Many women experience back pain with pregnancy, some with severe discomfort making everyday activities a challenge. The prevalence of low back pain during pregnancy has been reported as up to 90% of pregnant women and may continue into the postpartum period with up to 75% of women reporting symptoms six months following birth and approximately 8-20% still suffering from pregnancy-related pain two to three years after giving birth.
There can be many causes and presentations of pregnancy related pain which include:
- Low back pain
- Pelvic Girdle pain
- Leg cramps
- Hip pain
- Foot pain
- Round ligament pain
- Neck Pain
Why am I in pain?
A women goes through many hormonal and physical changes throughout pregnancy, with an average weight gain of 25-30lbs. The weight gain puts increased stress on your back, hips, knees and feet, and creates biomechanical and postural changes resulting in discomfort. Changes in abdominal musculature to accommodate the growing fetus can result in decreased stability for the low back. “Relaxin” is a hormone released during pregnancy (increased during the 12th week) that can cause ligament and joint laxity in preparation for birth. If joints and ligaments don’t feel stable, muscles may become tense and brace around them to provide additional support.
Why choose chiropractic care?
Unfortunately, many healthcare providers consider pregnancy-related back pain to be a normal occurrence, and patients often receive little or no treatment suggestions to manage their condition. Research has shown that chiropractic care has been effective in decreasing pain and alleviating tension in muscles and ligaments surrounding the pelvis and low back. Treatment usually involves adjustments to the low back, sacrum and pelvis, as well as muscle and ligament manual therapy. Short, gentle massage of the round ligament can also relieve tension along the belly and low back.
Is chiropractic care safe during pregnancy?
Chiropractors are well trained to treat pregnant and postpartum patients. Appropriate gentle care during pregnancy is widely considered safe. A special pregnancy pillow or drop-away table is commonly used to accommodate your growing belly and provide comfort when receiving treatment. Be sure to consult with your chiropractor about specific prenatal care that is tailored to your body, your needs, and the changes you are experiencing.