Dont Let Cramps And Back Pain Ruin Your Pregnancy Experience
We understand that cramping and lower back pain in early pregnancy can be confusing, painful, and stressful. Despite this, however, it is important not to let those symptoms ruin the incredible experience youre in the middle of.
While its easy to get overwhelmed by whats happening with your body, the end result is really something to marvel at.
If youve experienced cramping and lower back pain during pregnancy, what types of pregnancy back pain relief did you use?
Avascular Necrosis Of The Femoral Head
Biological changes in pregnancy resulting in high levels of natural steroids, including adrenocorticoid, estrogen, and progesterone hormones, combined with weight gain, may cause increased joint pressure and muscle strain in the hip. These changes may result in a condition called avascular necrosis of the upper part of the femoral bone . The condition causes destruction of bone tissue in the femoral head due to lack of blood supply.2
The symptoms of avascular necrosis of the femoral head start around the third trimester and include2:
- Pain that is felt deep in the groin
- Radiating and referred pain to the lower back, thigh, and/or knee
The symptoms are exacerbated on bearing weight, such as while standing and/or walking.
My Pregnancy Weeks 13
I am now well into my second trimester so thought it was a good time to update everyone on my progress.
I feel fabulous! Wonder woman can move aside as I am unstoppable! Now it is possible this is just because I have got over the initial fatigue of early pregnancy and the feeling I had been run over by a bus. I am probably just back to my normal pre-pregnancy energy levels, however compared to the first trimester I feel incredible. Whatever the reason for it, I am not complaining!
This has returned! Once you enter the 2nd trimester the blood flow to the pelvic region increases dramatically, which means so does your sensitivity. Good news for your sex drive, bad news for waxing! I think I need say no more on this matter!
Low back/pelvic pain
I know it might sound shocking, but yes I, A CHIROPRACTOR, have had some lower back pain/coccyx pain! It teaches me valuable lessons, not only to listen to my body, but also in understanding my patients bodies. I now have even more empathy!
My pain has made me feel like I have been kicked in the butt by a horse. At its worst it lasted 2 weeks, now it is more intermittent. Since we have been telling everyone our wonderful news, people want to give up their chairs for the pregnant lady. I do have to politely decline, sitting for more than 5 minutes makes things 20x worse!
Main reasons for low back/pelvic pain in pregnancy:
Chiropractic Care for Low back/pelvis pain:
1) Help myself
2) Seek care from a qualified professional
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Growing Baby = Weight Gain
Weight gain during pregnancy is a fact of life. As the baby grows, youll feel a little off-balance, which will make your back muscles work harder. Your joints will take a hit too.
Every womans preggo journey is different. Some mamas have itty-bitty bumps, while others gain more weight. In general, youll have a higher risk of back pain during pregnancy if youre at a higher weight before pregnancy or if youve had back issues in the past.
The CDC recommends weight gain ranges based on your pre-preggo BMI.
How much should you gain?
- 28 to 40 pounds if youre considered medically underweight before pregnancy
- 25 to 35 pounds if youre in a moderate weight range
- 15 to 25 pounds if your weight is a little higher
- 11 to 20 pounds if youre in the highest BMI category
Contact Your Family Doctor If:
- Your pain worsens or does not go away after 2 weeks. Back pain could be a sign of preterm labor.
- You lose feeling in your back, legs, pelvis, or genital area.
- You have a fever, a burning feeling when you pee, or vaginal bleeding. You may have a urinary tract infection or kidney infection.
- You have an injury or trauma that results in back pain.
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You Have Vaginal Bleeding Or Uterine Tightening
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. Dr. Rosser advises watching 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.
Damla Karsan Dryden, M.D., an OB-GYN at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women in Houston, tells patients to watch for an abdominal sensation that might be described as a “tightening uterus,” which could be painless or feel like mild, period-like cramping. If this sensation is accompanied by back pain that comes and goes at regular intervals, uterine contractions could be happening this could possibly signify preterm labor.
Although a person in this situation can take the recommended dose of acetaminophen and rest on their side for a bit, if the back pain is severe and is not relieved with rest and pain medicine, they should contact their health care provider, advises Dr. Dryden.
So I’ve Got Some Of These Symptoms Am I Definitely Pregnant
Frustratingly, as we’ve already explained, many of the signs and symptoms of early pregnancy we’ve details above are the same as, or can be easily confused with, the signs and symptoms of PMS or the signs and symptoms that your period’s on its way.
Some of the signs nausea, breast tenderness, mood swings, and a frequent need to wee are, anecdotally, more common signs of pregnancy than others. But you could be pregnant without experiencing any of them. And you may not be pregnant even if you experience them all.
