Anyone who has ever experienced persistent backache knows how painful it can be. Pregnancy, especially in the latter months is a time when backache may be present. Lower back pain is a common problem in pregnancy. It usually results from the strain of carrying the extra weight that is gained during pregnancy. The pain of backache associated with pregnancy is normally a dull ache in the lower back above the base of the spine rather than a sharp, jabbing type of pain. Women should be careful not to lift any objects that could cause further back strain. If lifting is necessary it should always be done by bending from the knees rather than putting stress solely on the back. The position of the baby can also cause back pain and discomfort.

There are a few simple measures that can be taken to prevent unnecessary back pain. Avoid standing for long periods of time. Prolonged standing puts strain on the back and legs even if you are not pregnant but the added weight of pregnancy makes stress on the back muscles even more intense. So take a load off your back. Sit down often or whenever you feel the need. Don’t wear high heels. Wear comfortable shoes with flat heels and make certain they fit properly. Remember good posture. This may be difficult for some women during pregnancy because they get into the habit of walking with a type of sway back gait, which results from the pull of gravity on the protruding abdomen. Try to keep your back as straight as possible when standing.

Although prolonged periods of standing can be bad for the back the same can be said for prolonged periods of sitting as well. For example, sitting at a desk or at a computer for several hours a day can strain the back and neck muscles. Be sure to get up and move around periodically. Relax your neck muscles, gently stretch your back and walk around a bit to increase the circulation in your legs. When you must sit make sure that you have proper support and try to keep your back as straight as possible. Sleeping on a firm mattress can be helpful in getting a good night’s rest and prevent you from waking up with a stiff back.

A heating pad may provide relief from back pain. Having someone gently massage the area where backache is present may offer some temporary comfort as well. If backache pain worsens or becomes extremely uncomfortable consult your physician. Take it easy and rest when you can. Don’t overwork yourself to the point that your muscles are sore and aching. Take every precaution you can to back up your health.