Up to two-thirds of women have reported some sort of back pain during pregnancy. Back pain is a common complaint during pregnancy for several reasons.
First, the center of gravity of the woman changes. As the baby grows, the body weight shifts forward to accommodate the expanding uterus. This makes it harder to find the spine’s normal, neutral position and can cause postural changes that put tension on the lower back. In addition, the low back curve is increased by the downward and forward pull of the belly causing more strain on the lower back joints.
Secondly, as the pregnancy progresses a hormone called relaxin becomes more prevalent within the mother’s body. Relaxin causes the ligaments, especially those within the lower back and pelvis to relax, stretch, and expand. We want these hormone levels to rise because it helps with the natural birth process, but it leaves the joints with less stability and more vulnerability in the pelvis and lower back area. If you have experienced previous back pain or injury, the looser ligaments can exacerbate an existing problem area or aggravate any pelvis imbalance.
Finally, postural compensation patterns can develop. The increasing growth in the abdominal area needs to be balanced out. The upper body will try to compensate by the rolling the shoulders forward and a loss of curvature in the neck. These alterations in posture can lead to headaches and tension in the upper back.
The good news… While these issues may be unavoidable, there is help! Chiropractic care is an excellent way to have your back pain evaluated and treated. There are no known contraindications of chiropractic spinal and pelvic adjustments throughout pregnancy, other than those affecting the non-pregnant patient. The American Pregnancy Association supports chiropractic care and recognizes the safety and benefits it brings to the mother and child. Chiropractic care is a safe, non-invasive, and drug free way to deal with back pain.
Common back problems during pregnancy include: low back pain, sciatica, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, pelvic bone pain, and headaches. Chiropractors can help with these types of issues.
Should I get adjusted if I don’t have any pain?
Chiropractic care provides many benefits to both the growing baby and mother. Adjustments prepare the body for an easier pregnancy and birth by creating a state of balance in pelvic bony structures, muscles, and ligaments. They improve the mother’s pelvic function thereby decreasing the potential for unnecessary intervention. Adjustments balance the pelvis which allows the baby greater room to develop without restricting the formation of its skull, spine, and other skeletal structures. With the pelvis in proper alignment, it offers the baby the room to move into the best possible position for birth. Anyone can have their spine evaluated for misalignment to assist with an easier pregnancy and birth process. It is never too late to have your spine and pelvis checked!