Back Brace for Pregnancy Back Pain
Over 50% of women will experience some sort of back pain during their pregnancy.
The good news is you don’t have to be one of them. There are steps you can take to help prevent and relieve your back pain. Read on as we take you through the types of pains to look out for and the advantages of using a back brace for pregnancy.
Pelvic Girdle Pain
There are usually two sources of back pain during pregnancy. The first is called Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) while the second is called Lumbar Pain (LP).
Pelvic Girdle Pain is the more common of the two sources. It's 4 times more prevalent than LP in pregnant women. The source of PGP is the adjustments to the hips and pelvis during pregnancy.
PGP is described as deep and intense stabbing pains that can radiate from the hips, up the back, and down through the limbs, thighs, and calves. The pain can range from mild to extreme with most women finding that they have to limit their physical activity and change their day-to-day lives to fit around their pelvic girdle pain.
PGP can make it difficult to walk and stand. Other symptoms include:
- Pain during sex
- Pain while laying on your side
- Clicking/creaking sounds in the hips
- Pain while in a "straddle" position
The exact cause of PGP is not totally conclusive, but it's predicted to be caused by increased weight and stress put on the pelvic girdle from pregnancy. It's also thought that the hormone "relaxin" that causes pelvic ligaments to relax in preparation for birth also causes other ligaments and muscles to relax abnormally, which can result in pain.
Lumbar pain isn't unique to pregnancy although it is a common complaint in those who are pregnant. Lumbar pain is centralized in the lower back and can radiate throughout the body, including down to your feet.
Lumbar pain is experienced by many people, not just pregnant women. But the added weight and stress along with muscle changes in the body can exacerbate and cause lumbar pain to worsen in those who are pregnant.
Specifically, the expanding of the uterus and the hormone relaxin are thought to be sources of lumbar pain in pregnant women. The uterus expands as the baby grows, which will affect surrounding muscles, ligaments, and bones.
These muscular changes will affect the muscles of the back and lead to muscle separation, which leads to back pain.
Advantages of Back Braces for Pregnancy
Many pregnant women find relief from back pain by wearing a back brace. In fact, back braces for pregnancy-related back pain are proven to improve pain symptoms, while also helping to prevent more pain down the road. Read on to learn how.
A maternity back brace will help you support the extra weight of the growing baby. Without a brace or extra support, your back and abdomen are responsible for supporting the extra weight of the baby, which can lead to muscle tension and back pain.
A back brace will take pressure off your back and help you support the weight.
Forces Good Posture
Pregnancy changes your posture, which can lead to both PGP and LP. The added weight and the presence of the baby in the uterus adjusts your overall center of gravity. This changes your posture over time both when sitting and when standing.
Hunching or other negative posture changes can strain your back and lead to pain. Back braces help "force" you back into a proper position: back straight, head upright, straight/relaxed shoulder/back muscles, etc.
Pregnancy back braces will also minimize the change in your center of gravity. This will prevent you from adjusting your posture in the first place, which can actually prevent back pain from the start.
Relieves Stress on Lower Back, Pelvis, and Abdomen
We mentioned the extra weight of the baby can add stress to both the abdomen and the lower back. This is what can lead to lumbar pain during pregnancy.
The support that a back brace will give the lower back and the abdomen will take pressure off your muscles in those areas. Less muscle tension and strain will prevent and reduce pain in the back.
Pregnancy back braces will also subtly adjust the positioning of your belly. This slight adjustment will relieve some stress and weight from both the back and the pelvic region.
Help Both Lumbar Pain and Pelvic Girdle Pain
Everything we have described so far works to help relieve all kinds of back pain that's a result of pregnancy. This means it can help both LP and PGP. Other types of treatment methods usually focus on one symptom at a time that can be attributed to either, but not both, types of pain.
But some women experience both LP and PGP. For those who do, a back brace can help with symptoms and causes of each of them at once for maximum relief.
Bottom Line: A Back Brace for Pregnancy Can Help You Avoid Back Pain
Pregnancy is already a stressful time. You're preparing yourself physically and mentally to bring a child into the world.
Back pain is an unfortunate byproduct of this natural process, and effects millions of women around the world. But you don’t have to be one of them. Wearing a back brace can offer you the relief you need.
If you have any questions or want more information, don't hesitate to contact us.