Pregnancy can be a very special and magical time during an expecting woman’s life. However, pregnancy can also be a time filled with annoying back pain that can make those nine months very uncomfortable if not treated.
CAUSES OF PAIN DURING PREGNANCY
Think of a growing baby in a woman’s belly like carrying around a backpack on your front that you keep adding weight to. Even if the backpack doesn’t weight much at first, it soon becomes uncomfortable with inevitable back pain as your muscles get fatigued, your center of gravity changes and the body starts to compensate with the additional weight.
As the baby develops, the uterus enlarges to accommodate the rapid growth. If your pelvis is unbalanced during pregnancy, the ligaments that hold your uterus in place can become torqued and twisted, a condition known as intrauterine constraint. This constraint limits the space of the developing baby and prevents the baby from getting into the best possible position for birth. This can slow labor, add pain and distress to mom and baby, and lead to unnecessary interventions, such as Pitocin, episiotomies, vacuum extraction, and even C-sections.
Dr. Schroeder has been trained in the Webster Technique, which is a chiropractic analysis technique and adjustment for the pregnant mother. The Webster Technique aims to improve the bio-mechanical function of the pelvis and decrease intrauterine constraint during pregnancy. This allows for a more comfortable pregnancy, and often a faster and safer birth for mom and baby.
Another cause of back pain during pregnancy is weakened abdominal and pelvic floor muscles. The core, or your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles, are main stabilizers for the lower back. A primary function of these muscles is to provide stability and protection for the pelvis and spine. The bigger the belly size, the more the abdominal muscles stretch, leaving them weakened and less effective to help stabilize the lower back. During delivery, the pelvic floor muscles get stretched out and traumatized, leaving them weak and dysfunctional and putting you at risk for low back pain. This problem continues into a woman’s postpartum period and beyond, which makes safely strengthening the core and pelvic floor of utmost importance.
Pregnancy can also produce upper back and neck pain due to a growing belly shifting a woman’s center of gravity forward, increased breast size and stress on the lower back. Upper back and neck pain are also common during the postpartum period, as the new mom is often looking down at her baby to bond, breastfeed and simply hold her baby.
SAFETY OF CHIROPRACTIC CARE DURING PREGNANCY
Safety of mom and baby is ALWAYS the #1 priority. Chiropractic care during pregnancy is considered safe and effective and is used by women all over the world. It not only helps alleviate neck and back pain, but it has been shown to help make the birthing process easier. We make special accommodations for our pregnant mamas, including special pillows to allow mom to lie on her stomach and still be comfortable. Treatments are gentle and most women find them to be a crucial part of their pregnancy.
WHAT INVOLVES A PRENATAL CHIROPRACTIC TREATMENT?
A prenatal chiropractic treatment for pregnancy related back pain with Dr. Schroeder involves an adjustment of the pelvis, upper back and neck. It also involves soft tissue work to the muscles supporting the growing belly and lower back, as well as exercises to add stability to the core and pelvic floor muscles. Typically pregnant patients get treated on a regular basis until they give birth to keep their pelvis balanced and help them feel as comfortable as possible throughout their pregnancy.
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE BACK PAIN- SHOULD I STILL GET ADJUSTED DURING PREGNANCY?
Dr. Schroeder HIGHLY recommends that even if you are not experiencing pregnancy related back pain that you still get periodic chirorpactic treatments starting in the second trimester to ensure that your labor and delivery go as smoothly as possible. Prenatal chiropractic care helps to ensure the baby has adequate room to be properly positioned head down, helps to prevent intrauterine constraint and gives you the best chance for a more comfortable pregnancy and safer birth.
In summary, pregnancy is a very special period of time in a woman’s life and it should be treated as such with proper chiropractic care. Unfortunately back pain is common during and after pregnancy, but with proper help it can be managed.
If you or someone you know is experiencing pregnancy or postpartum related back pain we are happy to help. Simply book your appointment online today. Your first visit includes a thorough consultation to establish how we can best help you, a physical examination to get to the root cause of your problem and treatment.
“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” -Benjamin Franklin
Author: Dr. Courtenay Schroeder
Owner and Doctor of Chiropractic at ProMotion Chiropractic
Pineville area Charlotte Chiropractor
Helping you move better so you can feel better.
The information and reference guides in this website are intended solely for informational purposes only to promote consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. The contents of this website are not intended to offer personal medical advice, diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any questions or advice on any exercise, medication, nutrition or supplementation.