Pregnancy can stress spinal muscles, ligaments, and joints. Throughout pregnancy the body releases a hormone known as relaxin intended to “relax” muscles and ligaments of the pelvis in preparation for the birthing process. Subsequently, this can also result in hypermobility and instability of the sacro-iliac joints (joints of the pelvis). The body compensates with increased muscle tension throughout the low back, hips, and pelvis in order to secure the structure. This joint dysfunction and muscular tension can result in pain throughout these regions and even in the mid-back as well as conditions such as sciatica.
The goal of the Chiropractor is to evaluate, identify, and assess areas of misalignment and muscular imbalance throughout the spine and pelvis. Once discovered, the Chiropractor can apply a variety of treatment methods to maintain proper motion, increase strength and stability, and decrease pain episodes. These procedures include soft tissue muscle work, stretching/strengthening exercises, and gentle, specific adjusting. Each treatment is uniquely tailored to the individual and their specific condition.
Chiropractic evaluation and treatment during pregnancy is regarded as safe and effective for the common musculoskeletal symptoms that may manifest. Proper care can assure the patient a comfortable pregnancy as well as help facilitate an uncomplicated labor and delivery.
Approximately 50% of all pregnant woman experience back pain during their pregnancy and likewise during labor. Structural adaptation of the Spinal column and Sacro-iliac joints is a large contributory source to this. As the fetus develops during gestation, this weight is projected forward and the lumbar lordosis (extension of the low back) is increased. This results in increased stress on the facet joints and intervertebral discs along with Fascial Constraint (traction, pressure on soft tissue of the low back, abdomen, and pelvis).
In addition, increase in the circulation of the hormone relaxin throughout pregnancy, especially in the third trimester, brings about pelvic hypermobility and creates a decrease in spinal stabilization. All of these changes can result in the unpleasant symptoms of mid back pain, low back pain, hip pain, pelvic pain, and leg pain, tingling, and/or numbness to name a few.
Reports indicate that 75% of pregnant patients who receive chiropractic care during their pregnancies experience relief from pain. In addition, there has also been a significant correlation noted between chiropractic care throughout pregnancy and shorter, safer, and easier labor/delivery for both mother and baby. Ligament laxity brought on by pregnancy often makes adjusting comparatively easy, requiring only the gentlest of movements. As the pregnancy advances, the use of tables with abdominal pieces that can be lowered allow for continued, precise, safe, gentle, and comfortable adjustments of the pelvis.
Complete Care Chiropractic has a special table that accommodates our pregnant patients, throughout your entire pregnancy. We highly encourage you to be proactive with your treatment, and not wait for the symptoms to set in before seeking care.
Contact us today for more information, or to make an appointment.
*All information on this page is taken from Borggren, Cara L. J Chiropractic Medicine. 2007 (Mar 22) ; 6:70-74.