Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre

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What is Low Back Pain During Pregnancy

Lower back pain is frequently experienced by pregnant women with more than two‐thirds of pregnant women experience low‐back pain and almost one‐fifth experience pelvic pain. The two conditions can occur separately or together and typically increase with advancing pregnancy, interfering with work, daily activities and sleep [1]. 

How Does Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) view Low Back Pain During Pregnancy

Pregnancy and childbirth weaken the back in two ways; in a purely physical way, they put a strain on the back muscles; in an energetic sense, they may weaken Kidney-Qi, which consequently fails to strengthen the back muscles.

However, pregnancy and childbirth are not by themselves a cause of disease. They only become that in women of weak constitution, in those who do not take care or rest after childbirth, or in those who have several children in close succession. In fact, if a woman takes particular care after childbirth, having adequate rest and a good, nourishing diet, a weak constitution may even be strengthened [2].

Studies showed acupuncture performed on women with low back pain had positive health effects. Furthermore, according to the pain assessments following treatment, there was a statistically significant reduction in low back pain among the pregnant women from as early as the second acupuncture session, with a gradual improvement with the advancement of the number of sessions. There were no serious adverse events related to acupuncture [3].

Acupuncture is commonly used to alleviate lower back pain during pregnancy. Many pregnant women experience discomfort in the lower back due to the changes in their body’s posture and the added weight they carry.

Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy

Acupuncture, when performed by a qualified and experienced practitioner, can be a safe and effective option for managing this pain.

Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body. These needles stimulate the body’s energy flow, or Qi, and promote the body’s natural healing response. When it comes to lower back pain during pregnancy, acupuncture can help by:

  1. Relieving muscle tension: Acupuncture can help relax the muscles in the lower back, reducing pain and stiffness.

  2. Reducing inflammation: Acupuncture may help decrease inflammation in the affected area, which can contribute to pain relief.

  3. Releasing endorphins: The insertion of acupuncture needles can stimulate the release of endorphins, which are natural pain-relieving chemicals produced by the body.

  4. Improving circulation: Acupuncture can enhance blood circulation to the lower back, promoting healing and reducing pain.

At Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre we are ready to help. 
Simply call (02) 4573 0784 to discuss what approach is best for you.

Chinese herbal medicine can be used to complement acupuncture and provide additional relief for women experiencing lower back pain during pregnancy. However, it’s important to note that herbal remedies should only be used under the guidance of a qualified and experienced TCM practitioner. They can assess your specific needs, consider your unique situation, and prescribe appropriate herbs at safe dosages. Some commonly used Chinese herbs that may benefit women with low back pain in pregnancy:

  1. Du Zhong (Eucommia bark): Du Zhong is known for its ability to strengthen the bones, muscles, and ligaments. It is often used to relieve lower back pain and strengthen the lower back during pregnancy.

  2. Dang Gui (Chinese Angelica root): Dang Gui is a popular herb for women’s health and is often used to tonify and nourish blood. It may help alleviate lower back pain by promoting circulation and reducing inflammation.

  3. Yan Hu Suo (Corydalis Rhizome): Yan Hu Suo is commonly used in Chinese medicine for pain relief. It may help alleviate lower back pain during pregnancy by acting as a natural analgesic.

  4. Bai Shao (White Peony root): Bai Shao is known for its muscle-relaxing properties and can help relieve muscle tension and spasms in the lower back.

  5. Xiang Fu (Cyperus rhizome): Xiang Fu is often used to regulate Qi (energy) and promote blood circulation. It may be beneficial for women experiencing lower back pain caused by Qi stagnation.

What You Can Do to Help Yourself Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy

There are several thing that may help to relieve NSLBP including:

  1. Rest, but not total bed rest. Move about but do not strain the back.
  2. Hot packs placed on the painful area will promote blood flow to the area and may lessen the pain. If the pain is particularly strong or application of heat irritates or increases the pain, use a cold pack instead. It will help to reduce inflammation, swelling and pain in this circumstance
  3. Seek professional help from a healthcare professional if you are unable to relieve the pain using the methods described above. Acupuncture and/or massage are a great place to start.
  4. Download “Self-Help Guide to Reduce Back Pain and Increase Your Enjoyment of Life” HERE

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Page last updated: 24th June 2023

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