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Dr. Niteesh Bharara

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Quarantine Tips To Manage Low Back Pain While Pregnant

Authored by Dr. Niteesh Bharara. April 15, 2020

Due to the infectious nature of the novel Coronavirus, it’s crucial for people of all ages and health status to stay at home in order to prevent further spread. For pregnant individuals, stay-at-home orders enacted by almost all 50 U.S. states may have caused a significant increase in lower back pain, anxiety, and stress due to a change in lifestyle, as well as vulnerabilities the situation presents.

With pregnancy comes fluctuating hormone levels and due to that, there’s a possibility you could become sensitive to the anxieties and stressors caused by certain situations. When that stress is internalized, the body can respond in unhealthy ways that many times results in pain.

There are a number of physical ailments that more sedentary people are at great risk for; one of those is lower back pain. If you are currently pregnant and experiencing any form of back pain, do call your doctor immediately to discuss your symptoms with them, as you normally would during a visit. If the pain is unbearable and you need an instant remedy, try using hot or cold pressure on the area or a gentle massage in that area – which will promote circulation and relaxation of the muscles.

As your belly grows, strain on your back muscles will undoubtedly increase. Sitting for long periods of time increases your chances of experiencing some form of back pain. Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine will not only ease lower back pain during pregnancy, but will promote better circulation to your growing baby, as well. Here are some easy ways to stave off that pesky lower back pain:

  • Maintaining good posture
  • Regularly moving your body with stretches
  • Short walks

Ideal stretches to combat lower back pain in pregnancy include modified versions of Yoga poses, such as the child’s pose, half pigeon, and cat-cow. Simply sit on a mat, or on a chair, at home and perform the exercises in this video.

ADDITIONAL TIPS TO HELP YOU AVOID AND EASE LOWER BACK PAIN
  • Sitting in ergonomic chairs with supportive backs – use a small pillow at the base of your back and try to sit up straight
  • Wearing flat shoes with ample arch support
  • Sleeping on your side and using a pregnancy pillow – place a pillow between your legs or under your belly to ease the pressure
  • Avoid lifting heavy items (or children) that may strain your back further
  • Sleep on a firmer mattress or place a firm board underneath your mattress for support

The key here is to look after yourself, and you can do so by remembering the acronym “FARL.” While these may seem like “no-brainers,” each of these steps [in addition to the CDC’s guidance regarding social distancing, use of masks, and hand-washing] are crucial to ensuring a healthy pregnancy during this time of quarantine.

‘FARL’ ACRONYM TO ENSURE A HEALTHY PREGNANCY
  • Food
    You’re eating for two so now is the time to consult the food pyramid and eat as healthy as possible. Many delivery services are currently waiving fees; however, if you’re facing economic hardship, there is help with access and nutrition for you and your family.
  • Activity
    Your body needs movement for physical and mental wellness. Certain mood-enhancing endorphins get flowing within you when you become active. Many fitness centers and apps have made their content free and easy to download to watch live or do later.
  • Rest
    While a growing bump may be causing you discomfort at night, do what you can to get plenty of rest (at least 6-7 hours per night) and sneak in a nap whenever you can. Make sure your sleeping environment is dark and cool.
  • Learn
    Remain connected with others often, even virtually, whether they be your family members, friends, or even strangers – often, you’ll learn something new in a simple interaction. There’s almost no excuse not to learn right now as a range of courses, communities, and platforms have been made free to access; when you do so, good neurochemicals will be boosted in your brain and the baby’s will be stimulated, as well.

This is undoubtedly a stressful time for many individuals who are pregnant in our country, as well as across the world. While there are a host of things that may seem as if they’re not in your control, there are many things you can do to ensure optimal health – particularly that of your back – during this special time in your and your family’s life. Keep moving, consume as much nutrient-rich and vitamin-filled foods as possible, and keep in close touch with your medical providers. While the COVID-19 pandemic is temporary, good health doesn’t have to be! You can ensure this during your pregnancy and beyond by following the FARL protocol outlined above.

 

Best wishes for a safe and healthy pregnancy!

Reviewed by: Dr. Niteesh Bharara.

Reviewed by: Dr. Niteesh Bharara.

About The Authors

Dr. Niteesh Bharara

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