Lower Back Pain in Early Pregnancy – Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

By Bonnke Arunga |
|5 min read

Pregnancy is one of the most defining moments in a woman's life. As exciting as pregnancy can be, it is not without challenges. One of the most common difficulties is putting up with lower back pain during early pregnancy. Back pain is a common symptom during early pregnancy and it impacts the life of a pregnant woman significantly. There are several reasons why pregnant women experience back pain. In this article, we will explore the various kinds and causes of lower back pain in early pregnancy, its treatment, and what you can do to prevent this condition.

Causes of Lower Back Pain in Early Pregnancy

A lot of events occur during pregnancy, from hormonal shifts to weight changes, as well as other factors that are initiated by the body to help prepare you for the birth process. Some of these changes can give rise to lower back pain in early pregnancy.

1. Causes that Develop in Early Pregnancy

  • Increase in hormones

Several hormones play significant roles in pregnancy. However, some of these hormones also soften your muscles, ligaments, and bones – especially at the joints to help loosen them in preparation for birth. This alters your support and may cause back pain.

  • Posture or position

When you are pregnant, you will have to maintain good posture and position yourself appropriately. Always sit upright with your back straight and your arms resting on your side. When you sleep, do not lie on your back. Instead, lie on your side and change that position as frequently as you can. Bad posture, especially when you sleep, could be the reason for your back pain.

  • Changes in mood

Your moods are controlled by hormones. There are also bodily mechanisms where changes in mood also cause a surge in levels of certain hormones. These hormones can then initiate physiologic responses that interfere with the strength of your bones, joints, and muscles and can lead to pain.

2. Causes That Develop in The Process of a Pregnancy

  • Center of gravity

As your baby grows and your uterus gets bigger, your center of gravity shifts to compensate for your extended belly so that you can maintain your posture. This adjustment often strains the muscles of your back causing lower back pain during early pregnancy.

  • Additional weight

Most people don't know this, but most of your weight is supported by your spine (lower back) and not your feet. Pregnancy is associated with weight gain. What this means is that an increased load is added to your lower back and may cause back pain.

  • Muscle separation

As your body stretches, your muscles, ligaments, and tendons also stretch. This stretching of muscles, ligaments, and tendons occurs mostly at the lower back because it lies in close proximity to your uterus. This stretching causes lower back pain.

Treatments Relieving Lower Back Pain During Early Pregnancy

Lower back pain early pregnancy can be relieved by healthy practices and habits. Sometimes, the symptoms reduced but not alleviated, to minimize interference with the natural process of pregnancy. Here are things you can do to prevent and/or minimize your lower back pain.

1. Things That Can Help Relieve the Lower Back Pain

  • Practicing safe, pregnancy-friendly exercises

Your healthcare provider may recommend some exercises to help strengthen and support your back. Exercise should not be overdone. Practice only those that are approved to be safe during pregnancy.

  • Getting plenty of rest

The rest is therapeutic. It helps you relax and gives your body adequate time to adjust to the changes being brought by pregnancy.

  • Focusing on maintaining a good posture

Poor posture, standing for long and bending frequently may be the trigger for your lower back pain. Always sit upright with your back straight, sleep on your side, and walk quite often to help prevent your lower back pain from escalating.

  • Wearing comfortable shoes

Experts have warned against wearing extremely high-heeled shoes in pregnancy. Flat shoes are also a no-go. You can do well with a low-heel shoe because it helps keep your body in proper alignment.

2. Do Refrain from:

  • Lifting heavy objects

Lifting heavy loads while pregnant will not only increase levels of fatigue but may also damage your already weak joints. Only lift heavy objects if you must. And when you do, lift them slowly while assuming a wide stance and bending your knees.

  • Sleeping on your back

Just anterior to your spine, there are two large blood vessels that deliver and remove blood from your lower extremities. These vessels are the aorta and the inferior vena cava. When you lie on your back, the weight of your baby and your uterus compresses these vessels and your lower extremities don't get oxygen. This could lead to very serious health problems.

  • Bending at the wrist

When lifting objects, always bend your knees and not your waist. Pregnancy can make your joints and bones quite fragile. Bending your waist may predispose you to joint dislocation.

  • Standing for long periods

Another problem that is common in pregnancy is called deep vein thrombosis (abbreviated as DVT). This is a condition where blood doesn't flow from the legs as is usual, and becomes stagnant. The stagnating blood can develop into a clot and cause serious problems. To help keep blood flowing through your veins, make sure you don't stay sitting down for extended periods of time.


Lower back pain in early pregnancy is a common experience. However, it can be prevented and/or alleviated with simple home remedies. Here is a useful video that summarizes what you can do to manage lower back pain in early pregnancy:

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