Pregnancy-Related Back Pain

Right around the second trimester of your pregnancy, you may start to notice an intensifying level of back pain.

Where is this coming from? A hormone called relaxin starts to increase, causing ligaments to loosen in your pelvis and accommodate the upcoming childbirth. When that happens, your pelvis begins to shift forward, a combination of these ligaments relax and the weight of your growing stomach shifts forward.

This sets the stage for an increased curve in the back and more stress, leading to back pain among pregnant women.

What treatment options are available to relieve some of that pain?

The most common method we can recommend is chiropractic adjustment. That helps shift the pelvis back and provide some instant relief. Massage is also beneficial for all those muscles that are tightening up in your back and hips. We can also incorporate a variety of physical therapy exercises.

One of the other benefits of chiropractic care for pregnant women is that it can decrease any intrauterine constraint. What that means is that if there's a pelvic issue – which is really a joint issue – the misalignment can change the amount of room available for the actual delivery. So chiropractic care can alleviate this.

In between appointments, there are also plenty of things you can do at home.

With many pregnant women struggling with back pain, there are a series of stretches that can keep the front of the hips loosened up as hip flexors tend to tighten. There are also some core exercises that are actually quite safe during pregnancy too – not crunches necessarily but closer to isometric exercises that straighten out the back more.

Postnatal care

After you deliver, unfortunately, the pain you feel doesn't completely go away immediately. In fact, it can seem like there's only now a new set of pains to deal with.

One of the biggest culprits we see at Chicago Pain & Wellness is neck pain, typically on one side. Even though mothers switch sides, they tend to hold the baby on one side a great deal. These neck issues are a real challenge and only get exacerbated by you having to look down constantly.

There can also be complications stemming from pelvic floor issues. Women don't always strengthen that area or follow the proper rehab of the diaphragm and the abdominal muscles.

The longer you breastfeed, the more likely you can have pain related to the neck and other areas. We see women anywhere from three to six months after maternity leave who need a course of treatment between two and four weeks.

Motherhood Can Be Pain-Free After All.

It starts with a visit to Chicago Pain & Wellness for a free consultation. We’ll talk about the nagging pain you’re experiencing, whether your delivery is months away or if you welcomed a newborn into the world a few months ago. From there, we’ll develop a program that works with your schedule for both in-office visits and exercises to do at home. Together, we’ll arrive at a treatment plan that helps you keep up with that wonderful – and very active – new addition to your family. Email us at or call 312.255.7474.