Can Lower Back Pain be a Pregnancy Sign?

Can Lower Back Pain be a Pregnancy Sign?

Back Pain as an Early Sign of Pregnancy

When trying to get pregnant, you become acutely aware of how your body is feeling. Some women wonder if lower back pain can be a sign that you are pregnant.

Considering the lifestyles we have, lower back pain is pretty common whether you are pregnant or not. It also isn't specific to women. Everyone ends up with back pain at some point or another. In very early pregnancy, there are much more reliable early pregnancy symptoms.

Symptoms like mild cramping, fatigue, breast tenderness, having to pee ALL THE TIME, and nausea are better indicators that you may have successfully conceived this month. The most significant sign that you are pregnant will be when your period does not arrive.

Back Pain During Pregnancy

Studies report that more than fifty percent of women will experience some degree or another of pain in the lower back during the early stage of pregnancy.  If lower back pain is accompanied by other symptoms, such as morning sickness, muscle cramping, and tenderness of the breasts, considered altogether, these can be signs of pregnancy.

Back pain that occurs early on in pregnancy is generally caused by the way that your hormones, particularly progesterone, affects your body.  Progesterone softens the joints and the ligaments in a woman's back.  When these are stretched out, they don't support the upper body as well as they should, and back pain occurs. The pain can be as simple as an ache but can turn into painful muscle spasms too.

Not all backaches are not caused by the muscles and bones in your back. Sometimes, back pain can be caused by a urinary tract infection. If the pain is accompanied by chills, fever, cramping or burning when you urinate, see your doctor as soon as possible.

How to Ease Pregnancy Back Pain

Exercise, posture, rest, and safety will all help to relieve lower back pain in pregnancy.  Good activities to relieve back pain include pelvic rocking, walking, and mini-crunches.

Posture plays a vital role in back pain during early pregnancy as well. While later on in pregnancy posture becomes even more important as a woman’s center of gravity changes, having correct posture can also help to relieve and even avoid lower back pain in early pregnancy. By making sure that you are sitting or standing straight, you can maintain good posture.

Rest is another essential component in helping with lower back pain during early pregnancy. Even if you have difficulty sleeping, as many women do during early pregnancy, you should still try to spend at least some time every day laying down.

Often, lying on your side with a pillow between your legs can help to relieve some of your lower back pain. Also, you should practice safe lifting techniques while you are pregnant. If at all possible, you should avoid any heavy lifting. If you must lift something, be sure to lift with your knees, rather than with your back.

How Long Will My Back Hurt

Honestly, you may find that your back will hurt all through your pregnancy. Some women have the back pain ease up around the 20th week, but you may see it come back later on during the pregnancy.

During the third trimester, you may experience back pain again as your baby grows bigger, creating a strain on those muscles. 

If you have pain in the back that is severe or is persistent, you should contact your health care provider.  They can help to determine if there is another cause for the pain and to help determine what the best treatment options may be.



Katonis P, Kampouroglou A, Aggelopoulos A, et al. Pregnancy-related low back pain. Hippokratia. 2011;15(3):205-210.

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