In this Article

    Upper Back Pain During Pregnancy

    Back Pain

    Upper Back Pain During Pregnancy

    Updated on 3 November 2023

    Upper back pain during pregnancy affects between 50 and 80 per cent of expectant mothers. Most pregnant women experience lower back pain, while some also experience sharp upper back pain during pregnancy and even pain in the neck, and/or shoulders.

    Although upper back pain in pregnancy occurs less often than lower back pain, it can and does happen. Doctors believe that the majority of expecting mothers describe this discomfort as being dull yet powerful, frequently severe enough to limit one's capacity to function. Additionally, it often gets worse throughout the day, especially for mothers who spend the entire day on their feet.

    When does upper back pain start in pregnancy?

    Although pregnancy upper back pain can happen at any moment, it is most common in women in their first and third trimesters. They may frequently experience sharp upper back pain during pregnancy. This pain can be primarily attributed to early pregnancy hormone surges and heightened stress during the second semester. Growing breast size and a shifting center of gravity are likely causes of upper back pain in the third trimester.

    Causes of upper back pain during pregnancy

    Hormonal changes and stress are only two of the numerous possible causes of upper back pain in pregnancy. For instance, the hormone relaxin gets the body ready for pregnancy and childbirth, but it can also have some undesirable side effects including physical aches and pains. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also result in a loosening of the ligaments and muscular tone, making them work harder and consequently generating additional pain.

    Some of the pain may also be caused by a larger breast mass. Increased breast width can add weight to the chest, alter posture, and increase muscular activity and fatigue along the upper back.

    Finally, pregnancy upper back pain or spasms can be brought on by uterine changes and weight gain. The center of gravity shifts as the uterus expands higher and outward. "Pregnancy-related lordosis," or inward curvature of the spine develops. Along with the weight changes that occur with pregnancy, this alteration may also cause muscle spasms, which may be very painful.

    How to get rid of upper back pain during pregnancy?

    Although pain in the upper back during pregnancy is quite common, there are ways to get relief.

    • Back discomfort can be relieved by acupuncture, doing core-strengthening exercises, and staying active.

    • Gaining a healthy amount of weight is also important.

    • If the upper back pain in pregnancy is caused by increasing breast mass, supportive shoes and a good bra can significantly improve symptoms.

    • To ease the symptoms, some specialists also advise prenatal massage.

    • Additionally, applying warm or cold compresses could be useful.

    • If the ache persists, painkillers may be the last resort.

    • Regular stretching, maintaining an excellent posture, and avoiding lifting heavy objects are all recommended to prevent upper back pain.

    • Raising the chest and arching the back helps reduce tension and stress.

    When to visit a doctor if you experience upper back pain while pregnant?

    Pregnancy upper back pain is a significant cause of suffering for expectant mothers. But normally, it is not a huge cause of concern. Unless upper back pain during pregnancy considerably hinders one's day-to-day activities, it is not alarming.

    Of greater concern, and in rare cases, certain more serious conditions can emerge with back pain, like liver problems or a chest infection. Premature labor can also be a fallout of sharp upper back pain during pregnancy. It is thus always important to make sure to contact an obstetrician and gynecologist. If the upper back pain is persistent and/or is greatly affecting the mother's well-being, it should be immediately discussed with a doctor.

    Additionally, if they suffer any pain in the upper right shoulder, they should call a doctor right away, particularly if they have a history of hypertension, preeclampsia, or other associated symptoms such as vision problems or unexpected swelling.

    Upper back pain during pregnancy is thus not a serious condition, although it can be quite uncomfortable and distressing. Sufficient rest and following the doctor's orders become necessary to relieve one of the suffering and to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

    Is this helpful?



    Written by

    sakshi prasad

    Get baby's diet chart, and growth tips

    Download Mylo today!
    Download Mylo App


    our most recent articles

    Mylo Logo

    Start Exploring

    About Us

    At Mylo, we help young parents raise happy and healthy families with our innovative new-age solutions:

    • Mylo Care: Effective and science-backed personal care and wellness solutions for a joyful you.
    • Mylo Baby: Science-backed, gentle and effective personal care & hygiene range for your little one.
    • Mylo Community: Trusted and empathetic community of 10mn+ parents and experts.