Back Pain | Fit Pregnancy

Back Pain

Back on track

Your ever-expanding belly can do more than advertise your pregnancy to the world; it can throw off your normal posture, causing you to arch your back. The frequent result: painful lower-back strain. The simple solution? Exercises that strengthen your back muscles. “Strengthening your back will help you handle some of the back strain that is inevitable during pregnancy,” says Douglas Brooks, M.S., an exercise physiologist in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.

5 Pregnancy Stretches to Relieve Tension

It’s 2 a.m., and you’re on your way — for the fourth time — down that well-worn path in the hall to you-know-where. But on this trip, you are waylaid by a cramp in your calf so crippling that you think you’re trapped in some monster nightmare. You try rubbing the muscle, but it feels as tight as a steel cable. You count to 10, or 20. And that works — sort of.

Sleep Like a Baby

MIND CHATTER

What if I have a problem during labor? Is my baby healthy? Will my husband still think I'm sexy? Will my body ever be the same again?

Solutions: The best way to silence sleep-killing mind chatter is to work through bothersome problems before you go to bed. If anxieties still keep you awake, talk them through with a friend, your partner or a therapist. Also, perform relaxing bedtime rituals, such as taking a warm bath.

Backache Beaters

More than two-thirds of pregnant women complain of back pain, but there are nonpharmaceutical ways to manage the discomfort. Researchers reviewed eight studies on pregnancy back pain and found that doing water exercises, undergoing acupuncture and using a special pillow designed to support the abdomen when lying down all reduced pain. Strength exercises and stretching also helped. Most women who stuck with any kind of pelvic or back-pain intervention—stretching the pelvic muscles, strengthening the abdominal and hamstring muscles and increasing spinal flexibility—experienced some relief.

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