Upper back pain during pregnancy is just about guaranteed, as your body changes and you have to carry an additional 25-30% of your body weight due to the growing baby.
Many women struggle with lower back pain as well, but upper back pain is more common. It can become worse as your pregnancy progresses, due to the increasing weight gain. But, there are more causes for it than simply additional weight. Your ligaments and joints relaxing will play a significant factor as well, along with changes in your center of gravity.
We’ll cover all the causes for thoracic pain during pregnancy, and give you some tips to try and manage it. Let’s start by explaining some of the anatomy of your back.
Anatomy of the upper back
When talking about the upper back, we are mostly referring to the thoracic spine. This is the area between the bottom of your neck and your ribs.
But, upper back pain isn’t limited to just the spine. You can deal with issues with your scapula, your ribs, and any aspect of the musculature in that area. That is part of what makes diagnosing your upper back pain sort of tricky.
Now, let’s cover some of the reasons pregnant women experience such severe upper back pain.
What causes upper back pain during pregnancy?
Just like there are so many different areas that can cause upper back pain, there are so many different reasons upper back pain can develop during pregnancy.
Some of them are a given, specifically the increase in weight on the front of you affecting your posture. But, some of these might surprise you.
Changes in body weight & posture
We’ll start with the most obvious cause of thoracic pain during pregnancy. As your pregnancy develops and you gain more and more weight, not just in your belly, but everywhere, it drastically affects your posture.
You will likely develop a slouch, especially in the second and third trimesters. Standing for long periods during the day will intensify this poor posture, and thus your pain.
Changes in uterus & balance
Another cause of upper back pain during pregnancy is actually due to changes in your uterus. As your muscles relax during your 9 months, your uterus will stretch.
Expecting mothers will have to compensate to keep their balance, which will put a significant strain on your spine. This is part of where the pain comes from, but the changing uterus itself also directly causes pain.
As your uterus continues growing through pregnancy, it pushes against nerves in your back. This causes even more pain.
Changes in hormones
You likely are aware that your hormones change during pregnancy. One of these hormones that increases is known as relaxin, which does exactly what the name suggests: relaxes everything in your body.
This is what causes frequent urination, but it also causes significant pain in your whole body. Your ligaments and muscles will relax, which sounds like it could be a good thing, but it isn’t.
Specifically, your pelvic joint and ligaments around that area will relax, and shift. This causes substantial strain on your spine, leading to more pain.
There are plenty of other causes for upper back pain during pregnancy, but these are the most common. Now, let’s help you start feeling better, with some tips to relieve the discomfort.
How do you get rid of upper back pain during pregnancy?
To relieve thoracic pain during pregnancy, you should start by making lifestyle changes. Improving your posture, daily habits and sleeping habits can yield impressive results.
Eventually, however, you may need to take more proactive measures, and use products specifically designed to help with pregnancy pain.
The simplest changes you can make involve improving your posture. Simply maintain a neutral spine, and refrain from slouching while you sit or stand.
Just take an inventory of how your posture is multiple times throughout the day, and adjust if needed. Eventually, your muscles will take over, and you will maintain proper posture without even thinking about it.
You should also maintain good posture while you sleep. It is pretty tough to sleep in the proper position as your bump grows, but special pregnancy pillows can help you get comfortable while maintaining the proper spine position. These two changes alone will help a lot. Some additional lifestyle changes you may consider making include:
- Wearing comfortable, flat shoes
- Include daily physical activity, such as yoga, walks, or weights (always use proper form)
- Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time, alternate between the two
- Avoid lifting heavy objects if possible, and if you must, lift with your legs first (good form again!)
You can also actively attack your upper back pain with home remedies such as ice and heat, to lower inflammation in your back. In some cases, prenatal massage will help calm down some of the irritated musculature in your upper back.
But, there is actually a product that can do a number of things to improve your pregnancy, including decreasing pain.
8 Sheep Organics Sleepy Body Lotion
Many pregnant women use 8 Sheep Organics Sleepy Body lotion to help them with their insomnia, leg cramps, and morning sickness. But, it can also help with your upper back pain during pregnancy!
This organic magnesium lotion is the perfect way to unwind after a long day, and will ease sore, painful areas of your body.
Simply have your partner massage it into your upper back if you cannot reach the areas yourself, This will have better effects and prevent you from straining one of your shoulders to reach around.
This magnesium lotion has helped thousands of moms around the country experience relief, and enjoy their pregnancy to the fullest extent. These nine months don’t have to be miserable, you can start feeling better today!
And, the lotion comes with a 60 day money back guarantee. If it doesn’t help you feel better, simply send it back and we’ll refund you. That’s how confident we are!