Most pregnant women experience some degree of back pain, thanks to the extra weight and the shifting center of gravity.
Constipation, to which pregnant women are especially vulnerable, makes back pain
worse. See the recommendations for Constipation listed on pages 167–171.
When back pain strikes, try drinking a glass or two of water immediately. If the pain is caused by dehydration, water will help.
Super Seven Prescriptions—Back Pain
Super Prescription #1 Calcium and magnesium
Take a complex of these two minerals that contains 500 mg of calcium and 250 mg of magnesium. Take it twice daily. These minerals reduce muscle spasms.
Super Prescriptions #2–#7 (see the Homeopathic remedies listed next)
Pick the remedy that best matches your symptoms in this section. For acute back pain, take a 30C potency four times daily. For chronic back pain, take it twice daily for two weeks to see if there are any positive results. After you notice improvement, stop taking the remedy, unless symptoms return. Consultation with a homeopathic practitioner is advised.
Aesculus Hippocastanum is for lower back or sacral pain that is worse when you are sitting. The pain often radiates into the right hip.
Arnica (Arnica montana) is for an injury that leaves your back feeling bruised and sore and when you have difﬁculty moving around.
Bryonia (Bryonia alba) is for lower back pain and stiffness that feel worse with any movement and in cold, dry weather and that feel better when the area is rubbed.
Calcarea Carbonica is for chronic lower back pain and weakness in overweight individuals who also are chilly. Symptoms are worse in the cold and the dampness.
Cimicifuga Racemosa is for a stiff, aching neck and back. Muscles feel bruised but feel better with warmth. Also, it’s used for menstrual cramps, with lower back pain radiating to the thighs.
Ignatia (Ignatia amara) is for back spasms and cramping, as the result of emo- tional stress.
Magnesia Phosphorica is for muscle spasms in the back that feel better from warmth.
Nux Vomica is for back spasms and cramping, especially of the lower back. The person may also have constipation and may feel chilly and irritable. Symptoms are worse from cold and better with warmth.
Rhus Toxicodendron is for a stiff lower back that is worse in the cold and the damp and better with movement. It is speciﬁc for sprained back muscles or ligaments.
Ruta Graveolens is for pain near the neck or in the lower back. The area of the injury feels lame, and the pain is worse at night. It’s useful for back sprains and strains.
A pregnancy massage can provide temporary but welcome relief from back pain. Make an appointment with a therapist who is experienced in working with pregnant women.
Other Bodywork Recommendations
Acupressure and acupuncture can be helpful, when performed by an experienced practitioner.
Work the base of the heel, which corresponds to the spine, the hips, and the tail- bone.
Floating in water makes you feel weightless and takes the pressure off your back (at least, for the duration of your swim). You don’t need much in the way of special equip- ment, just a pool or, in good weather, a lake or other body of clean water.
Alternating hot and cold towels over the back or the use of a hot pack for ﬁve min- utes or less can be helpful.
• Prenatal yoga or stretching classes can be effective.
• At night, support your back and belly with pillows.
• When you’re pregnant, the last thing you may think about is your posture.
Make an extra effort to check that your back is straight, even when you’re sitting down.
• Use common sense: don’t wear high heels, and don’t lift heavy objects.