Pregnancy-Related Upper Back Pain

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upper back pain pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time of change and excitement, but it can also be stressful. A pregnant woman’s body will rapidly transform at this point in their life which often leads to back pain due to the rapid changes that are taking place on her spine and other parts of the body.

One experience with the upper back pain during pregnancy could range from mild discomfort up to severe symptoms preventing you from living an everyday lifestyle such as driving or sleeping at night. Understanding how these pains develop is key so steps can be taken early on before they get worse.

What is Upper Back Pain Pregnancy?

Pregnancy-related Upper Back Pain is a common symptom in pregnant women. Upper back pain during pregnancy will be the result of three major causes: changes in weight distribution increased production of hormones including relaxin which loosens joints and ligaments, and heredity.

You may also experience upper back pain due to an injury or muscle strain that occurred before your pregnancy began or if you are carrying twins or more babies. For severe upper back pain during pregnancy, you should seek further medical care to find out what is causing this type of pain.

Anatomy of the upper back

The upper back, also known as the thoracic spine, is a series of 13 vertebrae that connect from the base of the skull to the lower part of your rib cage. It provides stability and protection for your spinal cord and nerves. In this area, a person’s posture will have a significant influence on their health. A slouching position can lead to poor circulation which can cause pain or numbness in one arm or hand, while a more upright position may alleviate some discomfort.

The most common problem associated with an unhealthy upper back is chronic neck pain due to long periods spent looking down at a computer monitor or reading books – think about how often you do this! The best way to avoid these problems is by maintaining proper alignment and posture.

During pregnancy, a woman’s center of gravity will move forward as a result of physiological and weight gain changes in her body. This can cause decreased balance and make you more vulnerable to slips and falls while increasing upper back pain.

Causes of Upper Back Pain during Pregnancy

The most common causes of upper back discomfort during pregnancy are:

-Changes in weight distribution

-Increased production of hormones including relaxin


These types of pain can be avoided by making sure to wear a supportive bra as well as resting when you can. If the pain worsens, it will be good to seek medical care from your doctor to find out if there is an underlying issue that could cause this type of pain.

Second and third trimesters upper back pain & thoracic pain for prolonged periods

Sharp upper back pain may happen at any point during pregnancy. This is because your baby and uterus grow and also because you put on weight and that stresses the muscles in your lower back. Second, a woman may gain 25% or more of her weight in a short period, putting even greater strain on those same muscles.

As you go through each stage of pregnancy from first to last (first being very early stages), it becomes increasingly difficult to carry around all that extra weight with no change made yet besides stretch marks & hair growth! As you can see, it’s not only the lower back that is affected but also the upper back! This pain can be relieved with some help from a childbirth specialist or by fixing your posture through learning good habits used when lifting. The best thing to do when feeling these symptoms is to TRY NOT TO DO IT! If muscles are being exerted too much, they will be sore & could get injured.

Pregnancy back pain relief

The best way to cure pregnancy back discomfort is to understand the various types of pain you could be experiencing. If you are experiencing pain due to a posterior pregnancy, then resting on your side will be beneficial. If you have anterior pelvic pain during pregnancy, it’s best to avoid lying on your side as that position can exacerbate the pain.

Approximately 80% of pregnant women experience some form of backache at some point during their pregnancy.

There are many ways to deal with the discomfort that comes from pregnancy back pain. The most popular treatment seems to be resting when possible, wearing a supportive bra, and laying on your side during pregnancy. More severe cases may need to see your physician for an examination.

Treatment for Upper Back Pain during pregnancy

If the pain is minor and located on your upper back, you may try resting it with ice packs and taking over-the-counter medicines like ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). If the discomfort continues, see a medical professional.

It’s recommended that you visit a physician if the discomfort is strong or if you are experiencing excessive edema.

Keep in mind that it is important not to take too much ibuprofen or acetaminophen throughout your pregnancy. While taking these over-the-counter medications will reduce the pain, too much of them can be harmful to both you and your baby at this point.

Upper Back Pain and Thoracic Pain Tips as Pregnancy Progresses

Lower back pain, discomfort during pregnancy
Lower back pain, discomfort during pregnancy

Maintaining a balanced standing posture

One way to help relieve your pain is to stand up straight. Your spine should be elongated and you should feel a small curve in your lower back. The key to standing up straight is to keep your shoulders back. Another way that might work better for pregnant women with a desk job is to occasionally rest one foot on a stool.

