Maintaining a good posture is crucial for pregnant women during the various stages of pregnancy, especially if you wish to avoid back pain during pregnancy. This is because the sudden weight gain during pregnancy will add an increased risk of strain to the spine and bad posture can extrapolate this risk. Hence, the basic concept is to attempt to maintain a neutral spine posture no matter what you do. In other, keeping the natural curves of the spine during your daily activities can effectively reduce the likelihood of having pregnancy back pain.
A challenge for most pregnant women is finding a comfortable position that allows an uninterrupted night’s sleep. The most common recommended sleep position during pregnancy is in a side lying position, preferably on the left side, as there is optimal blood flow to both the mother and baby. Positioning with pillows is the key to keeping your spine neutral in bed. Sleeping with a pillow between your knees keeps the legs separated in order to allow the pelvis to remain in its neutral position. In addition, some women also find that placing a small pillow under the abdomen gives additional support and comfort to the growing weight of the baby.
Another daily activity that can result in back pain during pregnancy is the way you get in or out of bed. When you attempt to move out from the bed, you should avoid the transition movement from supine (flat on your back) to a long sitting position (sitting with legs straight in front of you). This requires significant abdominal strength and places strain on your lower back. During pregnancy, the abdominals are stretched and weaker and thus increased the risk of resulting in pregnancy back pain. Thus, the appropriate method is to bring your legs over the side of the bed as you simultaneously push your torso up to a sitting position.
A good sitting posture is also important in preventing back pain during pregnancy. Without good support, the postural muscles have to work continuously to keep the spine neutral, which can be difficult and fatiguing. To do this, sit with your buttocks and lower back all the way to the back of the chair. If the chair is too deep for you, place a pillow behind your back to prop you forward. Your hips and knees should be positioned at approximately 90-degree angles and your feet should rest comfortably on the floor. In addition, crossing your legs when seated is not recommended as it can hinder circulation and aggravate varicose veins.
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