- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Chiropractic Visits Proven to Ease Pregnancy Pain & Discomfort
Half of All Pregnant Women Suffer Back Pain
A report from the Canadian Chiropractic Association found that at least half of pregnant women experience back pain and of those, 10 percent describe the discomfort as severe enough to disrupt their daily routines.
The cause of pregnancy back pain is no secret, either. The average weight gain during pregnancy is more than 30 pounds, which puts significant stress on the back, knees, ankles, and feet. To accommodate the growing fetus, the core abdominal muscles stretch and become unable to stabilize the woman’s posture.
The pain also stems from both chemical and physical bodily changes. In the third trimester, levels of the hormone relaxin increase by 10 times, and this is another factor. Relaxin loosens the joints to enable the pelvis to make room for a woman’s enlarging uterus. These loose joints put extra stress on back and pelvic muscles to keep the woman upright and balanced.
Women do not have to simply grin and bear it. The Canadian Chiropractic Association urges moms-to-be to try the following strategies to minimize back pain during pregnancy. The most important is to perform exercises that can help increase back muscle support. Obviously, cross fit is not an option, but low-impact cardio activities like swimming, walking, and riding a stationary bike can help relieve pain and maintain fitness.
Help with Getting Better Sleep for Women Who are Pregnant
Pregnant women are encouraged to sleep on their left side to reduce the pressure of the uterus on the large blood vessels in the abdomen in order to improve blood flow for both mother and baby.
Some women find that placing a pillow between their knees takes pressure off the lower back when sleeping on their side or putting a pillow under their knees if sleeping on their back. Use a lumbar support pillow when sitting at home or work. If you work at a desk, make sure to take frequent breaks, about every hour, to walk. During the day, it can help to take short breaks to elevate your feet too. Getting rest is extremely important because it both replenishes your energy and enables your back to relax.
One of the more effective weapons against pregnancy back pain is regular chiropractic treatments. And the advantages don’t stop with reduced back pain. A recent study of 170 expectant mothers found that those who received chiropractic care reported less pain both during pregnancy and during labor.
Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy is Known to Lead to Easier & Quicker Deliveries
Chiropractor Angela Pascoe, who specializes in pregnancy care, notes, “Becoming a parent is an exciting life experience, especially if you’re expecting your first child. During pregnancy, as your baby and belly grows, you’re filled with wishes, hopes, and dreams. Your thoughts are filled with promises, and your emotions are heightened. Such feelings are natural, for pregnancy and the ‘fourth trimester’ of caring for a new baby are often a time of great change. Knowing what to expect can make the coming changes easier to handle and enjoy. Chiropractic care involves the care of the body’s support structures, with a focus on the spine.”
Pascoe adds, “Chiropractic can be very helpful with situations such as sciatica, breech-positioned babies, posterior babies, and after your baby is born, a chiropractor could help in the case of colic. I believe that it is extremely important to both you and your baby that you receive regular chiropractic care through your entire pregnancy. I don’t say that just because I’m a chiropractor. The ones who receive regular chiropractic care seem to have easier and quicker deliveries.”
Avoiding Negative Effects On Your Baby Later in Life
Women have long been advised to avoid non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as ibuprofen during pregnancy and instead reach for acetaminophen (Tylenol). But there is now evidence that the active ingredient in Tylenol, acetaminophen, may have negative effects on the baby later in life. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found women who took acetaminophen while pregnant had a 37 percent higher risk of having a child who would later be diagnosed with ADHD.
Until a definitive study is conducted, play it safe, and instead of taking pain medication, stick with exercise, rest, lumbar support, and regular chiropractic treatments to manage pregnancy back pain.