Back Pain During Pregnancy? Why You Need a Chiropractor When You’re Expecting
Pregnancy isn’t exactly fun for a woman’s body.
Of course, pregnancy is an incredible time of transformation for an expecting mom, but the physical changes in a woman’s body that accompany a baby on the way can be, well, less than incredible. From minor aches and pains to more severe complications like sciatica, the stress that pregnancy puts on a woman’s body can make a time that should be joyous a real pain.
A Cochrane review on pregnancy-related pain found that more than 70% of pregnant women suffer from low back pain and at least 20% experience pelvic pain. Another survey out of Connecticut reported that 68.6% had experienced substantial pain in their lower back region, and this had interfered significantly with important activities of daily living in at least a third.
Even worse, women who report dealing with low back pain during pregnancy are also much more likely to develop chronic, sometimes debilitating, post-partum back and pelvic issues.
So what causes the pain and stiffness most women deal with during pregnancy? Weight gain, posture and gait changes, and joint laxity all combine to create a “perfect storm” of biomechanical malfunctions. These changes and the accompanying pain can unfortunately start fairly early on in pregnancy.
For many women, back pain starts up around week 18, early in the second trimester. It usually worsens as the second trimester progresses and continues throughout the third trimester, up until you give birth.
Thankfully, what we do at Brookfield pregnancy chiropractor Ascent Chiropractic has been proven effective in helping to manage the pain caused by pregnancy – and even prevent it in the first place.
How Your Body Changes During Pregnancy
Most women gain between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy, mostly in the abdomen and breasts. This added weight tends to shift the center of gravity forward, leading to increased lumbar lordosis (lower back curve) and anterior pelvic tilt, along with tight lumbar extensor and hamstring musculature.
Add to this surging levels of the hormone relaxin, elevated 10-fold during pregnancy, which significantly increases the flexibility of all joints in the body. While this extra joint mobility is needed to deliver a baby, laxity (or sloppiness) isn’t exactly great for the the stability of weightbearing joints.
When weight gain combines with altered postural alignment and stability, you end up with the perfect receipe for back and joint pain.
Chiropractic Care Can Eliminate The Pain Fast
So when the pain sets in during the second (or even first) trimester of pregnancy, what do you do?
Most people experiencing mild to moderate joint pain will pop a few OTC painkillers and go on their way. However, many of the most commonly used drugs for back and neck pain – advil, ibuprofen, and aspirin – are off-limits for pregnant women, and OBGYNs generally recommend against taking any OTC medication while pregnant unless absolutely necessary.
Chiropractic, on the other hand, is exceedingly safe compared to other pain managment options and gets results fast. According to a review of evidence in the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, the average number of treatments needed to achieve substantial relief is just 1.8 adjustments for most moms-to-be.
Utilizing chiropractic care to correct abnormal biomechanics in combination with active rehab to strengthen and stabilize areas of weakness is the best way to eliminate pain, allowing pregnant women to avoid the need for medications. Suffering less pain and eliminating the need for potentially-dangerous medication is a win-win for expectant mothers.
The Need For Chiropractic Care Doesn’t End At Delivery
Persistent low back and pelvic problems are common post-partum as well, since these postural and hormonal changes require 3-5 months to return to normal. And there’s a whole new set of physical stresses introduced soon after delivery in the form of baby carrying (and “baby-wearing”) – which are often the source of the continuing low-back and pelvic pain that affects new mothers.
The Ascent Chiropractic Difference
Looking for a Brookfield chiropractor for care during pregnancy? At Ascent Chiropractic Dr. Grant Radermacher specializes in a gentle, hands-on, low-force adjusting technique that gives him the ability to treat everyone from moms-to-be to newborns to seniors. To make an appointment today, call us at 262-345-4166 or use our online scheduling app.