6 Mos Pregnant - Vicious Lower Back Pain Out of Nowhere. What to Do?

Updated on February 09, 2010
T.O. asks from Chicago, IL
15 answers

I am 6 months pregnant (with my second) and last week out of nowhere I started having horrible lower back pain. It feels like something is out of whack with my tailbone. It was so bad this weekend I was howling in pain with tears running down my face anytime I moved. Scared the tar out of my 3 year old. My husband was ready to take me to the emergency room.
It's on my right side and hurts when I walk, sit, twist or put any weight on my right leg. Going from a laying position to standing is comical to watch me try to do (if it weren't for the tears and screaming) because i need to roll to one side and then swing the left leg over without twisting too much and if i twist just a little too much shooting, sharp pains. Going from sitting to standing, same thing. Even standing to sitting. I guess any kind of movement. Suffice it to say, i'm in bad shape and don't know how i'm going to manage getting to work, etc. I've been icing it which helped a bit yesterday. There's no way i'll make it if this lasts for the rest of the pregnancy.
I have my 6 mos appointment tomorrow and will talk to my OB about it, but did this happen to anyone else? What did you do about it. It didn't happen with my first. Worst thing that happened with her was that my left leg went mostly numb for the last 3 months or so. This is excruciating!

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answers from Dallas on

well, I had similar pain, but mine was my SI joint.
I say a chiropractor and or physical therapist.
MY SI joint pain went away almost instantly when my daughter was born. Then came back 10 mos later.
good luck.

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answers from Indianapolis on

I had something similar - sciatica. I ended up in physical therapy the last few months of my first pregnancy. The good news is, it didn't happen the 2nd time!

For the sciatica, the easiest exercise/stretch was to sit down, put the ankle of the side that hurts more onto the other knee. While sitting, slowly raise the leg with the knee on it (just move your foot to tippie toe position (while still sitting), and slowly push down on the thigh of the other leg. Do this as a stretch, NOT to any sort of pain. It worked for me to stretch a bit, which then allowed me to walk.

Definitely talk to your doc about it - and the best of luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

It's your hips. Get to a chiropractor. (OB is not going to do much for you at all, just a part of being pregnant) Now pregnant with my third I had to go in a little earlier then my first two I have been seeing one for a month now and i am 26 weeks. It will take an adjustment or two before you really start to feel the relief but it is so worth it. I am now down to once a week adjustment. Still have a little pain but I don't look like I am 84 years old when I get up from sitting on the couch!! I didn't have this issue much with my first, had it pretty bad with my second and the worst with this one. Everything is all stretched out now!! Hope you can get in and start feeling better it is hard to have this pain when watching after another child!!



answers from Chicago on

I am 6 months pregnant and the back pain has started for me too. I went straight to a chiropractor (check to see if insurance covers-mine covers 100%-i'm lucky!) I have been going for the last 3 weeks and getting prenatal massages-covered by insurance at my chiro- I can't believe I didn't do this when it first started hurting-the massages have really helped a lot!

good luck!



answers from Portland on

Hi, congratulations on baby #2!
This sounds like it could be sciatica. It could be that the baby is shifted and sitting on the sciatic nerve, or as your pelvis begins to rotate outward and your joints relax - you may have a tense muscle impinging the nerve.
I'm a licensed massage therapist and certified in Mother Massage. A well trained therapist - either TRULY certified in pregnancy massage or with advance training in pelvic issues should be able to help. Also a hands on osteopathic physician should be too.

I was originally a clinical massage therapist and have progressed into working with pregnant and postpartum clients, b/c I realized how needed a clinically minded massage therapist who specialized in prenatal work was.

If this seems like the right path for you - let me know and I can give you more feedback on how to locate a well qualified therapist and even what type of work they should and should not do with you.
Unfortunately, not all therapists are equal. I live in maine - a state that doesn't even require national certification to be licensed in massage therapy. I know many massage therapists here are comfortable working on pregnant clients, but have no true training or certification - and will advertise that they do pregnancy massage. This is unethical and dangerous, so just be sure to find someone who is good.