“Second and third trimesters upper back pain & thoracic pain for prolonged periods”

As the pregnancy progresses, the weight distribution changes. This can affect you while you are at work or while going about your daily routine around the house. The pelvis tilts forward which increases the pressure on the muscles in your lower back. In addition, as you gain weight, it becomes

Keep your body in a neutral sitting position

One of the ways to prevent pain is to maintain a neutral posture. The shoulders should be back and your spine should be elongated. You should also try not to cross your legs or let your feet dangle off the floor. If this position hurts, it could be because you are sitting too low so try to raise your chair so that it’s at a 90-degree angle. The feet should be flat on the floor shoulder-width apart.

When you are standing, your shoulders should be back and your spine elongated. If this causes pain, try to relieve it by periodically resting one foot on a stool or something that is at least 12 inches high. The knees should never be higher than the hips when seated.

While sleeping, keep your spine neutral

Pregnant women, particularly in the second and third trimesters, are advised to sleep on their sides. You can sleep better if you use a pillow between your knees and under your abdomen. You need to have the right number of pillows so that you do not hurt your neck or back while sleeping.

Pregnant women should avoid lying on their backs after the first trimester because this increases pressure in their lower back and pelvis.

Lifting and transporting hefty items is not recommended

Taking care of your body during pregnancy is essential and that includes taking care of your back. Lifting and carrying heavy objects while pregnant might cause back strain and other unpleasant problems that may affect you for the rest of your life. These activities can damage your muscles and tendons to the point that you cannot recover from them.

Performing physical exercise daily, such as walking, is highly recommended

Performing physical exercise is highly recommended. Women who are pregnant should perform at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days a week. This will help you to burn extra calories, lose weight if needed, clear the mind and allow the body to get stronger.

Failure to stay physically active can lead to health problems that are not only uncomfortable but painful for the mother and the baby. It is also important to maintain a healthy pregnancy weight to prevent lower back pain issues.

Pregnant women should avoid sitting in the same position for prolonged periods and try to change positions regularly such as sitting upright, then leaning forward, then reclining. This helps to prevent fatigue and aches and pains in your lower back.

Upper Back Pain Exercises for Pregnant Women

Here are some ways to alleviate back pain discomfort during pregnancy:

Stretch your back muscles periodically

One of the ways to relieve pain is to do some stretching so that you can maintain a healthy posture. Whenever you feel a bit of tension in your shoulders, try to stretch them by placing one hand on top of the other and push against them while straightening up from being hunched forward. This should be done a few times a day. You can also try to do this exercise several times a day, even when you are at home or behind the wheel of your car.

Raise your legs from time to time

Another way to reduce back pain is by raising one leg up then holding it there for about 10 seconds before lowering it and raising the other leg. This should be done a few times a day for about five minutes each time.

When to Seek Medical Care for Upper back pain during pregnancy

If the pain is so severe that it prevents you from carrying out your day-to-day tasks, or if it is interfering with your work or leisure activities, then you need to seek medical care.

If the back pain has not subsided for more than a week after treatment, or if it is accompanied by redness or swelling in that region, then you should also see a doctor.

The doctor may try to distinguish whether the cause of your discomfort is muscular (i.e., muscular strain) or not (i.e., sciatica). Your doctor may also recommend other treatment options based on his exam.

Pregnancy Upper Back Pain Conclusion

Pregnant woman having back aches, pain
Pregnant woman having back aches, pain

Upper back pain is common during pregnancy, but it shouldn’t be ignored. If you don’t get relief from the above steps and your doctor approves, then see a physical therapist for help with exercises that will stretch and strengthen muscles in your upper back and shoulders to relieve some of the tension. A certified massage therapist can also provide relief by massaging out knots in your muscles. Be sure to talk to your OB/GYN about any medications or other treatments they recommend as well–this could include injections like trigger point therapy (TPT), acupuncture, chiropractic care, or prescription medication such as Tylenol 3s when needed. Remember: The quality of this stage of life depends on how well we take care of ourselves now!

Share your home remedies and physical therapy for back pain during pregnancy with our team, so that we may include them in a future post!

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