Lower Back Pain During Early Pregnancy

Almost 50 percent of the pregnant women may experience pain in the lower back region, especially during the first and second trimester. Some degree of pain may be experienced either during the day or night. At times, the pain may continue to remain throughout and may be aggravated due to some movement of the body. This condition is also one of the first signs of pregnancy, along with missed period and abdominal cramping. The body undergoes a lot of changes in terms of physical and hormonal levels, in order to prepare and sustain itself for the growth and development of the baby. One of the changes that the body may observe is backache, which is quite normal. Sometimes, the pain may range from being dull to a sharp pain in the lower back during early pregnancy. Whatever be the degree of pain, it is essential to provide relief and reduce the intensity of the pain and discomfort caused due to this condition.


There can be several reasons for experiencing lower back pain in the initial stages of pregnancy. Though not always a matter of grave concern, some women may find it to be quite stressful. Following are some of the causes that may lead to this painful condition:

  • One of the common causes of pain in the lower back region during early pregnancy is increase in the body weight. Though beneficial for the baby, additional weight gain can put pressure on the back, and thus lead to backache.
  • The body needs to get accustomed to the growing fetus. Hence, the pelvic region begins to expand. This stretching of the pelvis also puts a strain on the back, particularly in the lower region, ending up in the person complaining of back pain.
  • During pregnancy, there is a surge of hormones in the body. This is because the endocrine glands and the placenta secrete hormones to suffice the body’s needs. A hormone called ‘relaxin’ makes the muscles and the ligaments which support the pelvis to become pliant. This factor may cause discomfort in the back region.
  • As the uterus begins to expand with time to accommodate the growing fetus, there is a shift in the body’s center of gravity. The body takes it time to adjust to this change, and the resultant posture and movements may lead to backache. The discomfort may also increase during activities like climbing stairs, walking briskly, etc.
  • Stress, both physical and mental, also contributes to the lower back pain during early pregnancy.
  • In some cases, urinary tract infection (which pregnant women are susceptible to), is also a responsible factor for lower backache.


Severe lower back pain can restrict a mother-to-be, and can also be quite distressing. Little tasks like getting up, bending, and even walking may seem to be quite an effort. Here are some guidelines that may help provide relief from this annoying condition.

  • Taking longer period of rest and adequate sleep may help relax the stretching back muscles and eliminate the pain.
  • The application of cold or hot packs on the affected portion may help alleviate the pain considerably. Massaging the region may also reduce the soreness of the muscles.
  • Your posture also matters a lot when it comes to relieving backache. Instead of sitting in the same position or standing for a long time, a change in position after regular intervals may lower the pain.
  • Mild exercises like yoga, stretching exercises for the back, etc., can be performed to strengthen the back muscles. However, these exercises must be done only under the guidance of your gynecologist.
  • If the pain intensifies or is persistent, even after following the aforementioned guidelines, consult your doctor who may prescribe mild painkillers and even physiotherapy to provide relief from back pain.

This normal phenomenon, though distressing, may subdue as the term progresses. It is also advisable to avoid any strenuous activity during the entire term of pregnancy. It must be noted that with proper rest and exercise, this physical discomfort can be relieved considerably.

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