Watch your posture when you are sitting. Lounging in a chair all day puts more strain on your spine than anything else. At home and at work, make sure the chairs you use most provide good support, preferably with a straight back, arms and a firm cushion. Use a footrest to elevate your feet slightly, and don't cross your legs. That can cause your pelvis to tilt forward, exacerbating those strained back muscles.
Take breaks. Walk or stand and stretch at least once an hour. Sitting too long can make your back hurt even more. Try not to stand too long either. If you work on your feet, try to place one foot on a low stool to take some pressure off your lower back.
Avoid lifting heavy loads. If you must, do it slowly. Stabilize yourself by assuming a wide stance; bend at the knees, not at the waist; and lift with your arms and legs, not your back.
Watch your weight.
Wear the right shoes. Extremely high heels are out, as are completely flat ones. Experts recommend a 2-inch heel to keep your body in proper alignment.
No reaching. Use a low, stable step stool to get items from high places and you’ll avoid additional strain.
Think happy thoughts. A calm mind leads to a looser back. You can also try some prenatal yoga, which will relax both your mind and your back.
Physiotherapy, yoga, exercise (walking, biking and swimming) are all considered safe for most pregnant women and can be performed for 20 to 45 minutes, three to five days a week. Pregnant women should take care to exercise at a mild to moderate level, but not to the point of exhaustion.
Strengthen your stomach. Do pelvic tilts to strengthen your abs, which in turn support your back. Or sit on an exercise ball and rock back and forth.
Go hot and cold. Soothe sore muscles by applying cold compresses, then warm compresses in 15-minute intervals.
Take a warm bath. Or turn the showerhead to pulsating to massage your back.
Get a massage. Wait until after the first trimester to get one. Go to a masseuse who knows you’re pregnant and is trained in the art of prenatal massage.
Always Talk to Your OB
Sometimes back pain is a red flag that something serious is going on. Among the most worrisome causes of pregnancy back pain is preterm labor. Women should watch for pain that is new and cyclical — which could be a sign of uterine contractions — along with vaginal bleeding or any change in vaginal discharge that could indicate a placental issue or an early rupture of your waters.
If you experience numbness, tingling or a sharp, shooting pain in your buttocks, legs or feet, call your doctor to make sure there are no serious conditions. Even though the cause of numbness is usually not a more worrisome condition, such as preterm labor, it could signify compression of the sciatic nerve or other nerves that connect your spine to the lower body and pelvic area.
Pregnant women should always consult with their healthcare professional before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicine. Women taking pain medicines who are considering becoming pregnant should also consult with their healthcare professionals to discuss the risks and benefits of pain medicine. Healthcare professionals should continue to follow the recommendations on the drug labels when prescribing pain medicines to pregnant patients.