Up to 70% of pregnant women will experience some form of back pain during the pregnancy. There are lots of reasons for this and some are less obvious than others. One of the obvious reasons for pregnancy back pain is the increased frontal weight being carried for 9 months. Your back muscles and spine support this weight continuously and it can result in back pain. The less obvious reason is any already weak muscles in the back will be further strained during this time and conditions not originally related to pregnancy will be aggravated.
In addition, during pregnancy there are many body changes happening that can lead to pregnancy back pain. For example, pregnancy hormones lesson the firmness of joints and ligaments. Also, pregnant women often don’t maintain proper posture because of the additional weight they carry. It’s harder to keep the spine erect and there’s a tendency to bend slightly at the waist or hips. Your baby is precious weight, but it’s weight that can play havoc with a mother’s back.
There are ways to deal with pregnancy back pain though. The first thing you can do is easy – be aware of your posture at all times. You should try to keep your spine in its correct position during the 9 months and that may prevent a lot of the back pain. Also, there are some simple guidelines you can follow that will minimize the stress on your spine.
• Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees
• Don’t try to bend at the waist; always squat and use your legs for lifting
• Use ice (for acute pain) or heating pads (for dull ache) when you have back pain
• Wear an abdomen supporting garment that takes some of the load off your spine
• Wear proper shoes which means no heels (they aren’t safe to walk in during pregnancy anyway)
You should also do exercises to prevent or reduce pregnancy back pain. Yoga exercises for pregnant women have become very popular, because they are no-impact activities. They are designed to strengthen muscles and improve flexibility, but also to reduce stress. Stress can make back pain much worse.
Other low impact exercises can reduce pregnancy back pain also. Regular walking is excellent providing both muscle strengthening and aerobic benefits. Another excellent exercise for pregnancy back pain is the pelvic tilt. This is where you lay on the floor with your knees bent. Then you flatten your abdomen against the floor and release. You can also do knee bends, side stretches and back arches.
The key to minimizing pregnancy back pain is developing strong back muscles ready to handle the additional weight in the abdomen. The weight of the baby stretches ligaments being softened by the pregnancy hormones. No wonder so many pregnant women experience back pain. If you are planning on becoming pregnant, one of the best gifts you can give yourself is a strong back. You can begin back exercises before you ever find out you’re pregnant.
Is chiropractic care during pregnancy safe?
pregnant woman, her hands folded on his stomach heart
There are no known contraindications to chiropractic care throughout pregnancy. All chiropractors are trained to work with women who are pregnant.
What are the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy?
Chiropractic care during pregnancy can provide benefits for women who are pregnant.
Why should I have chiropractic care during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, there are several physiological and endocrinological changes that occur in preparation for creating the environment for the developing baby.
The following changes can result in a misaligned spine or joints:
• Protruding abdomen and increased back curve
• Pelvic changes
• Postural adaptations
Establishing pelvic balance and alignment is another reason to obtain chiropractic care during pregnancy.
When the pelvis is misaligned it may reduce the amount of room available for the developing baby.
A misaligned pelvis may also make it difficult for the baby to get into the best possible position for delivery.
This can affect the mother’s ability to have a natural, non-invasive birth.
Breach and posterior positions can interfere with the natural ease of labor and lead to interventions such as C –sections.
The nervous system is the master communication system to all the body systems including the reproductive system. Keeping the spine aligned helps the entire body work more effectively.
Potential benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy include:
• Maintaining a healthier pregnancy
• Reducing the time of labor and delivery
• Relieving back, neck or joint pain
• Preventing a potential cesarean delivery
• Controlling symptoms of nausea