieve Back Pain During Pregnancy: 8 Tips You Need to Know
Back pain and pregnancy seem to go together like peas and carrots. It can ruin your sleep, make your third trimester a living hell, and can completely diminish your whole prenatal experience.
As I’m updating this post, I’m actually pregnant with my second. After dealing with lower back, hip, and sciatica pain during both pregnancies, I feel like a I have a pretty good handle on what works.
If you’ve googled how to relieve back pain during pregnancy, you’ve probably seen the usual suspects: prenatal yoga, corrective posture, hot pads, etc. This post is going to share a few of the lesser-known remedies for pregnancy back pain that are a life-saver for me.
I hope these tips help, Mama, so you can get the rest you deserve!
- The Best Online Birthing Classes for New Moms
- How to Turn a Posterior Baby
- How to Relieve Heel and Foot Pain During Pregnancy
This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of the links I will make a small commission at no charge to you. Blunders in Babyland does not diagnose, treat, or give out any professional advice for any medical or financial situations.
Before We Begin: A Note on Sciatica
It can be frustrating talking to your midwife or doctor about your back pain (“Oh, every woman has back pain during pregnancy”), but try to be very specific when you discuss your symptoms so he can diagnose you with sciatic nerve pain if necessary. Lower and upper back pain during pregnancy is much different than the pain caused by an irritated sciatic nerve.
Sciatic nerve back pain is relatively easy to spot since the symptoms are so specific:
- numbness, especially in your groin
- difficulty walking, using the bathroom (or just moving in general)
- burning or shooting pain
- Pain from the lower back, radiating behind the thigh and down to the knee
While some of the techniques below can be used for sciatica, most are geared toward typical upper and lower pregnancy back pain. If you think you have sciatica, visiting a doctor is your best bet.
With that said, on to how YOU can crush back pain during pregnancy!
8 Genius Remedies for Back Pain During Pregnancy
Have you seen the funny pictures on Pinterest of the women with the tape all over their bellies? This is kinesiology tape and it’s amazing.
The concept of kinesiology tape is similar to a pregnancy belt—it adds support.
Kinesiology tape relieves back during pregnancy by lifting the skin to promote blood flow and relieving pressure from your pain receptors. Studies have shown dramatic results.
The benefit doesn’t stop with relieving back pain either. You can use this technique to relieve swelling, carpal tunnel, and pesky sciatica pain. Many athletes swear by this technique.
Your partner can easily apply the tape, but you have to do it right for it to be effective. Check out the tutorial above to learn how to apply.
Lumbar Support Pillow
I honestly can’t believe that people don’t recommend these more!
I think we subconsciously limit lumbar support pillows to office spaces. When you’re dealing with back pain during pregnancy, lumbar support pillows become essential for watching TV, eating at the dinner table, or even driving to the supermarket.
From what my doctor told me, the lumbar support pillow helps keep your spine aligned, preventing your backbone from compressing and putting unneeded pressure on your hips and joints.
The lumbar support pillow I listed above is a favorite with my readers.
Sit on Chairs Backwards
If purchasing a lumbar support pillow isn’t in the budget, you can hack this by sitting on chairs backwards. Definitely not quite as effective, but it’ll do in a pinch.
When you sit backwards, you tend to support your chest on the back of the chair, which straightens your spine. Obviously, this is a short-term solution, but if you’re having an extra-difficult day at the workplace, this can make it more tolerable.
RELATED POST: How to Prepare for a Baby Financially: 13 Experts Share Their Secrets!
Pelvic rotations is one of my favorite remedies for back pain during pregnancy. Here are just a couple reasons why I think you should invest in one too:
1. It’s excellent preparation for labor—especially if your baby turns out to be sunny-side up. It will gently encourage your baby into the best position.
2. It can encourage your baby to go into the cephalic position (this is something you should absolutely focus on in the second and third trimester—-you do not want to deal with breech pregnancies).
3. It relieved my lower back pain like no other. If you’re suffering from back pain because of hip misalignment, an exercise ball will be your best friend.
Related Post: How to Turn Your Baby from Posterior
Get a Hip Adjustment
If you’re struggling with back pain during pregnancy, stop what you’re doing and go see a chiropractor!
Much of back pain is caused by hormones that soften your round ligament and added pressure from your uterus, but there could be other factors at play that are causing your pain.
For me, it was a torqued hip (also pelvic torsion or twisted pelvis). If you’ve been in a car accident or play sports, you’re especially susceptible to a torqued hip as well. My chiropractor did some hardcore palpitations, popped some things back into place, and viola, I was pain-free for at least a couple days. It was the best $50 I have EVER spent.
Seriously, just go in. Usually, they give free consultations and most insurance companies cover at least a portion of the cost as pain management.
Pull Back Your Butt
Are you a sloucher? I sure am. If you are, then this habit will only get worse as your pregnancy progresses.
Naturally, one of the first recommendations you doctor will give you to deal with back pain during pregnancy is to correct your posture. But, that’s easier said than done when you have about 20lbs of baby and water pulling you forward!
This is the easiest trick to remember for correcting your posture: pull back your butt.
When you’re pregnant, you tend to lean your hips forward. If you don’t believe me, take note of yourself the next time you wash the dishes. Are your hips touching the counter?
Pulling your hips back allows your spine to straighten, relieving some of the pressure from your sacrum. Standing this way takes a lot of cognitive work, but over time it will relieve your lower back pain a ton!
Use Your Partner
It’s time for your partner to try his hand at a pregnancy massage. Pregnancy massages are extremely easy to do and really focus on pushing on certain pressure points.
Check out the video above for some great prenatal massage techniques. At about 1:33, you’ll notice the woman applying pressure to the sacrum area. This technique is actually commonly used during labor as well, when a baby is posterior or a mom is having back labor. The technique relieves the pressure on your discs, which is also excellent for relieving back pain during pregnancy.
RELATED POST: How to Cope with Labor Pain: The Best Techniques
Drink Lots of Water
Whatever you do, DO NOT GLOSS OVER THIS!
Your doctor, midwife, husband—everyone—will scream about the importance of hydration during pregnancy. BUT it’s easy to forget about it. Water is the key to a successful pregnancy AND relieving back pain. You can try all the techniques on this post and still feel pain if you fail to drink enough water.
Why? Studies have shown that dehydration causes back pain.
The discs in our spine absorb the shock of our every day movements. They are are surrounded by a gel-like membrane that is primarily made of water. When you’re dehydrated, the inner circle of the disc shrinks, resulting in back pain.
There are two components to this: drink water and move. When you move, the discs are lubricated, but that only works if you’re hydrated.
How to Relieve Back Pain During Pregnancy: Final Note
There is no doubt: pregnancy backaches are the worst. They can be so demoralizing. Please don’t let it get you down.
Your body is so, so unique. These are MY favorite remedies for back pain during pregnancy. My best suggestion is to try quite a few out because your body, the causes of your pain, your habits, are so different from mine.
Don’t discount the traditional methods as well, such as prenatal yoga (this was another big one for me,) using a pregnancy pillow, sleeping on your right side, and mild exercise.
I truly hope these techniques help you relieve your pain. If they do, please share this post on Pinterest or Facebook. Let’s help each other out and stay informed.
Good luck, Mama!
Looking for more pregnancy tips? Follow me on Pinterest!
Your writing is lovely and this is a great post! I wish I would have found it while I was still pregnant and struggling with back pain!
Thank you, Ashley! I actually still use a lot of these tips (especially the lumbar support…) when my old back pain flares up. Total life-saver!