For many, having children is one of the greatest treasures that life has to offer. For mothers, this can be especially true, as women who are pregnant will carry a piece of life with them for months and undergo significant changes to the body.
Part of this little miracle of life, however, are some hurdles that can result in pain and discomfort for the mother-to-be. From morning sickness and hormonal changes to pain in the back and hips, most women will experience one or more challenging pregnancy symptom(s). Studies show that more than 50% of pregnant women will experience some form of lower back pain.
Thankfully, chiropractic care during pregnancy can provide a great way to alleviate many of the physical burdens associated with pregnancy and a swifter road to recovery.
How Does Pregnancy Affect the Spine and Pelvis?
The nine months of pregnancy are a time when the mother’s body will undergo a lot of stress and many physical changes. One aspect of a mother’s health that is often overlooked is how pregnancy affects the spine and the pelvis.
Spinal changes are common during pregnancy due to a few factors such as:
- Added weight
- Change in center of gravity
- Shifts and changes in muscles and ligaments
Because of these alterations to the body, the shape of the spine can also change; this benefits the mother by allowing the body to center the weight of the fetus over the pelvis, reducing fatigue in the muscles in the lumbar region.
In general, the spine’s curvature will increase by up to 24% in the thoracic region and 41% in the lumbar region by the 32nd week of pregnancy.
Pregnancy also alters the orientation of the pelvis. Hormones released during pregnancy cause an increase in elasticity in the sacroiliac joints located in the pelvis. This permits the pelvis to open up and allows for easier delivery of the baby.
The pelvis will change in other ways as well. Typically, women can expect to experience some form of anterior pelvic tilt as the pelvis shifts to accentuate the changes in spinal curvature.
While having many biological benefits, these changes also open the mother up to certain health issues, including:
- Excess pressure on the sacroiliac (SI) joints and sacroiliac ligaments: The shifting of weight and position of both the pelvis and changes in the spine’s curvature can lead to excessive amounts of pressure applied to the SI joints that connect the spine and pelvis. It can also affect the sacroiliac ligaments. This pressure can result in pain and discomfort for the mother.
- Extension of the rib cage and thoracic spine: Because of the change in spinal curvature, the rib cage may extend outwards, which can not only make breathing difficult for the mother but can also strain the muscles in the mid-back, causing pain.
- Pelvic injuries due to stability issues: Since the sacroiliac joints are softened, weight is gained, and the way weight is distributed changes, stability is more difficult, making women more susceptible to pelvic injuries.
It should be noted that women with some form of postural distortion are much more likely to develop these complications during pregnancy. This is because posture issues can exacerbate the excess pressure that parts of the spine and pelvis will experience during pregnancy. These postural distortions include:
- Kyphosis (hunching posture)
- Leg asymmetry (one leg slightly shorter than the other)
Luckily, for future moms, chiropractic care during pregnancy can help alleviate many of these issues and mitigate the possibility of long-term health problems due to pregnancy.
What Are the Benefits of Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy?
While pregnancy poses a few obstacles for women, chiropractic care can help make the journey much more bearable. Regular visits to a chiropractor during pregnancy can help keep your spine aligned and reduce the stress placed on the joints, muscles, and ligaments in the back and pelvis.
Chiropractors can check for things like pelvic rotations or whether or not there is too much anterior or posterior tilt. They can also verify whether or not the lumbar curve is maintaining a healthy shape, which is also important because the fetus sits along the lumbar curve.
Chiropractic care during pregnancy can result in reduced pain and discomfort but also offers other benefits as well, including:
- Relief from pain and discomfort
- Improved pelvic balance
- Improved sleep quality
- Boosts to the immune system
- The potential to reduce nausea
- The potential to reduce the time of labor and delivery
- The potential to lower the risk of c-section
- Reducing the need to use pain medication
- Faster recovery from pregnancy
Moreover, chiropractic care can put mothers on the path to a swifter road to recovery. It can take the muscles and ligaments in the spine and pelvis more than a year postpartum to naturally recover and return to their normal position.
Chiropractic care can expedite this process and may lower the risk of injury or complications. This is crucial because mothers frequently report chronic postpartum back pain.
Chiropractic BioPhysics® Makes Pregnancy Easier
Pregnancy is supposed to be a joyous occasion for mothers and future mothers; pain and discomfort don’t have to nullify that. That’s why the team at PostureWorks uses Chiropractic BioPhysics®, the gold standard in chiropractic care, to help make the journey easier and more balanced.
With Chiropractic BioPhysics®, we assess your medical history to identify any issues with your spinal curvature and pelvic alignment. We then use that information to develop a safe, customized, and non-invasive treatment plan involving neuromuscular education and postural exercises to help restore and maintain a healthy posture prenatal and postnatal.
Your body will enjoy more balance and relief from pain while also being better prepared for life after pregnancy.
Contact us today for more information on chiropractic care during pregnancy or to schedule your appointment with PostureWorks.
Chiropractic BioPhysics®, or CBP, is a deeply researched and results-oriented corrective care technique. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health and optimal function. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is conservative, painless, and non-invasive.