Backache Beaters

Nonpharmaceutical ways to manage back pain

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. Those who engaged in any type of prenatal exercise program also suffered less back pain during pregnancy.