Pregnancy can wreak havoc on your body. Symptoms such as weight gain, bloating, and exhaustion are a lot to contend with as a tiny human grows in your uterus. One of the more debilitating symptoms of pregnancy is back pain, as the additional weight can pull down your spine. Taking care of yourself is crucial to helping ease pregnancy’s discomfort, but finding safe methods to do so can be tricky. For instance, cracking your back can bring comforting relief from back pressure that pregnant women also suffer from.
If you’re wondering if cracking your back is safe during pregnancy, it may be a surprise to know that the activity is safe for you and your baby—if it’s done safely and correctly.
Here are six pregnancy-safe stretches you can do during your pregnancy to help bring you some much-needed relief.
How Pregnancy Affects The Back
Pregnancy can put your body through a gauntlet of changes as your little one grows. Your body expands and requires additional nutrients from you while your baby develops. Sometimes, your body sends you signals that you need more nutrients, which can occasionally manifest as back pain. Also, the additional weight can make your spine work harder to support you and the baby, which can cause back pain.
Additional hormones that come from pregnancy can send signals to your body that can trigger preparations for labor. Back pain can be a sign that your joints are moving into place to prepare for your delivery. It’s not uncommon to experience other joint aches as your due date approaches. In addition to backaches, many pregnant women report pain in their hips and knees also.
Is It Safe to Crack The Back During Pregnancy?
Some people have heard urban myths about cracking joints, believing that cracking the joints can cause arthritis later in life. But little evidence is available to support these claims.
Also, some doctors say that while cracking your back isn’t initially harmful, it can cause pain to worsen over time if it becomes a habit. Cracking your back can help you achieve some relief, but doing it on occasion is crucial.
Know When is Back Pain Dangerous
Back pain can be an issue that affects everyone at some point. For pregnant women, it could be a particular annoyance. Back pain can be uncomfortable and make it difficult to accomplish everyday tasks. Most back pain is minor and can be treated with rest compression and other conservative treatment methods. If you find that your back has constantly been hurting, you can try using heat and ice therapy to try and get some relief. Also, some doctors recommend changing posture, and sleeping with a pillow between your knees can help reduce the additional pressure on your back. These tactics, and perhaps booking an appointment with your massage therapist, can help ease your discomfort.
But despite your best efforts to get relief, some situations where back pain can indicate serious problems that pregnant women cannot ignore and require immediate medical attention.
For instance, back pain characterized by sudden sharp, pulsing, and cramping pains could indicate preterm labor. Preterm labor can be problematic if your baby has a high chance of developing a chronic issue, such as
- Vision problems
- Hearing issues
- Lung defects
- And cognitive impairment
Also, contact your doctor if your back pain increases or suddenly comes about.
Stretch 1: Child’s Pose
If you want to take a more holistic approach to your back pain, there are many stretches that you can do to help ease discomfort naturally as you go about your pregnancy.
One stretch you can do during your pregnancy is the child’s pose. This stretch can help with discomfort in the lower back and hips, common pain points among pregnant women. The child’s pose involves having your feet touching behind you as you lay on the floor with your knees spread apart.
Then, exhale and extend your arms forward with your palms facing down toward the floor, and hold the pose for 30-second intervals until you feel relief.
Stretch 2: Cat Cow
Another stretch you can try is the cat cow. While the name may make you giggle, it can be an effective way to ease your back pain. The cat cow helps stretch several muscle groups, including the lower back.
The movement involves getting into the “Cow” position and taking synchronized breaths as you lift your head, relax your shoulders, and round your spine as you complete the “cat” pose.
Stretch 3: Standing Pelvic Tilt
Also, the standing Pelvic tilt is a back-cracking stretch you can try to ease back pain. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart as you lean against a wall. Then, as you push your lower back toward the wall, hold the position for several seconds before returning to the starting position.
Stretch 4: Lower Back Rotation
The lower back rotation garners a mixed response as some people fear that this movement puts a pregnant woman’s back in harm’s way. But, the lower back rotation is a simple movement that can pay dividends if done correctly.
When sitting on the floor, cross your legs, slowly rotate your torso to the left or right, and hold the position. After a few seconds, switch sides and repeat the movement.
Stretch 5: The Seated Half Pigeon
The seated half-pigeon can be a go-to move for pregnant women with lower back pain. The movement involves being seated in a chair and crossing one foot over your opposite knee. You exhale and lean forward slowly as you feel your spine stretch. You hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat the movement as necessary.
Consult your doctor
Speaking with your doctor is essential before beginning a stretching regimen. If you’re suffering from back pain, inform your doctor can help them come up with the best treatment strategy to address the issue safely for you and your baby.
Performing safe, controlled stretches can help provide a natural alternative to medications.
Although cracking your back hasn’t proven harmful, it’s still crucial to make sound decisions as you seek pain relief.