Back Pain During Pregnancy

Causes of Back Pain During Pregnancy

Pregnancy-related back pain can be due to several things, including:
 
  • Changes to your body
  • Hormonal changes
  • Other factors.
     
Changes to Your Body
As a pregnancy progresses, changes happen to a woman's body that increase her risk of developing back pain. These changes can include:
 
  • Increases in the size and weight of the uterus and baby.
     
  • Changes in posture as a result of the changes to the uterus and baby. Women tend to lean back more as the pregnancy progresses because of the change in the center of gravity.
     
  • Stretching of tissues that surround the uterus.
     
These changes usually start to occur around the middle of the second trimester.
 
Hormonal Changes
Hormonal changes also occur throughout pregnancy. One hormone in particular, called relaxin, helps the joints and ligaments become more flexible. This loosening can increase the risk of back pain. It is thought that hormonal changes can play a role in back pain as early as the first trimester.
 
Other Factors
Other factors that research has shown may play a role in women developing back pain during pregnancy include:
 
  • A history of lower back pain before pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Having a strenuous job
  • Being of short stature
  • Being overweight.
     
Back pain can also be a sign of preterm labor or true labor (see Signs of Labor).
 
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