No. 5: Try heat, cold or massage

Use a heating pad to apply heat to your back, or try ice packs. Rubbing your back also might help.

No. 6: Include physical activity in your daily routine

Regular physical activity can keep your back strong and might actually relieve back pain during pregnancy. With your health care provider's OK, try gentle activities — such as walking or water exercise.

You might also stretch your lower back. Rest on your hands and knees with your head in line with your back. Pull in your stomach, rounding your back slightly. Hold for several seconds, then relax your stomach and back — keeping your back as flat as possible. Gradually work up to 10 repetitions. Ask your health care provider about other stretching exercises, too.

No. 7: Consider complementary therapies

Some research suggests that acupuncture can help relieve back pain during pregnancy. Chiropractic treatment seems to provide comfort for some women as well. If you're considering a complementary therapy, discuss the options with your health care provider.

Know when to consult your health care provider

If you have severe back pain during pregnancy or back pain that lasts more than two weeks, talk to your health care provider. He or she might recommend medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or other treatments.

Keep in mind that back pain during pregnancy might be a sign of preterm labor. Also, back pain during pregnancy that's accompanied by vaginal bleeding, fever or burning during urination could be a sign of an underlying problem that needs prompt attention. If you're concerned about your back pain, contact your health care provider right away.

April 10, 2013 See more In-depth