Back pain during pregnancy
Why is back pain during pregnancy so common?
There are several reasons why back pain during pregnancy is such a common complaint. The first and most obvious cause for increasing low back pain is the increase in weight during pregnancy. For a healthy adult this is normally in a range between eleven and sixteen kilograms over the course of an entire pregnancy.
The second reason is that the weight gain is almost all distributed with the baby bump. This requires significant postural adjustments, especially when standing and walking. To maintain balance most women either lean backwards from the lower spine, placing pressure on these spinal segments, or flex from their hips and knees which gives the lower and mid spinal muscles a lot more work to maintain an upright spine.
During pregnancy the body circulates hormones which increase the flexibility of the spinal and pelvic ligaments. This can lead to subtle instability normally to the lower spinal joints and also the sacro-iliac and sacro-coccygeal joints of the pelvis.
Less common but still frequent is pain through the middle spine and sometimes the lower ribs. Normally middle spine pain is due to the muscles being overworked trying to maintain an upright spinal posture with the extra load from the baby bump. However, the lower ribs can become painful for some pregnant women as they may need to flare out excessively to accommodate the baby bump as it grows.