Causes of Backache During Pregnancy

Lower backaches are a universal discomfort for expectant mothers. In addition, the sacroiliac joints, where the small of the back and the buttocks join, are another area where pain is common. When you are pregnant, physiological changes place stress on your spine, ligaments attached to your spine and pelvis, and surrounding muscle that give your spine support and flexibility. Specifically, there are three factors that contribute to ligament discomfort:

  • The expansion of your pelvis and abdomen, and increased weight.
  • The stretching, thinning and weakening of abdominal muscles.
  • The baby’s growth pulling and straining ligaments connecting the vertebrae.

During pregnancy, your body releases the hormone relaxin, which causes stretching of the ligaments holding the pubic bone and sacroiliac joints together. This, plus the expansion of your pelvis in preparation for your baby’s birth, causes your normal gait to change to a waddle. The side-to-side motion of this new gait can contribute to pain in your hips and lower back.

Another less common source of low back pain may be related to your vertebra discs (or pads). If one becomes wedged between two vertebrae, it can result in the disc or a spinal nerve being painfully pinched. If you suffer from a sharp, stabbing backache and coinciding leg pain, call your doctor.

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