“We will all experience the first signs of pregnancy in completely different ways,” says Dr Amin Gorgy. There is no specific way that you should feel. We are all individuals.”
As wise forum mum gazsgirl says, “Everyone is different and most symptoms are so like period ones, its always hard to know until you see the line.”
Time to take a test if you havent already…
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Is Pregnancy Back Pain Similar To Sciatica
Well, sciatica and pregnancy back pain are two different things, but they can occur at roughly the same time. When pregnant women experience back pain or sciatica, its typically because of
- pressure on nerves that run from your lower spine to your legs.
- In some cases, sciatic pain can also signify diabetes or another underlying medical condition.
Sciatic pain during pregnancy will tend to go away after you give birth however, some women continue to have low-back discomfort throughout their entire pregnanciesand even after giving birth.
Not Sure If Hungry Or Sick
Oh dear, our appetite really can be a bit of a rollercoaster in early pregnancy. It can be a confusing time when you’re not sure if you’re feeling sick because you need to eat or you’re feeling sick because you’ve got morning sickness and eating will make it worse.
Forum mum-to-be katie4matthew sums it all up when she says,“I cant tell the difference between feeling sick and hungry at the moment. I’m so confused!”
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Im Bleeding And Cramping With Back Pain What To Do
If you have vaginal bleeding, low back pain, abdominal cramps with fading pregnancy symptoms, you should see your doctor immediately
If its due to a miscarriage, bleeding may be heavy and may sometimes cause you to feel dizzy and exhausted.
Also, some women will need evacuation of fetal tissue through vacuum aspiration or D & C to stop vaginal bleeding and pain. This is usually carried out after an ultrasound diagnosis of a miscarriage.
On the other hand, if your back pain and spotting are not severe enough to have affected your baby, you doctor will request you have enough rest.
At this point, smoking, alcohol, severe exercise, should be completely avoided.
Spotting Or Light Bleeding
Its not unusual at all to have light spotting or bleeding in early pregnancy in fact, it can occur in around 20% of pregnancies.
Dr Larisa explains the science behind it: “This is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy and is usually associated with ‘implantation bleeding‘ when the fertilized egg or embryo attaches to the wall of the uterus. The embryo usually implants between 6 to 12 days after conception.
“Not all women will get spotting though, so dont worry its not a reflection of how successful the implantation has been!”
Forum mum xFran82x says she had implantation bleeding 8 days after ovulating. “I had some watery pink discharge when I wiped a few times,” she says, “and then found 2 dots of brown blood on my pants. I tested the next afternoon and got a faint positive result.”
And it was similar for BabyGirlsMummy: “I had a regular 28 day cycle and the implantation bleeding was about a week before Id have expected my period. Mine was some pink cervical mucus for a couple of days enough that I needed a panty liner.”
If you do bleed, our expert say you should definitely get anything unusual checked out by your doctor. “In most cases, spotting is nothing to worry about,” says Dr Amin, “but it can be a sign of something more serious like an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage. If you experience any bleeding thats not normal for you, seek immediate medical attention.”
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When Will You Experience Pregnancy Symptoms
One factor to consider is the fact that many of the earliest signs of pregnancy are the same symptoms you might have right before your period.
With that in mind, you probably won’t experience significant symptoms before your missed period. Most classic pregnancy symptoms dont start until one or two weeks after conception at the very earliest. Many women dont notice anything until one or two weeks after their missed period .
So What Exactly Do We Mean By Lower Back Pain
There are two main areas that are affected by pain in pregnancy. One is in the region known as the lower back, and one is in the pelvic area, and is commonly known as Pelvic Girdle Pain or PGP. Unfortunately, a small percentage of women will be affected by both areas of pain.
For the purposes of this post, were going to focus on lower back pain.
Lower back pain during pregnancy is very similar to that experienced by women who are not pregnant. This means that the pain is located on one or both sides of your spine, and generally does not go into your buttock area, but it can at times refer to the lower leg or foot . It can be recurrent, or it can be continuous, and some of the terms sufferers use to describe it are achey, tight, sharp, stabbing, pulling or dull.
If you think youre actually suffering from Pelvic Girdle Pain and not lower back pain, weve written a stack of information about it, which you can read some of here or here.
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Treatments For Back Pain During Pregnancy
Try the following remedies to relieve your pregnancy backaches:
- Consider getting a crisscross support sling or belly band. Designed specifically for a pregnant figure, these support bands can help take the burden off your lower back.
- No reaching for the stars. Or items on the top shelf, for that matter. Use a low, stable step stool to avoid putting any additional strain on your back.
- 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.
- 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, if you have a pulsating showerhead, turn it on for a free back massage.
- Get a massage. Speaking of massages, go get one .
