This is How Chiropractors Help During Pregnancy

Pregnancies are biological processes during which women go through many physiological changes. Many of these changes, which start off with hormonal activity, are quite obvious; for example, some expectant mothers will become very beautiful, something that we usually describe as “glowing.” There is also the obvious extension of abdominal tissue to accommodate the growing baby, but there are other major changes that are not necessarily visible but are certainly felt, and they are related to the transitional period during which the mother’s anatomy adapts to the ultimate stage of childbirth.

Over the course of a pregnancy, an anatomical metamorphosis can be expected, and this may result in pain related to musculoskeletal alignment that can impact joints, connecting tissue, and nerves. This is not a full transformation; it is a natural process of adaptation, and it is related to weight-bearing, posture, and the comfort of both mother and child. As the baby develops, the overall weight gain will pull forward by means of gravity. What is happening to the mother’s body is that her spinal structure surrounding soft tissue is going through an overuse factor. This is the cause of various discomforts that pregnant women feel, and they can be alleviated by means of improving their spinal alignment.

Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy

Unless they are avid yoga practitioners, chances are that all women will experience lower back pain while they are pregnant. Aches and pains will not be limited to the lower back; in many cases, they will radiate out towards the hips and even knees. According to the United States National Institutes of Health, at least 50% of pregnant women will experience such pains. To better understand this pain, let’s think about an untrained soldier who is suddenly given a heavy machine gun to carry; the weight of this weapon is going to throw the soldier off because if he has not prepared for it, and he will certainly feel pain from his shoulders all the way down to his back and below, at least until he is able to put the weapon down.

Other Discomforts During Pregnancy

Unlike soldiers getting accustomed to carrying heavy weapons, pregnant women cannot simply put the weight down and relax. In addition to lower back pain, they may also suffer from:

  • Pubic symphysis discomfort in the inner thighs.
  • Sciatic pain running from the gluteal region down their legs.
  • Pain around the rib cage.
  • Unexpected periods of numbness in the legs.

Many of these aches will not last very long; in fact, younger women who are in good shape may only feel them occasionally. These discomforts are natural because the ligaments are expanding in anticipation of opening the pelvic area for delivery. The problem is that modern life has made everyone more sedentary. Imagine a woman who works at an office where she must sit at a desk for hours; she will be a more likely candidate to suffer from lower back pain starting on her fourth month of pregnancy.

Preventing Musculoskeletal Issues During Pregnancy

Let’s say a young woman misses her period and gets a positive result on her home pregnancy test; if at this time she resolves to start a physical exercise regime that includes stretching, calisthenics, and some cardio activity, she may not have to worry about the aforementioned physical ailments because she has enough time to prepare. By getting in shape, the muscle tissue surrounding her joints and spine will strengthen enough to withstand the physiological changes. The good physical condition will benefit not only the mother but also the baby; the pregnancy will be more comfortable and the delivery is bound to be smoother.

How Chiropractic Sessions Help Pregnant Women

To a certain extent, chiropractic care is a form of physical therapy that is assisted by healthcare professionals. The goal of chiropractors is to help their patients improve their overall spinal alignment and the health of their joints. When our musculoskeletal systems are properly aligned, the stress that is passed on to the nervous system is reduced, thereby alleviating pain. Some obstetricians routinely recommend chiropractic treatment to their patients, particularly when they know that there is not enough time to get into good shape before delivery. All chiropractors are trained to provide prenatal and postnatal care, but some specialize in pelvic balance, and they even have special equipment for therapeutic sessions.

What Pregnant Women Can Expect From Chiropractic Care

The focus of chiropractic treatment during pregnancy is on the spinal and pelvic regions. The anatomical changes and the process of adapting to different postures can result in a  misaligned spine; moreover, there may be a strain on various joints. The ultimate goal is to promote a natural delivery with the least amount of pain. An ideal delivery is a situation whereby the mother has achieved adequate pelvic balance, which will enable the baby to pass with contractions alone and without having to exert pressure on the abdomen.

Chiropractors evaluate the spinal alignment of pregnant patients before deciding on the manipulation strategy to follow. In addition to spinal health, the condition of the joints and how they are handling the anatomical transformation may also require manipulation at the clinic; however, patients should also expect the prescription of certain exercises and stretching routines that are just as important as the sessions at the clinic. It is important to keep in mind that relieving pain associated with pregnancy is just one reason to visit the chiropractor; the ultimate priority will always be to help patients get to the delivery room with a strong probability of vertex, or natural, childbirth.

Pregnancy Contraindications for Chiropractic Care

Women who experience excruciating pelvic pain all of a sudden should skip their chiropractic visits and instead seek immediate obstetric care. The same goes for cramping or excessive bleeding. Internal pains that come from the abdomen and that do not feel as if they are related to the spine or ligaments should be immediately reported to the doctor who has been assigned to the pregnant patient. If the pelvic balance is difficult to restore after delivery, a chiropractor can certainly help as long as there are not any issues with bleeding.