Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is one of (or maybe the) hardest things a woman can put her body through. First comes feeling tired all the time and can’t get comfortable enough to ever rest. Then the aches and pains start to set in in your lower back and hips. Don’t forget to mention the pressure on every internal organ and joint in your body… you just can’t take it anymore!
We know we may sound like a broken record when we say that there is almost always a therapy or exercise or lifestyle change with the assistance of some chiropractic care that can help with any ache, pain, or trouble spot that you might have or be dealing with… but it’s true! The same can go with your pregnancy! When you are pregnant, it doesn’t matter if you are 4 weeks pregnant, or 40 weeks pregnant, a chiropractic spinal adjustment and a little bit of therapy massage can help give you at least a little bit of comfort! The even better part that I know most, if not all, of you will love is that chiropractic care throughout your pregnancy can help with a shorter delivery time! It has been proven that those adjustments can prepare your body for the big day when your little bundle of joy wants to make its way out and into this world.
But first comes the first 40 weeks that your body continually is making physical changes that are likely to affect the spine will begin to occur during the second trimester. As the uterus grows to make room for your baby, the lumbar curve of the spine will increase to account for the stomach protruding further forward. The pelvis will also start to shift position as the normally tough pelvic ligaments soften to help prepare for delivery. Many pregnant women end up leaning somewhat backward as they stand or walk. This can then place pressure on the pelvis, the sacroiliac joint and the ligaments, causing additional pain. All these changes are not isolated to the back and pelvis, but will also affect the knees, ankles and feet. All these shifts in the normal position of the back can also affect posture, which may lead to sciatic nerve pain and edema or water retention in your ankles and feet.
When your joints and spine are properly aligned through those routine adjustments, including your hips, it will ease the delivery. When you think of all the ways you have to twist and turn your body just to get comfortable, sitting or lying different ways so you don’t get sore… your body is going to be all sorts of twisted and kinked up! The best recommended position for pregnant women is to not sleep on their back or stomach, but instead to sleep on their left side. They should be in a fetal position, with the knees tucked up and a pillow between their legs. Unfortunately, this can be difficult for those who are used to sleeping on their back or stomach, as well as since hormonal changes with pregnancy can often cause night sweats, making it difficult to sleep. The most obvious targets for chiropractic adjustments will be the lumbar spine and the sacroiliac joint, in order to shift the vertebrae back into alignment, which will help relieve lower back pain. Adjustments to these joints may also relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve and help patients sleep more soundly at night. Correcting your posture will better the circulation to your joints and take more pressure off your nerves.
Not only can adjustments help you with feeling more comfortable, but we also have a number of therapy machines in the office that can assist with your comfort. One of my personal favorites, and a “fan favorite” for a lot of our patients is our Intersegmental Traction Table, or you may know it as our “rolly-table”. It is a table that you lay on, and this rolling pin goes up and down your spine, elongating it and massaging it at the same time. The low back/tailbone area is one of the most painful areas on a pregnant body, as that is where the majority of the weight and pressure likes to sit, and this table just stretches and massages all that tension and pain out! It’s amazing.
We also have acupuncture, which can target those pressure points. There are multiple pressure points we can target for each area of pain, whether that is your back, hips, knees, or even your feet… Not only can acupuncture treat your physical ailments, it can also assist with relieving your emotional or mental pains as well. It focuses on fixing the imbalances and blockages in your internal pathways, which are stimulated by the hair-thin needles during an acupuncture session. This can help with morning sickness, pregnancy symptoms, migraines, or even just plain fatigue. It can help alleviate the stress.. even if you just want an excuse to lay in a dimly lighted room for some peace and quiet. J Acupuncture is also known to induce labor in some cases. People feel a variety of sensations when being pricked by these acupuncture needles, but for the most part, you can’t even feel it. Just sit back, relax, and let that energy flow!
We have a number of other exercises and stretches that we also can recommend and show you in order to get you some comfort at home. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have about pregnancy and chiropractic care, so feel free to shoot us a message, email, call or just stop by and ask us! Like any therapy or medicine, results vary with everyone. The best thing you can do for you, and for your baby, is to give yourself the best chance of being pain free, comfortable, and happy! You may be feeling a lot of emotions, happening all at the same time, ranging from excitement about your new miracle to the family, to being nervous or scared about the health of your baby, and concern about the delivery itself. We are here to help in any way that we can. Pregnancy is one of the most incredible things that any woman can do, and we are truly in awe of all of you mother’s out there! Let us know how we can help!