- Talk to your doctor. Ask your practitioner about physical therapists, alternative medicine specialists such as acupuncturists, or chiropractors who might be able to help. You should also call your practitioner if you have severe back pain.
What Is Sciatica In Pregnancy
When lower back pain radiates into the buttocks and thighs, it’s often confused with sciatica, a relatively uncommon condition. True sciatica during pregnancy, which can happen when a herniated or bulging disk in the lower part of the spine presses on the nerve roots in the spine, affects only about 1 percent of pregnant women.
If you have sciatica, your leg pain will usually be more severe than your back pain. You’re likely to feel it below the knee as well, and it may even radiate to your foot and toes. And you’ll probably feel a tingling, pins-and-needles sensation in your legs or possibly some numbness.
With severe sciatic nerve pain, you may have numbness in your groin or genital area as well. You may even find that it’s hard to urinate or have a bowel movement.
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Things That May Cause Lower Back Pain In Early Pregnancy
In early pregnancy, it is because your growing uterus can cause pressure on your spinal cord and nerves, according to. At first, lower back pain during pregnancy may be sharp or shooting and tend to occur at rest or first thing in the morning. As your pregnancy progresses, some women feel pain off and on throughout their day. Cramping may also accompany lower back pain during early pregnancy. You might notice it most often toward the end of your menstrual cycle .
What Are The Risk Factors For Lower Back Pain In Pregnancy
- If you have had a history of back pain, or a chronic back condition, youre twice as likely to experience lower back pain during your pregnancy than someone who doesnt.
- Despite the fact that many people think becoming pregnant at an older age will make it harder on your body, it has been shown that pregnant women who are younger than 20 years old are more likely to suffer from lower back pain.
- There also seems to be a need to strike a balance between being sedentary and being very active, especially in your work. Studies have shown that people who are less active have an increased risk of pregnancy-related lower back pain than those who have a more active lifestyle. However, if you could describe your work as mostly active or physically demanding, then youre all at an increased risk of developing pain during pregnancy .
- The other bad news is- if you experience back pain during one pregnancy, it predisposes you to have it in any future preganancy also. In fact, this increases the risk from around 50% in your first pregnancy to around 85% in any later ones.
- On a similar note- the more pregnancies you have, the more likely you are to suffer lower back pain also.
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About Our Fertility Expert Dr Amin Gorgy
Dr Gorgy co-founded The Fertility & Gynaecology Academy in 2004 and is now its co-director. Previously, he was the deputy director of the Assisted Reproduction and Gynaecology Centre. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and a member of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.
Who Is Most Likely To Have Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy
You’re at higher risk for lower back pain if:
- You’ve had this kind of pain before, either before you got pregnant or during a previous pregnancy
- You have a sedentary lifestyle
- You are not very flexible
- You have weak back and weak abdominal muscles
- You are carrying twins
- You have a high BMI
- You’ve had spinal fusion in the past for adolescent scoliosis
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More Hungry Or More Thirsty
While some mums-to-be suddenly can’t bear the thought of eating, others suddenly find theyre so ravenous, eating is all they can think about.
For forum mum MsDodger, her appetite went through the roof. “I eat a lot normally but this it was a massive leap,” she says. “I could not stop snacking all day and eating large meals.”
And this ravenous urge can apply to drinking as well, as eating, as bleurgh discovered. “Thirst! I wondered how much I could actually drink before drowning myself. Even my hubby said he nearly asked if I was drinking for two before I tested.”
Your Body At Week 2 Of Pregnancy
Its still the early days of pregnancy, and changes are subtle. During the second week of pregnancy, your body will provide signs that its getting ready to ovulate. Keeping track of these symptoms can help you determine your fertile window and improve your chances of conception. Some of the most common ovulation symptoms include:
- Changes in your basal body temperature: your BBT drops to its lowest point exactly as you ovulate, and then it rises by about half a degree. Tracking your BBT is a good way to determine the exact moment you ovulate.
- Different cervical mucus: many women examine their cervical mucus to know when ovulation is approaching. As your ovulation approaches, your cervical mucus will become clear, thin, stretchy, and egg white-lie. These changes allow sperm to travel up the cervix more easily.
- Increased sense of smell: due to the hormonal changes that trigger ovulation, some women might notice a heightened sense of smell around these first days of pregnancy.
- Breast tenderness: its not uncommon for women to have sore breasts as they approach ovulation.
- Abdominal pain: some women feel slight discomfort or twinge in their abdomen when they release an egg. This symptom is called Mittelschmerz.
- Spotting: as the egg ruptures the follicle and bursts into the Fallopian tube, you might see some very light spotting.
- Increased sex drive: since your body knows now is the best time for a baby, you might notice your libido increases around ovulation.
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