Dr. Leipzig is a board-certified, Salem, Virginia spine surgeon with over two decades of experience. He specializes in procedures including robotic spine surgery, microsurgical lumbar surgery, disc arthroplasty, minimally invasive spine surgery, and more, serving the greater Roanoke, VA area. To learn more or schedule an appointment, please contact our office.
You are bound to experience back pain at some point during your pregnancy and that should come as no surprise. You may experience weight gain producing ligament-relaxing hormones and your center of gravity is forced to change. It’s no wonder this causes over 2 million pregnant women to consult their doctors about back pain each year, especially during their third trimester. But just because it’s common (and usually not an indicator of anything you need to be too worried about) that doesn’t mean that you have to endure nine months of back pain during pregnancy. Here are some tips to make you sit up straight and start building a better back now.
You will want to make sure that you have the right gear to help ease the strain caused by your growing belly bump. Ditch your flip flops or ballet flats and instead opt for shoes with an arch support or try insoles. Avoid high heels which shift your balance forward and can keep you off-balance. Belly bands help lift the weight of your bump and provide extra support for your abdomen and back. If you miss being able to sleep on your back or stomach, try a pregnancy wedge when sleeping on your side.
Swimming is a great exercise for pregnant women because it takes the pressure off of the spine. Going for a swim two to four times a week will keep your legs, arms, back and core muscles toned, while also decompressing your spine. Remember to practice deep breathing and stop if you feel lightheaded at any point.
Practicing good posture will also help ease your back pain. As your center of gravity shifts forward it is natural to want to lean backwards to compensate. This strains your lower back muscles causing you pain and discomfort. When standing, find a comfortable wide stance to provide maximum support and stability. Hold your chest high and keep your shoulders back and relaxed. Also, avoid locking your knees when standing for a long period of time. Good posture also means paying attention to how you sit. Find a chair that offers sturdy back support or place a small pillow behind your lower back.
These tips will help keep your body as comfortable as possible while it is growing your baby. However, if you are experiencing severe back pain during your pregnancy, you can contact Dr. James Leipzig at 540-725-9771 or ask your physician for a referral to Virginia Spine Care.