Pregnant with Back Pain? How Chiropractic can help you.
As a pregnant mom, you may have concerns about seeing a Chiropractor for your Back Pain. Better Backs chats to Dr Sarah Somerville to find out how Chiropractic can help during pregnancy.
BY: Better Backs: Your Bedfordview Chiropractor Date 30th April 2018
If you are reading this, chances are good that you are a pregnant mom and you are suffering with major lower back pain. Childbirth is really painful, but the back pain during pregnancy is far worse (so I have heard). It is common for moms, old and new, to pop in to our Chiropractic offices in Bedfordview, complaining of lower back pain. The first and last trimester seem to be the worst. To understand why back pain is so common, especially in the last trimester of pregnancy, Better Backs asked Dr Sarah Somerville, who is a Chiropractor, some questions about pregnancy and how a Chiropractor can help them.
Why do you get back pain when you are pregnant?
Your body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy. Your body starts to release certain hormones that loosen your ligaments to make space for your baby to grow in your belly. It also is preparing your body for the birth of your baby. The pelvis starts to open up and as your belly starts to grow in size, the added weight puts strain on the joints of the spine, as it is not able to support you as easily, because the ligaments are starting to loosen there too. As a result, muscles in the back and buttocks areas start to tighten up and can cause pain in the lower back. This excessive strain on the lower back may also affect your upper back, causing headaches, upper back or shoulder pain.
How can Chiropractic help your back pain?
Chiropractic treatment is very gentle and can help to relieve some of your symptoms during pregnancy, without using medication. Therefore Chiropractic is a safe and effective form of treatment to manage pain and discomfort and does not cause harm to your baby. Chiropractic focuses on loosening your muscle tension, getting the joints to move correctly and decreases inflammation and improves your posture.
Is there anything that you should avoid doing while pregnant? Is there anything that can make your back pain worse?
Absolutely! When lifting heavy objects, you add the amount of strain on your lower back, so great care should be taken when picking up things. (Why not try and leave it up to the dads?!) Try and avoid picking things up from a bent over position and rather try to do it from a squatting position. Always try to be aware of your posture. Wear shoes that are comfortable and supportive. Avoid shoes that will increase the curve in your spine (such as your favourite pair of heels). As your belly starts to grow in size, it may become uncomfortable to sleep. Try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees instead, as it will take the pressure off your lower back. Try and sleep with loose, comfortable clothing at night. If you wear clothing that is too tight, it may affect the circulation to your muscles and it may cause muscle cramps. So keep those water bottles filled and close by to help rehydrate you during the nights.
Is Chiropractic safe during pregnancy? Are there any risk factors to you or the baby?
Yes, Chiropractic treatment is safe during pregnancy. A thorough examination ensures that there are no risks involved. Should the Chiropractor pick up any potential risks or problems, they will refer you to the appropriate practitioner. When you are pregnant, treatment is very conservative. The loose ligaments, caused by the hormones that are being released, make it easier to move the joints that are causing the problem. Therefore only a very gentle force is required to get the joints to move safely. Gentle adjustments do not pose a risk to your baby. In fact getting regular Chiropractic care during your pregnancy allows the pelvis to open correctly and provides sufficient space to move and turn as needed.
Is there anything that you can do to help ease the pain during pregnancy that will not harm the baby? I have heard that certain medications are a risk for both mother and child, why?
Some medications are contraindicated to take during pregnancy because they may pose a risk to your pregnancy or they may affect the development of your baby. It is important to always discuss medications with your doctor before taking them, even over the counter medication!
There are some alternative and natural methods of relieving pain. Heat packs can be used to help relieve muscular aches and pains. Tissue salts are safe to use when you are pregnant and have a variety of uses in addition to pain relief. Homeopathic remedies are often safe to use, however you should consult a Homeopath before taking anything over the counter.
Exercise is very beneficial to you and your baby during pregnancy and can help decrease the discomfort of lower back pain. However, it is important to not over exert yourself. Get professional advice before starting to exercise or join an exercise group that designs programmes specifically for pregnancy.
Being a parent (especially a first time mom) can be daunting. You are never really prepared for the changes that your body goes through and for the changes that your life will take once the little one arrives. There is so much free information about pregnancy and many experts have opinions about what to do and what not to do. This makes it difficult to make an informed decision when it comes to the health and well being to you and your family.
You are a unique person... even your DNA is different from your biological parents and siblings, so why should your pain management be the same as for everyone else? As your Bedfordview Chiropractor, our goal is to help you find the right path for the management of your pain and discomfort. If you are not sure if Chiropractic can even help you, please click below to find out how Dr Somerville can perhaps be of assistance.