Backaches During Pregnancy

Backaches during pregnancy are common symptoms of pregnancy that may be experienced at any time during your pregnancy.  Unfortunately, backaches are just something that you should anticipate experiencing during your pregnancy.

What causes backaches during pregnancy?

Backaches during your pregnancy are first caused by your hormones which trigger your pelvis area to begin changing and preparing for delivery.  There are a few factors that work together to create most backaches.  Your round ligaments become more elastic allowing your pelvis to expand.  Your posture tends to change to adjust for the shifts in your pelvis.  The uterus becomes heavier in the second trimester changing your center of gravity, and you abdominal muscles tend to separate.  Collectively, this all contributes to back strain which can lead to backaches.

When do backaches occur during pregnancy?

Lower backaches are actually one of the early signs of pregnancy.  However, backaches may be experienced at any time during or throughout the entire pregnancy.  Backaches generally are more prominent during the later half of pregnancy and usually appear during the 5th to 7th month.

How frequently do backaches occur during pregnancy?

Most women experience backaches during their pregnancy at least to some degree.  Some describe it as a general discomfort whereas for others it is a prominent pain that even makes it hard to function.  Of course, the pain level can be experienced at any level in between.  About 50% of women report actual backache pain.


Cunningham, F., MD; Leveno, K., MD; Bloom, S., MD; Hauth, J., MD; Gilstrap, L., MD; and Wenstrom, K., MD, Williams Obstetrics 22nd ed., McGraw-Hill, New York, 2005.

Duff, P., MD, Edwards, R., MD, Davis, J., MD, Rhoton-Vlasak, A., MD, Obstetrics and Gynecology: Just the Facts, McGraw-Hill, New York, 2004.

Scott, J., MD; Gibbs, R., MD; Karlan, B., MD; and Haney, A., MD, Danforth’s Obstetrics and Gynecology, 9th ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, 2003.

Crombleholme, W., MD, “Obstetrics,” Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2003, 42nd ed., McGraw-Hill, New York, 2003.

DeCherney, A., MD, and Nathan, L., MD, Current Obstetric & Gynecologic Diagnosis & Treatment, 9th; McGraw-Hill, New York, 2003.

Harms, R., MD, Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy, HarperResource, New York, 2004.

Bankowski, B. MD., Hearne, A. MD, Lambrou, N. MD, Fox, H. MD, and Wallach, E. MD, The Johns Hopkins Manual of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 2nd ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, 2002.

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Planning Your Pregnancy and Birth, 3rd ed., ACOG, Washington DC, 2000.

Beck, W., MD, Obstetrics and Gynecology, B.I. Waverly Pvt., Ltd., New Delhi, 1997.

Johnson, R., MD, Mayo Clinic Book of Pregnancy & Baby’s First Year, William Morrow and Company, Inc., New York, 1994.