What can I do if I experience body aches during pregnancy?

Paula Greer
Midwifery Nursing

Once you have discussed your symptoms with your OB/GYN or midwife and it has been determined that you are experiencing the normal discomforts of pregnancy with back and muscle aches you might find some of the following measures helpful:

  • An abdominal support binder designed for pregnancy
  • Ice or warm packs to the affected area
  • Massage with liniment rubs like arnica capsaicin ointment, and massage oils.
  • Herbal teas like chamomile

Improving your body mechanics by:

  • Wearing low-heeled shoes with good arch support and avoiding flip flops or slippers that have no support at all.

Improving posture to minimize the curving of the back/spine:

  • Using knees to lift and avoiding lifting with the back
  • Avoiding bending or turning from the waist
  • Utilizing back exercises safe in pregnancy like the pelvic tilt and gentle stretching
  • A good firm mattress with pillows in between knees
  • A good supportive bra
  • A lumbar support in the car or chair
  • A footstool when sitting to raise hips above knees

Other alternative measures to consider would be the use of:

  • homeopathic remedies
  • acupuncture
  • acupressure
  • chiropractic manipulation or physical therapy

Discuss your concerns and your particular situation with your OB/GYN or midwife to come up with a plan of care that is best for you and your baby.

As your uterus expands, you may feel aches and pains in the back, abdomen, groin area, and thighs. Many women also have backaches and aching near the pelvic bone due the pressure of the baby's head, increased weight, and loosening joints. Some pregnant women complain of pain that runs from the lower back, down the back of one leg, to the knee or foot. This is called sciatica (SYE-AT-ick-uh). It is thought to occur when the uterus puts pressure on the sciatic nerve.

    • Lie down
    • Rest
    • Apply heat

Call the doctor if pain does not get better.

This answer is based on source information from the National Women's Health Information Center.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.