By Megan Wehring
DRIPPING SPRINGS — With all of the challenges that mothers shoulder daily, back pain is one of them.
Lower back pain affects over 50% of pregnant women, according to Veritas Health, and it’s typically most troublesome during the second and third trimesters. While pregnant women who live a more sedentary lifestyle may be at a higher risk of developing back pain, heavy physical labor or being active throughout the day can also lead to back pain symptoms.
“With the lower back, when women are pregnant, there are a few different reasons why they start to feel it,” said Dr. Krista Aschenbeck of Airrosti in Dripping Springs. “For one, they have a lot of hormonal changes that are happening in the body. … The other reason would be weight fluctuation. As women are pregnant [and]the baby grows, they start to gain weight. That additional weight adds pressure onto the back and spine.”
Postural changes can also play a factor.
“The position of the pelvis is starting to shift,” Aschenbeck explained. “So, as the baby grows, a woman’s center of gravity is starting to change. It becomes more pressed out in front of her, where the baby is, which means the back starts to arch and the pelvis starts to take more pressure on.”
After the baby is born and a mother begins to breastfeed, they start to feel more of a perpetual postural strain in the upper back and neck, according to Aschenbeck.
She also talked about some remedies for back pain.
“There aren’t a ton of extreme interventions that can be done,” Aschenbeck said. “With pregnancy, specifically, they are limited on what medications they can take or more invasive interventions like steroid shots they can’t do. A lot of time, OBGYNs or primary care physicians will prescribe some sort of pregnancy-state inflammatory and ice/heat or therapy are always an option.”
For those experiencing back pain should go see a doctor the sooner the better, Aschenbeck suggested.
“It’s usually easier to treat the quicker the onset we see someone,” Aschenbeck said. “For example, if you’ve been experiencing back pain for five years, it’s going to be harder to reverse the effects of that faster. But if you’ve been experiencing that for five days, then chances are it’s going to resolve quicker.”