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How to reduce back pain during pregnancy

Many women face back pain when they are pregnant. We present some simple fixes.

Pregnancy is often a magical time for most women, except for when the aches, pains and sleepless nights begin. Though you revel in the thought that there is a precious life growing inside you, you are also plagued by constant and increasing back pain, stiff hips and swollen ankles.

We tell you how to treat your back pain simply and effectively at home:

* Rub some back pain cream on it. The first and most basic step to prevent back pain during pregnancy is to use a good back pain cream on the painful area. The best pain relief creams are made of fast-acting ingredients like eucalyptus oil, turpentine oil, wintergreen oil and mint extract. These go to the source of the pain and relieve it in just a few hours. You should ideally rub the pain relief cream into the back just before going to sleep.

* Eat a balanced diet. You would be surprised to know that your diet and your daily water intake have a direct bearing on pain you experience during pregnancy. Stay away from foods that cause inflammation, such as processed sugar, excess salt, refined flour, etc. Apart from drinking a lot of water to flush out toxins, also tank up on green and ginger tea to reduce inflammation in the back.

* Get a gentle massage before going to bed. Another good fix for back pain during pregnancy is to get a gentle but firm massage. Massaging the painful area relieves the build up of fluid there, and also improves blood circulation. The rhythmic movements (preferably using a good back pain cream) can also release the tension in the muscles and open up the spinal joints.

* Do some yoga to keep the back and hips limber. Yoga asanas open up tense muscles and help crack the joints. Get guidance from an experienced yoga teacher and learn specific exercises to release the pressure off your back. These include a mix of seated and stretching poses to lengthen and shorten the spine, thus relieving the back pain during pregnancy. Also learn some asanas to keep the hips limber – this will help you during labour since your lower back and hips will be less stiff.

* Get active. Most back pain during pregnancy is caused by inactivity, especially in the third trimester when the baby’s weight and size grows rapidly. Apart from doing yoga, you should go for daily walks, do some light stretching exercises throughout the day, indulge in hobbies that are not too strenuous, and generally keep yourself moving. This will ease the pressure off the spine by reducing stiffness.

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