Pregnancy, Back Pain, Weight Gain, Hormones: Relationships between Them

Dr. Mark Borigini Health Guide
  • Pregnancy can result in back pain, which can linger for a time after the delivery. Three possible causes for the back pain might include:

    1. Extra weight is obvious. This is putting more strain on the back, and often women keep some of this extra weight even after the delivery, putting a chronic strain on the back.

    2. The center of gravity in a pregnant woman moves forward as the uterus grows in size. Unconsciously or not, the woman will alter her gait and posture to adjust to these changes. This puts unusual strain on back muscles and ligaments, and can cause continued pain after pregnancy if these alterations in gait and posture are not corrected.
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    3. The hormone relaxin prepares the pelvis for delivery of the baby by softening the ligaments between the bones of the pelvis, causing loosening so to speak. This can cause lower back pain upon walking, and sometimes more intense pain when stairs must be navigated.

    The persistence of the weight gain would probably prolong the changes that occur in numbers 2 and 3 above. You should speak to your OB/GYN to review this further and see if she can recommend you to the appropriate specialist to address your specific situation.

    Important: We hope you find this general medical and health information useful, but this Q&A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. For all personal medical and health matters, including decisions about diagnoses, medications and other treatment options, you should always consult your doctor. See full Disclaimer.
Published On: October 12, 2006