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5 Ways To Relieve Back Pain During Pregnancy

5 Ways To Relieve Back Pain During Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be an exciting time for both expectant mothers and their families as they prepare to bring a new life into the world. However, pregnancy often brings unexpected complications that can cause quite a bit of discomfort for the mother to be. One of the biggest complaints is back pain and spasms.

Back Pain Causes

There are a few different reasons why women experience back pain during pregnancy. The common reason is actually quite simple – weight gain. During pregnancy, women can potentially experience dramatic weight gain.

In reality, it’s hard not to gain weight. You are growing a new human, after all. This new weight gain is centered around the abdominal region shifting your center of gravity and causing an adjustment in your normal posture. This will put greater pressure on your back often resulting in pain.

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Sometimes, however, the back pain might be more serious. Pain in the back could be the result of uterine contractions and could be a sign of early labor. Like a heart attack, which shows itself through pain down the left arm, early labor symptoms can cause referred pain in the back. If your pain comes and goes, it could be a sign of early labor and you should see a physician as soon as possible.

If you are like many women who are pregnant, you have had to deal with back pain as part of the pregnancy process. There are many different ways you can relieve your back pain that is safe for both you and your baby. Here are 5 ways to relieve normal back pain during pregnancy. As some back pain can be a sign of a serious condition for both you and your baby, please ensure that you inform your healthcare provider about your back pain before implementing these methods.

1. Exercise

One of the best ways you can stop back pain is through exercise. Strengthening your muscles in your back and improving your overall physical fitness can help you carry the extra weight of that baby much more easily and comfortably, helping you avoid back pain altogether.

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Some of the best exercises for pregnant women are walking, swimming and riding a stationary bike. Talk with your doctor or physical therapist about what exercises are safest for you and your baby before you begin any exercise routine or program.

2. Massage Therapy

There is nothing like a good massage to relax your muscles and relieve the tension in your body. A good massage can help you relax tensed muscles that are beginning to get sore and can even help you relieve stress so at the end of the day you feel less stress. Once your tensed muscles are relaxed and you are less stressed, you will begin to feel less pain in your back.

3. Hot and Cold

Placing hot and cold compresses are an easy way to provide a little relief to your aching back. Assuming your health care provider approves, begin by placing a cold compress on the painful area of your back for 20 minutes each day for two to three days.

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After that, switch to a hot compress to the same area and continue to alternate. When applying heat, be sure to avoid applying it to your abdomen while you are pregnant.

4. Improve Your Posture

When you are pregnant, you face extra pressure on your spine and are forced to carry around extra weight. In many instances, this causes slouching putting even more pressure on your spine. While you are working or sitting, try placing a towel in the small of your back and make a conscious effort to sit up straight at all times. This will help you maintain good posture and relieve the added pressure on your spine resulting in less pain after a long day.

5. See Your Doctor

If all else fails, or if your pain is severe, you should consider paying a visit to your doctor. Your doctor will be able to look at both your health and the health of your baby to determine if something more serious is happening and will then be able to prescribe a better treatment that can help you with your pain while also ensuring your unborn child remains safe.

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More Tips to Help Prevent Back Pain

In addition to steps above, you should also actively try to prevent your back pain from happening. With just a few changes in your lifestyle, you can stop many of the causes of back pain before they happen.

If you need to pick up something from the ground, do not bend over. Instead, bend your legs into the squat position to grab whatever you dropped. While you may like the way high heels look on your feet, while you are pregnant consider switching to flats instead to relieve the pressure that high heels place on your back.

When you go to bed, avoid sleeping on your back. Many doctors advise against sleeping on your back anyway due to some dangers it places on both you and your child, so instead try sleeping on your side to relieve the pressure on your back.

Pregnancy is truly a beautiful miracle of life and should be embraced. However, back pain from pregnancy can put a damper on how you feel and prevent you from enjoying what is supposed to be a truly special time in your life.

If you are dealing with back pain while you are pregnant, try using these solutions to help relieve the pain so you can enjoy this magical time and embrace it the way it was meant to be. If your pain continues, talk with your doctor and see how they can help you relieve the pain so you can get back to preparing to be a mother.

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Brian Wu

Health Writer, Author

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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