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Why Does My Back Hurt Postpartum?

Postpartum back pain is much more common than you may realize. When you think about everything that happens to your body during pregnancy and birth, it’s not especially surprising that back pain often continues for weeks or even months after your baby is born.

At Neuropathy & Pain Centers of Texas, our experts help patients who have pain due to a wide range of underlying conditions and causes, including some who have postpartum back pain. We help you understand why your back hurts, as well as what you can do about it.

Reasons for postpartum back pain

During your pregnancy, you gained weight, your abdominal muscles were stretched, and your center of gravity and posture changed. Your ligaments loosened, and your hormone levels also changed dramatically. Then, when your baby was born, those things changed rapidly again. 

It’s really not surprising that so many women have postpartum back pain.

Your obvious question: How long will it hurt? The answer depends on lots of different things. For example, if your birth was by cesarean section (C-section), it takes longer to recover. Your muscles are weaker longer because you’re not moving around as much.

The amount of weight you gain during your pregnancy and your overall fitness level before pregnancy also play roles in how long your back is likely to hurt. 

Although most of your hormone levels and your joints may be nearing pre-pregnancy levels 6-8 weeks after birth, all of these other factors can mean that your back continues to hurt. 

Recovering from postpartum back pain

You don’t have to live with postpartum back pain, though. We can help pinpoint the cause of your pain, whether it has to do with mechanics, muscle strength, or something else altogether. 

You can make some simple changes, too, that are likely to help. For example, if you’re breastfeeding, be careful to avoid hunching over. Similarly, when you talk to your baby, be aware of your posture and protect your back. 

Pay close attention to how you bend and lift things and make sure to protect your back. For example, if you’re picking up a basket of laundry, bend your knees first, instead of simply bending over and using your back predominantly. 

Use a footrest when sitting. Propping your feet up so they’re slightly elevated takes the pressure off your back — and it feels nice, too!

Talk to your doctor about doing some gentle postpartum exercises. You want to be careful, especially if you had a C-section, but with good medical advice you can begin strengthening the muscles that support your back.

When you come to Neuropathy & Pain Centers of Texas in Fort Worth, Arlington, Waco, and Wichita Falls, Texas, our experts offer advice that’s tailored to your individual needs, depending on the underlying cause of your pain, how long you’ve had it, and your overall health and fitness.

We may suggest chiropractic care, massage, targeted exercises, or other therapies to help you recover so your back pain dissipates and you can focus on your new baby. Request an  appointment here on our website or call the office nearest you today.

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