- Common Causes of Back Pain During Pregnancy
- Chiropractic Treatments
- Spinal Adjustments
- Soft Tissue Work
- Stretches and Exercises
- Proper Body Mechanics and Postural Practices
- Special Orthopedic Support
- Proper Posture During Pregnancy
Common Causes of Back Pain During Pregnancy
Back pain is the most common soft tissue complaint pregnant women generally encounter. There are a number of reasons for this, including:
- increased ligament laxity due to the release of the hormone relaxin
- increase in weight gain and forward weight bearing
- poor body mechanics and postural habits
- ribcage enlargement increasing rib subluxations
- nerve and vascular impingement from mechanical pressure
The above factors increase the frequency of vertebral subluxations, muscular spasms, soft tissue pain and altered spinal biomechanics – all of which respond exceptionally well to regular chiropractic care.
Spinal adjustments are safe, natural treatments chiropractors use to successfully manage soft tissue abnormalities in pregnancy. The adjustments are used to treat muscular, ligamentous, joint and neurological problems of the neck, back, pelvis and extremities. They help alleviate pain originating from the spinal and pelvic regions, reduce muscle spasm and tightness, correct biomechanical stresses, and keep the nervous system free from irritation and impingement. Chiropractic spinal adjustments are a safe and successful adjunct to any prenatal care program.
Soft Tissue Work
Muscles frequently become fatigued, irritated, spasmed and achy during pregnancy for the reasons previously mentioned. Chiropractic doctors utilize various soft tissue techniques such as trigger point work, soft tissue mobilization and massage to keep muscles relaxed, healthy, and functioning optimally.
Stretches and Exercises
Therapeutic stretches and exercises are an excellent way to keep the pregnant body flexible, strong and mobile. Chiropractic doctors utilize these therapies to assist the muscles in coping with the increased demands caused by the sudden weight gain and change in weight distribution – which fatigues and irritates unconditioned muscles. Keeping the pregnant body strong and flexible increases comfort and improves the likelihood of having a successful pregnancy.
Proper Body Mechanics and Postural Practices
Sudden weight gain and altered weight distribution also lead to a number of improper postural and biomechanical habits. Improper postural and mechanical habits further increase spinal and pelvic stress which increase tissue irritation and produce frequent bouts of pain and discomfort. Chiropractors focus on teaching proper postural habits and body mechanics to minimize stress on the body, minimize the risk of injury and keep mom functioning optimally and without discomfort throughout her pregnancy. To see the proper standing posture, click here or continue to scroll down.
Special Orthopedic Supports
Certain orthopedic supports and other products may be beneficial during pregnancy. This includes orthotics for the feet and certain orthopedic belts specifically designed for pregnancy (i.e. maternity belts, trochanter belts, etc.).
Proper Posture During Pregnancy
- keep the head and chin up and the ears centered over the shoulders
- head and chin are lowered and the ears are not centered over the shoulders
- keep shoulders slightly up and back
- shoulders are allowed to roll forward and down
- focus on keeping the abdominal muscles toned to keep back slightly flattened-avoid hyperextending
- relaxed and weak abdominal muscles allow the pelvis to tilt forward
- keeping the knees slightly bent reduces tension in the lower back
- knees locked in full extension increases the tension in the lower back
- widen stance and keep weight on center of each foot
- do not place weight on inner aspects of the feet