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Low-Back Pain

Low-back pain is very common during pregnancy. Often the pain is centered at the sacroiliac joint, which is the place in the lower back where the sacrum bone joins with the hip. You have two of these joints, one on each side. If the tendons of the joint are pushed, pulled, or yanked too much in the wrong direction, they can become inflamed, causing pain around the hip bone and lower back.

Sacroiliac pain is common during pregnancy for several reasons. Because of its location, the sacroiliac joint receives pressure from the growing uterus; that pressure may irritate it. Also your growing belly may be pulling you forward as you walk or sit, changing your posture and putting unaccustomed pressure on the sacroiliac joint. If you started pregnancy overweight or have gained excess weight since conceiving, you're at higher risk for sacroiliac pain.

Take acetaminophen for the pain. Apply ice, alternating with heat; limit each to 20 minutes and always end with ice. In some cases walking helps relieve the pain; in other cases, rest is best. Do what feels right for you. This condition usually fixes itself, but when it interferes with your life, call your doctor to discuss other treatment options.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

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