(480) 347-0382
5045 W. Baseline Rd Ste. 120
Laveen, AZ 85339
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The Laveen Chiropractor >Laveen Chiropractic News >    Chiropractic Care for Pregnant Women
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5045 W. Baseline Rd Ste. 120
Laveen, AZ
85339

(480) 347-0382

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Chiropractic Care for Pregnant Women

Great news! You have a baby on the way!

You may have found this out recently, or are coming close to delivery, but you're probably experiencing many physical changes and discomforts. Most women experience low-back pain at some point in their pregnancy. It's one of the most common complaints, in any stage. There are two main reasons for this: changes to both your hormones, and your center of gravity.

A lot of women are shocked by the amount of back pain they feel at the beginning of their pregnancy. Progesterone, a hormone produced in the early stages, is responsible for much of this low-back pain. Though this hormone is necessary for successful embryo implantation and gestation, it also softens the ligaments and discs in your back. Your upper body is left with less support in the process, which can cause muscle spasms or cramps in your lower back.

As your pregnancy develops, your body produces more of another hormone, called relaxin. As its name implies, relaxin aids in labor and delivery by relaxing the joints in the pelvis. This allows the baby enough room to pass through the birth canal. However, the other joints in your body can also begin to move abnormally as a result, leading to inflammation and pain.

Low-back pain may also result from the changes caused in pregnancy by your growing fetus. As your fetus increases in size and your uterus expands, your abdominal muscles are required to stretch far past their usual capacity to make way for the extra growth. The outcome of this is that your abdominal muscles become unable to help maintain proper body posture. Consequently, your lower back supports the extra weight from your torso.

Your center of gravity changes significantly during the course of the pregnancy. During the course of the average pregnancy, the typical woman gains 7-8 pounds of “baby,” 1-2 pounds of placenta, 2 pounds of amniotic fluid, and 2 pounds of uterine tissue! All this extra weight in the abdomen shifts the center of gravity forward, further straining the lower back.

Though back pain is a common occurrence in pregnant women, you shouldn’t take it lightly. Talk to your healthcare provider if you experience any low-back pain, to be confident that you are not suffering from an undiagnosed, deeper condition. If you experience dull, low backache, particularly that which goes in and out in rhythmic intervals, you might be in labor — women frequently experience “back labor,” or labor that is primarily felt in the back. Severe back pain, particularly concurrent with a fever, may indicate infection.

You have many routes to successfully take control of low-back pain in pregnancy:
  • Do exercises that focus on stretching, like pelvic tilts.
  • Practice good posture by standing tall and straight, taking your shoulders down and back, and curling your buttocks under.
  • Make an effort not to stand for long periods of time. If you absolutely must do so, you can elevate one foot on a box or low step stool.
  • Place a small pillow behind your lower back while you are sitting.
  • Steer clear of high-heeled shoes! You should wear flat shoes with enough arch support instead.
  • Get extra support from maternity pants that have a wide elastic band that sits under the belly.
  • Use maternity belts, or girdles can be found in healthcare and maternity stores specifically for expecting women. You may also find that your insurance company covers such a purchase when prescribed by your healthcare provider, so check with them.
  • When sleeping, put a pillow between your legs and sleep on your side. Try to sleep on a good, firm mattress that supports your back.
  • Give a maternity pillow a try. These pillows are designed specifically for pregnant women to take some strain off the back.
  • Remember the adage: lift with your legs and not with your back. Of course, try not to lift heavy things at all.
  • Instead of taking one large load, split up big carrying tasks into smaller parts.
  • Stay healthy and active — consult with your doctor and see if walking or swimming are a good idea for you.
  • See if you can find a trained pre-natal masseuse. You might discover that your partner or friend can provide adequate relief with gentle rubbing or kneading on the sore spots on your back.
  • Soothe your back with warm compresses by using a heating pad set to its most gentle point, taking a comfortably warm bath, or lowering yourself in the shower so that a stream of warm water makes contact with your lower back.
  • Check with your physician to see if chiropractic care is right for you. It is a safe and potentially beneficial option.
  • Look into acupuncture treatment — again, only after consulting your doctor.
  • Use pain relievers with acetaminophen, like Tylenol.

Regardless, there are no cure-alls for chronic back pain, whether you seek support at a chiropractic care clinic or not. Oftentimes, back pain is the result of discrete moments of strain or injury, and you may discover that it takes weeks to discern a change in your conditions, so you must remember to be patient.

Take care of yourself by being vigilant to the particular features and changes of your pregnancy — a good practice at any point in your life. This includes conditions that you might consider insignificant if you weren’t pregnant. First-time mothers, and perhaps even experienced women, will be shocked by the changes they experience. This is all perfectly natural. Just make sure to treat low-back pain like a real issue, and enjoy your time as an expectant mother!

(480) 347-0382