7 Best Stretches to Ease Back Pain during Pregnancy

Stretching can be beneficial to ease back pain during pregnancy. (Photo by Pavel Danilyuk via pexels)
Stretching can be beneficial to ease back pain during pregnancy. (Photo by Pavel Danilyuk via pexels)

Back pain is one of the most common issues among pregnant women and mostly occurs in the later stages of pregnancy. It isn’t surprising, as your body undergoes tremendous physical changes day by day. Even though back pain is a common problem during pregnancy, it still needs full attention.

Fortunately, stretching can be very beneficial for pregnant women. It can keep you relaxed, calm and prepare your body for labour. Additionally, it can also prevent back pain you might be experiencing and help you stay fit during those those months.

However, to ensure everything’s safe, try not to stretch harder, and be slow and gentle with your body.


Stretches to Ease Back Pain During Pregnancy

Here's a look at seven stretches to ease back pain during pregnancy:

1) Bird Dog

Bird Dog targets the back muscles (posterior chain) in your body. It stretches the lower back muscles, allowing gentle movement in the hip joints and shoulders.

To do it:

  • Start the exercise on all your fours. Keep your wrists under your shoulders and knees aligned with your hips.
  • Extend your right arm out in front of you, and simultaneously stretch your right leg behind you.
  • Make sure your hips are square to the ground, and your lower back doesn't bend.
  • Hold this stretch, and bend back to the initial position.
  • Switch sides, and repeat.
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2) Backward Stretch

The backward stretch helps stretch your pelvis, back and thigh muscles.

To do it:

  • Start on your knees and hands directly under your shoulders.
  • Curl your back towards your heels, and tuck your head in towards your knees. Keep both your arms extended.
  • Hold this stretch for a few seconds, and return to the starting position.
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3) Pelvic Tilts

Pelvic tilts are basically isometric holds that help ease lower back pain and also strengthen and support your core stabilising muscles.

To do them:

  • Lie down comfortably on your back on a yoga mat.
  • Place your feet flat on the floor, and keep your knees bent.
  • Make sure to rest in a natural position so that your back forms a natural curve in your lower spine.
  • Tuck your hips slowly towards your head, and try to press your lower back into the mat.
  • Hold the position; relax, and repeat.
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4) Lower Back Stretch

To do it:

  • Rest your body on your knees and hands. Keep your head aligned with your back.
  • Gently pull in your abdominal muscles and round your back. Hold for a few seconds.
  • Relax your abdomen while keeping your back as straight and flat as possible.
  • Complete ten reps.

5) Cat-Cow Stretch

This stretch is very effective to manager lower back pain, as it stretches the back gently while reducing hip pain and increasing spine mobility.

To do it:

  • Take a position on all your fours. Keep the top of your feet on the floor directly over your wrists and your hips over your knees.
  • Slowly allow your belly to drop while letting your lower back arch. As you do that, make sure to keep your shoulders down and back, and keep your gaze slightly upward and straight. This is the cow position.
  • For the cat position, press gently into your hands and round your back looking in towards your abdomen.
  • Repeat both positions at least five times.
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6) Seated Piriformis Stretch

This stretch is beneficial, particularly for sciatic and lower back pain. A gentle stretch of the piriformis muscles can help reduce pain and tightness.

To do it:

  • While sitting on a chair, cross your right foot over your left knee.
  • Lean forward, keeping your back flat till you feel a stretch in your lower back muscles and hips.
  • Hold this position, and repeat on the other side.
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7) Torso Rotation

The torso rotation is another stretching exercise that helps ease back pain and gently stretches the upper torso and back.

To do it:

  • Sit straight on a yoga mat with your legs crossed.
  • Hold your left foot with your right hand, and move your right hand behind you.
  • Simultaneously, stretch your upper body towards your left.
  • Hold for a few breathsm and return to the start.
  • Switch handsm and perform the exercise on the other side.

Takeaway

If you are pregnant, try doing the aforementioned stretches regularly to ease back pain and other aches linked with pregnancy. These stretching exercises may improve your mobility and strengthen your core and spine. Moreover, they may also prepare you for healthy and easy labour.

Stretching is a safe and effective activity during pregnancy, but it's still best to discuss your plan of action with your doctor before getting started. If something doesn’t feel right while exercising, stop immediately.

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Edited by Bhargav