I don't mean to scare you, but sometimes you really don't know if it's real or not. This is my fourth and I *think* I'm in labor right now.
I've personally experienced ones that are 1)just tightening where my abdomen gets rock hard but it doesn't hurt,
2)tightening where my abdomen gets rock hard and the whole thing cramps up and i have to get down on my hands and knees,
and 3)waves of what feels like bad period cramping.
Sometimes they go on for an hor or two and the only reason I ignore them is because they don't progress in intensity ykwim?
So, I'm super curious to see what the real thing is!
I second the birth ball suggestion, that's supposed to be real good for wiggling baby down into position.
I'm so sorry about your back pain!
Someone mentioned (on another thread?) that the baby CAN go lower than zero station prior to labor. Is this true? If so, I'd get on the birth ball. Maybe I will switch out my desk chair for the birth ball tomorrow.