Chiropractic Care and Pregnancy
During pregnancy it is common for the expectant mother to experience pain and discomfort as her body adapts to the many changes taking place as a result of the growing baby/fetus within her body. These include the major hormonal changes and the biomechanical changes as the body deals with the extra weight and the inevitable changes in posture.
These changes can affect the expectant mother’s spine and nervous system which may result in compromises to the joints, connective tissue, ligaments, nerves, posture and pelvic stability.
At the BACKBONE WELLNESS Chiropractic Clinic we monitor these events within your changing body with special emphasis on your spine and nervous system. Ensuring that the spine, pelvis and nervous system remain in optimal condition. Our private treatment rooms (no open plan spaces) have different adjusting tables that can be customised to make room for your growing tummy and make treatment as comfortable as possible. We also have a change room for your convenience.
Discomfort and Pains
The majority of expecting mums that attend our clinic come in with some sort of low back and/or pelvis pain. This experience can be anything from an uncomfortable niggle, to sharp and shooting pain that travels down the leg. It is common that over 50% of women will experience back and pelvis pain during or after their pregnancy and up to 70% during labour. 1,2
You may be experiencing the following:
- Pain in the low back, front or back of pelvis
- Pain that travels down the leg
- Pain made worse by movement
- Deep & stabbing pain
- Discomfort getting in and out of the car or walking up the stairs
- Pain transferring your weight from one foot to the other
- Trouble sleeping
- Difficulty lifting
Causes of discomfort
As your baby grows, your weight and posture alter and ligaments relax in preparation for birth. These processes place extra strain and tension on the joints and ligaments of the spine and pelvis, often resulting in pain and discomfort.
Common causes of discomfort:
- Weight changes
- Altered posture
- Relaxation of ligaments in preparation for birth
- Decreased spinal & pelvic stability
- Internal pressure from baby taking up more space
- Previous episodes of low back pain
- Pre-existing dysfunction or instability
What may happen if you don't do anything
Women often tell us that their pain will stop them from doing simple daily activities, like lifting grocery bags or putting on their shoes and disrupts their sleep due to discomfort.
If the cause of the pain is not addressed, it may get worse and cause more disruption to your life. This may result in more physical stress to your body.
Clinical studies have shown that women are 3 times more likely to experience intense back pain during labour if they have had back pain during their pregnancy. The same research suggested that chiropractic treatment can significantly decrease the incidence of back pain during labour. 1, 3
Chiropractic care can help
Restore Balance to your Body
We want to make your pregnancy and birth experience more comfortable and enjoyable. We do this by restoring balance to your body; by finding the cause of your problem and correcting it. The techniques we utilise are the most modern, painless and are suited to any stage of pregnancy.
Reduce Pain & Aches
Emerging research is supporting what we often see in our clinic, that chiropractic care throughout your pregnancy may be able to decrease pain that is of musculoskeletal origin 4 and continuing chiropractic care after the birth of your baby may also be beneficial in assisting proper restoration of normal body's spinal biomechanics to help you recover.
Women who receive regular Chiropractic treatments have demonstrated significant shorter labours. A study by the National Institute of Health found that first time mums who received regular chiropractic care experienced on average, a 24% shorter labour time and for the second or third births the reduction in labour time was 39% shorter when under Chiropractic care 5. Vaginal delivery is immensely dependant on the alignment and relationship between the mother’s pelvis, uterus and the baby. If an expectant mum has misalignments within the pelvis, it can interfere with effective labour and delivery, thus prolonging it.
1. Borggren CL. Pregnancy and Chiropractic: a narrative review of the literature. J Chiropr Med. 2007; 6(2):70-74.
2. Greenwood CJ, Stainton C. Back Pain/Discomfort in Pregnancy: Invisible and Forgotten. J Perinat Educ. 2001; 10(1):1-12.
3. Diakow PR, Gadsby TA, Gadsby JB, Gleddie JG, Leprich DJ, Scales AM. Back pain during pregnancy and labor. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1991; 14(2):116-8.
4. Peterson CK, Muhlemann D, Humphreys BK. Outcomes of pregnant patients with low back pain undergoing chiropractic treatment: a prospective cohort study with short term, medium term and 1 year follow-up. Chirop & Manual Ther. 2014; 22(15).
5. The effects of chiropractic treatment on pregnancy and labor: a comprehensive study. Fallon J. Proceedings of the world chiropractic congress. 1991; 24-31.