How Can Pregnant Women Safely Relieve Their Low Back Pain?

I have not done one of these in a while and I miss it.

So this morning, before the kids got up, I started digging around Pubmed. Pubmed is a monstrous database of research and I went looking to see what was new on back pain.

Here is what I found:

Back Pain and Pregnancy

I am past the pregnancy phase of life. (If you have kids, you understand what I mean.)

But I know when my wife was pregnant one of the big issues she had was back pain. While digging in Pubmed, I came across an article that just came out on what pregnant women can do about back pain.

Here were some of their suggestions:

  • If you are pregnant and having to take days off because of your back pain, think about going to water aerobics or physical therapy. Doing so has been shown to decrease people’s days away from work.
  • I thought this was an interesting statement, “Acetaminophen is safe for use in pregnancy but lacks evidence of efficacy.” Something to think about but check with your doctor first.
  • Other things that you can do to decrease your back pain while pregnant are: sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees, wear low-heeled shoes, and when sitting use a pillow behind your back.

Where to get more information: Clemente-Fuentes RJ, Pickett H, Carney M. (2013). Clinical Inquiry: How can pregnant women safely relieve low-back pain? J Fam Pract. 2013 May;62(5):260-8.

Back Pain and ED

Well, I will comment briefly on this one but using medication may help with one problem but may lead to another problem.

This was a fascinating study. They looked at pharmaceutical records of men to see how many had opioids for back pain and medication for erectile dysfunction.

Few clips from the research:

  • “Patients prescribed daily opioid doses of 120 mg of morphine-equivalents or more had greater use of medication for erectile dysfunction or testosterone replacement than patients without opioid use.”
  •  “Males who received medications for erectile dysfunction or testosterone replacement (n = 909) were significantly older than those who did not and had greater comorbidity, depression, smoking, and use of sedative-hypnotics.”

You can get more information here: Deyo RA, Smith DH, Johnson ES, Tillotson CJ, Donovan M, Yang X, Petrik A, Morasco BJ, Dobscha SK. (2013). Prescription opioids for back pain and use of medications for erectile dysfunction. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2013 May 15;38(11):909-15. DOI: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e3182830482.

Does Height or Weight Lead to Back Pain in Kids?

In this paper, they looked at the body mass index (BMI) of thousands of adolescents.

What they found was:

  • BMI was strongly linked to back pain in males and females
  • Plus height was strongly associated with back pain in both female and male adolescents

If your adolescent or adolescent client has back pain, it could be linked to their BMI or their height if they are in the taller group of their class. You can work on the BMI side of things but it is not much you can do about height.

You can get more information here: Hershkovich O, Friedlander A, Gordon B, Arzi H, Derazne E, Tzur D, Shamis A, Afek A. (2013). Associations of Body Mass Index and Body Height With Low Back Pain in 829,791 Adolescents. Am J Epidemiol. 2013 May 19 [Epub ahead of print]

That is it for today.

Have a great weekend.

Rick Kaselj, MS

14-Day Hormone Balancing