Are you currently pregnant or thinking about having a baby soon? If you answered yes to either question, hopefully you are also seeing a chiropractor. A woman’s body goes through countless changes while pregnant, not only hormonally, but also posturally and bio-mechanically. Low back pain is almost imminent during pregnancy; chiropractic care offers a non-invasive, safe form of care to help alleviate pain and make having a baby easier.
When pregnant, your body goes through changes to prepare to carry and nourish your baby. Your center of gravity shifts forward as the baby grows, the pelvis tilts anteriorly causing the muscles in the lower back to become shortened and tightened, while the hamstrings and gluteal muscles become stretched and weakened. The curves in the cervical and lumbar regions are increased, placing extra stress in the lower back and neck. The round ligaments attach to the uterus, are stretched and placed under a lot of stress while pregnant, and can be the cause of significant amounts of pain while pregnant, both in the abdomen and lower back. The psoas, tensor fascia lata (TFL), quadratus lumborum, and piriformis muscles are also placed under new loads when pregnant, causing pain, tightness and imbalances. Hormonal changes throughout pregnancy cause ligaments to become looser, and therefore causing the joints to become less stable, especially the sacroiliac joints and pubic symphysis. Chiropractors use gentle, soft tissue techniques to help relax the tight ligaments and eliminate or reduce pain.
Safe pain relief
Diversified chiropractic adjustments are safe for mom and baby throughout the duration of the pregnancy. Special tables and pillows are used so pregnant women can lie in the prone (face down) position while being treated. Chiropractic adjustments help put motion into joints that are not moving as well as they should be; the same goes for the joint in the front of the pelvis, which is placed under an enormous amount of stress throughout pregnancy. Symphysis dysfunction and diastasis can happen during pregnancy; referred pain from the broad and round ligaments can cause intense pain often mimicking diastasis. Soft tissue techniques can be applied to relax tension in the round ligaments. Wedge-shaped blocks can also be used to help the pelvis return to a normal position and ease pain. Chiropractic care offers a variety of safe forms for pain relief without the use of invasive procedures or prescription drugs. Chiropractic appointments should be scheduled at the same intervals as OB/GYN appointments, or more frequently if necessary.