Simple twisting of your back, as long as you are doing it with caution, is generally safe while pregnant.
It helps relieve the tension in your back and gives you some sort of relaxation. However, it will get difficult for you to do it as the pregnancy progresses.
If you want to relieve your pain, enrolling in pregnancy yoga or doing light exercises may help. But, if you are experiencing vaginal bleeding and toxemia, it is best to avoid any stringent activities.
Stringent activities that put any kind of external pressure on your back and stomach can only make matters worse.
Back cracking while pregnant
The strain that pregnancy brings can become unbearable for your body. That’s why some pregnant women want to twist their lower bodies for that satisfying crack.
Cracking your back is like adjusting your bones and releasing pressure building up around them.
Back cracking does not necessarily mean breaking or twisting anything inside your body. The audible snapping and crunching sounds that you can sometimes hear are called crepitus. These sounds indicate that air or gas is moving in the joints.
Oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide are released from the facet joints to lubricate it, ultimately relieving the pressure.
Cracking your back is harmless even in pregnancy as long as you do not overdo it and strain yourself too hard as you twist.
What causes back pain in pregnancy?
Back pain is common in pregnancy, especially along the region where the pelvis meets the spine. It is typical in the second half of the pregnancy as the fetus grows bigger and heavier.
There are many reasons why women experience back pain, and not just because of the baby’s growth.
Weight gain, for example, is one of the leading causes. Both your weight and the baby’s weight can put a strain on the spine. Your lower back bones work double to support those weights leading to a backache.
Posture changes in pregnancy may also result in back pain. That’s because the pregnancy can shift your center of gravity without you even noticing. To cope up, you will begin to adjust your posture, even with the way you move around, straining your back.
Hormonal changes in pregnancy or when the body releases the hormone “relaxin” also cause mild back pain. This hormone relaxes the pelvis and loosens the joints in preparation for childbirth. The instability of the pelvic area during this time makes pregnant women vulnerable to back pains.
The expansion of the uterus that causes abdominal muscle separation or diastasis recti is also a culprit in worsening back problems. It may even make it difficult for you to suck in your stomach while you are pregnant.
And did you know that pregnant or not, emotional stress may also worsen back problems?
According to Spine-Health, psychosomatic reactions from stress also impact physical problems like back pains.
Managing pregnancy back pain
Relieving back tension in pregnancy should be done infrequently, gently, and with caution. It will prevent exacerbation of the problem or causing any back injuries.
You may try doing the upward stretch or body twist or any of these tips for managing back pain in pregnancy.
1. Prenatal yoga
At any time during your pregnancy, you can start enrolling yourself in prenatal yoga.
It’s a good way of alleviating back pain while mentally preparing you for childbirth.
Pregnancy yoga includes a series of relaxation and breathing exercises specially tailored for pregnant women. But before starting a class, always ask your health care provider for advice and a go-signal.
2. Practice good posture
To ease back pain, practicing good posture may do you good. Pregnant women tend to lean back to compensate for their belly’s weight. So, be mindful of how you stand, sit, or walk.
Always stand up straight and tall with your shoulders and back relaxed. Standing in a wide stance will provide you with the best support.
Sit in a chair that supports your back, or you may comfortably place a small pillow to support your lower back.
3. Proper sleep position
Sleep is a bit difficult during pregnancy as the wrong position can invite more body soreness. The best way to alleviate pregnancy back pain is sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees.
Avoid sleeping on your back as it can get uncomfortable for both you and the baby. You can also use maternity pillows made of memory foam that can provide better support as you sleep.
4. Wear the right shoes
Basically, the footwear contributes to either comfort or burden in pregnancy. It is a no-brainer: avoid wearing high-heels that cause instability. But flat-shoes may not also provide you with good support either.
It will make the feet spread out more and leave them unsupported. When pregnant, opt for low-heeled shoes that provide the body with better arch support.
Yes, swimming is also a wonderful and safe form of exercise that can help release the pressure off the spine. It benefits the body without causing undue pressure and stress on both you and the baby.
You may even start swimming late in the pregnancy. Remember, always perform it in moderation and avoid overexertion.
Ideally, you can swim for about 30 minutes 3 to 5 times a week.
6. Regular physical activity
Just because you are pregnant doesn’t mean you should stay idle. If you have a healthy pregnancy, regular physical activities will prevent back pains and even keep your back strong.
Some stretch exercises, light household chores, and mindful squats may help you alleviate back pains.
When lifting small objects, squat and lift from your legs, not from your back. You should also know your limits and do things moderately.
7. Prenatal massage
Getting a prenatal massage from trained professionals is also one way of dealing with back pains. The most common and safe type is the swedish massage which helps in both skeletal and circulatory improvement in the body.
Again, you should consult your doctor to make sure that it is safe for your specific pregnancy. You should also look for a certified physical therapist to perform the massage.
8. Complementary therapies
Some women may find acupuncture and chiropractic methods helpful in managing back pains.
Acupuncture or needle insertion techniques can ward off back pain and relieve morning sickness.
Chiropractic care can alleviate muscle tightness and joint misalignment through satisfying sound-popping joint manipulation.
Before getting any complementary therapies, consult with your doctor before employing such services.
Can I take medication for back pains?
Acetaminophen is safe to be taken for normal pregnancy back pains. But avoid ibuprofen or other NSAIDs that can cause low amniotic fluid unless your doctor advises you to.
When is twisting my back bad for my baby and me?
Repeated twisting, bending, squatting, and lifting can risk injury, miscarriage, and pre-term birth.
So, bear in mind to do everything in moderation and avoid strenuous activities if possible while pregnant.
Adjusting your back should not hurt, and if it does, you are not doing it right and need to stop.
When to worry about pregnancy back pain?
If you have severe back pain that lasts for two weeks, pain under your ribs or running a fever, call your doctor.
You should also contact them if you have vaginal bleeding and painful urination. Severe back pain in the second and third trimesters can be a sign of early labor.
Hearing the satisfying popping sound on your back to alleviate back pain is perfectly fine. Whether you are pregnant or not, you should always do it in moderation and with caution.
Back pains are inevitable in pregnancy. Fortunately, there are some healthy tips and exercises you can do to release the pressure.
Most importantly, talk to your doctor before undertaking anything. They know the best way of managing your pain or whether it is safe to undergo complementary therapies as needed.