How to Cope with Backache in the Third Trimester of Pregnancy

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One of the most common symptoms that women experience in the third trimester of pregnancy is backache. Not only is this uncomfortable, but it can also restrict many usual daily activities. Here are some tips on how to cope with backache during pregnancy

Backache is one of the most common symptoms experienced by women in pregnancy, especially in the later stages. This can be painful ands restrictive in your day to day life. However, there are some things that you can do to help ease the discomfort of backache in pregnancy. Here is a look at the causes of backache in pregnancy and some tips on how to cope with this symptom.

What causes the backache?

During the third trimester of pregnancy, your hormones will cause the ligaments in your back and pelvis to slacken. There are two reasons why this happens. Firstly, it is so that your body can accommodate your growing baby, and secondly, it helps your body to prepare to give birth. As a result, it is common for women to experience pain in their backs and pelvis. This in turn can contribute to painful knees and ankles as the body is thrown out of its natural alignment.


It is essential that you do not over exert yourself. It is fine, in most circumstances, to continue with your normal day-to-day activities, however, it is important to know your limits. Make time to sit down or lie down throughout the day and don’t try to burn the candle at both ends.

Alternate Walking and Sitting

Walking and sitting for long periods of time can equally cause discomfort in the lower back. Try not to do either of these for too long. Alternate short periods of sitting with short periods of movement.

Use a TENS Machine

A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) machine is often used by women as a form of pain relief during labour. However, it can also be useful in coping with Braxton Hicks contractions or lower back pain in the third trimester. A TENS machine can be purchased or hired for a set period of time. These work by transmitting electrical pulses into the muscles.


The first point to make here is that you should seek medical advice before choosing to take any medication as a form of pain relief. Even some herbal medications can have unwanted and unpleasant side affects that could be harmful to you or to your unborn baby. However, some forms of pain relief are fine to take in small doses during pregnancy. Your doctor or midwife will be able to advise you on what is safe to take to help you with your backache.


A really pleasant way to relieve some of the pain is to have a massage. A willing partner can help out with this. If not, go to a professional masseuse. A word of warning; beware of essential aromatherapy oils. There are some that can have harmful side effects during pregnancy. As a precautionary measure, stick to baby oil.

Natural Remedies

Some women like to experiment with some natural remedies when they are pregnant. Treatments such as aromatherapy, acupuncture and reflexology have all increased in popularity over the past decade as methods of pain relief both in pregnancy and during labour. Make sure that you visit a suitably qualified practitioner who is fully trained in delivering these treatments to women during pregnancy.

Sleeping Position

The position in which you sleep can have an affect on the amount of back pain that you experience. How to sleep during the third trimester of pregnancy can leave many women in a quandary as no sleeping position is particularly comfortable. However, lying on your side with a pillow to support your bump is one of the better positions to lie in that will relieve some of the pressure off the lower back.


Sarah Royal Muleshe
Posted on Jul 21, 2012
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Posted on Jul 20, 2012