All About Upper Back Pain During Pregnancy | Safe4cure
Do you have any back pain when pregnant? If so, you are not by yourself. According to estimates, this all-too-common condition affects between 50 and 80 percent of expectant parents.
And while the majority of pregnant women experience upper back pain pregnancy early, some also experience upper back, neck, and shoulder pain. Yes, upper back pain can occur during pregnancy.
Although upper back discomfort in pregnancy is less often than lower back pain, it can and does happen, according to OB-GYN Apurva Shah, MD, of Boston.
The majority of pregnant parents describe this discomfort as being powerful but dull, and frequently being severe enough to limit one’s capacity to function. Additionally, it often gets worse throughout the day, particularly for people who are on their feet all day.
When Does Upper Back Pain Start in Pregnancy?
Although aches, pains, and general discomfort can occur at any time throughout pregnancy, upper back pain is more common in the first and third trimesters.
Why? According to Michelle Tham Metz, M.D., an OB-GYN for Health Central and an assistant clinical professor at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, you can thank heightened stress and hormonal surges for those early twinges.
Growing breast size and a shifting centre of gravity are likely to be to blame in the third trimester.
What Upper Back Pain During Pregnancy Feels Like
During pregnancy, upper back discomfort can appear in a variety of forms, from a dull aching to a severe agony.
Also possible are one or both sides. When in doubt, discuss the pain you’re feeling with a healthcare professional.
They can provide treatment recommendations and rule out any more serious issues.
Causes of Upper Back Pain During Pregnancy
Stress and hormonal changes are two of the numerous possible causes of upper back pain in pregnancy. For instance, the hormone relaxin gets the body ready for pregnancy and childbirth, but it can also have some undesirable side effects including physical aches and pains.
“Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also cause a laxity of the ligaments and muscular tone, causing them to work harder—and thus additionally cause pain,” says Kecia Gaither, M.D., a double board-certified OB-GYN with a practise in the Bronx.
Greater breast mass may also result in lingering upper back pain. Dr. Gaither states that “increased breast girth can add weight to the chest, altering posture and increasing muscular work and strain along the upper back.”
Finally, upper back strains or spasms can be brought on by uterine changes and weight growth. According to Dr. Gaither, the centre of gravity shifts as the uterus expands higher and outward. “There is ‘lordosis,’ or an inward curving of the spine, during pregnancy. In addition to the weight changes associated with pregnancy, this alteration may cause muscle spasms, which hurt.
How to Relieve Upper Back Pain During Pregnancy
Although upper back pain is frequent during pregnancy, there are ways to alleviate it. Dr. Tham Metz advises that both core strengthening exercises and acupuncture are effective at treating back pain.
The aim is also to maintain an active lifestyle and gain a healthy amount of weight.
Particularly if the upper back pain is caused by increasing breast mass, supportive shoes and a decent bra can significantly improve symptoms. To ease symptoms, some specialists also advise prenatal massage.
Additionally, applying warm or cold compresses could be useful. If the agony persists, don’t be hesitant to consult your doctor about painkillers.
Regular stretching, avoiding lifting anything heavy, and proper posture are all things you should do to prevent upper back pain while pregnant. For tension and stress can be reduced by standing tall, chest up, and shoulders back.
When to See a Doctor for Upper Back Pain During Pregnancy
Upper back pain during pregnancy is a significant source of discomfort, but it typically isn’t a cause for concern. According to OB-GYN Cynthia Flynn, M.D., of Florida,
“back pain during pregnancy is not cause for concern unless it interferes significantly with your day-to-day activities.”
However, if you discover that your back discomfort is persistent or is negatively affecting your quality of life, you should go to a medical professional. According to Dr. Tham Metz,
“Some conditions, such as liver disease or a lung infection [and also preterm labour] can manifest with back pain. Always make sure to touch base with your OB-GYN.”