It has been reported that about 50% of pregnant women experience back pain during their pregnancy and up to 70% of women experience back pain during labor. With stats like these, it only makes sense to seek some sort of preventative care, however, only about 21% of pregnant women with back pain seek consultation with their medical physicians.
Why so Much Pain?
Pain in pregnancy happens for two reasons. The first is that ligaments (the holding elements that hold our bones and joints together) are loosened by a pregnancy hormone called “Relaxin”. On the one hand, Relaxin is helpful because it allows the pelvis to expand in order to accommodate a growing baby, but it can also be harmful because it can sometimes create too much mobility in the joints (also known as “hypermobility”). The negative effects of Relaxin can be counteracted by strong spinal and core muscles. The second reason for pain is due to the fact that the center of gravity in the woman’s body is forced to shift forward due to the growing belly. As the curve in the low back is increased due to the forward projecting belly, it forces the mid-back to compensate and cause women to lean back. The neck in turn compensates by moving forward (head is therefore also forward) and this creates the “swayback” posture we often see in pregnant women. The loosening in the ligaments and the swayback posture result in extra stress on the joints and ultimately back pain. No wonder almost half of women experience back pain during their pregnancy!
Benefits of Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy-
- More comfortable pregnancy and delivery
- Reduced labour time
- Relief from back pain during pregnancy
What About Postpartum
Once the baby has been born, postpartum women have major physiological changes ahead of them as their body begins to return to where it was pre-pregnancy. As Relaxin leaves the body and the ligaments start to tighten up, it is important to make sure that the joints are properly aligned and moving well. Extra stressors on the body (such as breastfeeding, lack of sleep, carrying the baby and car seats) can also cause extra discomfort that can be alleviated with proper care and exercises.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care After Pregnancy: Post-Natal
- Hands on care help to restore normal joint mobility and nerve function which is very important in speeding up recovery and healing.
- Individualized strengthening exercises will help to improve core strength reducing the chances of pain returning
Why Include Exercise: Pre and Post-Natal
As women move through the many stages of pregnancy, both pre and post natal, the body goes through huge amounts of physical change as it accommodates for the growing fetus. This process is then reversed once the baby has been born. The core muscles, as well as the pelvic floor muscles, can weaken and it is important to strengthen these muscles in order to avoid chronic pain. Good posture, cardiovascular health, and strength are crucial in maintaining a healthy, and comfortable pregnancy. Drs. Maja and Cam can make individualized suggestions for proper strengthening exercises.
Common Conditions of Pregnancy that Respond to Chiropractic Care:
- Lower back pain
- Sacroiliac joint pain
- Sciatic pain
- Mid-back and neck pains
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Groin and leg pains
If you or someone close to has been experiencing any of these symptoms they could likely be a result the rapid changes occurring during pregnancy
At Edgar Family Chiropractic, we offer safe and gentle techniques to relax your back right up to the time of delivery. We have doctors who are passionate about making pregnancy as comfortable as possible for every woman and who are specifically certified in the Webster Technique. This technique is a gentle, safe technique that helps to bring balance to the pelvis and allows for optimal fetal positioning. It has also been shown to be effective with some breech presentations.