Hope you find some relief!

p.s. - i saw the recommendation that it could be from a diastiais, but this usually causes pain post partum and it's not usually acute...hope that's helpful...


answers from Dallas on

I recently had that and thought it was sciatica so I went to a chiropractor (at 6-7 months pg) and it turned out to be my hip was enflamed. Something about scar tissue that built up after my first child's deliver and now it's irritated because the bones are moving again. Anyway, she did some deep (and painful) tissue massage, told me to do some stretches and I was 90% better the next day. I started sleeping on my other side or on my back with a pillow under my knees and anytime I feel it coming back I stretch that muscle and it's gone. I totally recommend a chiropractor - they're great for LOTS of things!! I hope you're feeling better soon!



answers from Chicago on

Go to a chiropractor. There are quite a few who specifically treat women in pregnancy. It and maybe some ice, will help.



answers from Chicago on

go to the chiropractor! if you are that uncomfortable your body is most likely out of line and that makes it much diffcult for the baby to turn head down. fix it now before you are more uncomfortable and baby ends up breech



answers from Washington DC on

Oh you are bringing back memories for me!....had this same problem in all 3 pregnancies , even now I cannot sit on hard surfaces like floors for more than 5 mins without being in a lot of pain. During my second pregnancy I saw a physical therapist , she gave me a bunch of things to try but 1 in particluar worked. Take a large towel (bath or beach sized) fold it in half length ways then roll each end up and leave a gap of around 2 inches in the center , put the towel (with the rolls facing you) onto your chair (a firm chair like a desk or dining chair) and sit so that your butt cheeks are on each of the rolls and your tailbone is in line with the gap. Take a towel to work and leave at your desk. The pain is caused when your tailbone touches the surface of what you are sitting on , so having your butt cheeks on each rolls stops the tailbone touching.....sounds strange but it is really comfortable and it helped me alot , I also found that I had more pain when baby was laying in an awkward posistion , this could be the case for you and once baby moved you hopefully won't be in as much pain.



answers from Kansas City on

Been there, don't want that again... It does sound like the sciatic nerve is being pinched. This happened to me with my first and is starting here and there with my current pregnancy. I went to physical therapy the first time and the exercises helped. One that my therapist recommended I do daily was to lay on my back with my feet on the floor, spread apart comfortably, knees bent and arms to your sides. Then raise your rear off the ground toward the ceiling. Sometimes this would be painful so I would stop, but the more I did it, the better off I was. It's strengthening those muscles around your nerves. I've been told time and time again that during pregnancy your hormones make your muscles relax - sometimes too much, and this is why you need to strengthen them. My top thigh went numb as well the first time around - same issue. I also see a chiropractor, which I would recommend to you as well. Don't let your OB just tell you that's normal and leave it at that. If you have the time, I would recommend physical therapy. Best wishes for a pain free back!



answers from Chicago on

I would think it is sciatica or diastasis recti. Ask your doctor specifically about both. I hope it eases up for you!



answers from Peoria on

Alot of good responses. I hope at least they give you a little comfort knowing you aren't alone. Unfortunately there really isn't much you can do but I would suggest a chiropractor. I didn't have sciatica but I had severe pain in my shoulder that went all the way down my arm that hurt severely when i would sit down. My OB pretty much said suck it up. I was about ready to go to a chiropractor when it disappeared as magically as it started?? Just remember that it will be all wortj it when you hold your beautiful baby. Good Luck!



answers from St. Cloud on


Sounds a LOT like what happened to me with my first. Sharp shooting pain in my lower right side of my back. Could barely walk..... My husband took me to the ER and all they did was shoot me up with MORPHINE! I HIGHLY DISCOURAGE THAT! They didn't tell us what it was until AFTER they gave it to me. I was FURIOUS! And it didn't even help....... Then he said he would do surgery and put a stint in something to see if that would help because he didn't know what else to do...... GRRRRR.

So, after being couch ridden for 3 days my moms' secretary told me to go to the chiropractor. I noticed a HUGE difference immediately. By the 3rd adjustment I was completely back to normal.




answers from Austin on

I had the same thing happen. It was sciatica. Your o.b. will be able to put your fears at rest, but know that it does get better.



answers from Nashville on

Does it kind of shoot down your buttcheek (sorry) and into the back of your leg? That is most likely sciatica. I had it with mine starting at 9 weeks, he just starting out laying on the sciatic nerve funny I guess. Mine still bothers me, it's awful. The excercise that helped me was doing a yoga stretch where you get on your hands and knees and arch your back up real high so that your shoulders are curved down and tailbone tucked in. Then release and let your stomach hang down and your face turned up. Like a cat arching its back, and then the opposite. This will help shift the weight of the baby forward off the nerve, I think. I had to do it a couple times a day, like 5 or 10 reps each time. There are some other stretches too, look up stretches for sciatica online. My doctor also said she would send me a physical therapist if it got too bad, but we couldn't afford it, so I just made do with the stretches and suffered through it. There were times when it would seize up and I couldn't walk though. I hope yours gets better soon.

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