The good news is your baby is growing. Back pain is a common complaint in pregnancy. In fact, approximately 50-70 percent of women experience back pain at some stage throughout their pregnancy. You are gaining weight, your center of gravity changes as your abdomen continues to grow and your hormones are relaxing the ligaments in your pelvic region. Often, however, you can prevent or ease pregnancy-related back pain with appropriate treatments. Chiropractic care has typically included the care of pregnant patients to provide a more comfortable pregnancy for both the mother and the baby. Chiropractors use non-drug, non-invasive approach to assess and treat disorders related to the spine, nervous system and joints of the extremities. Causes of back pain during pregnancy:
Pregnancy-related back pain typically occurs at the sacroiliac joints, where the pelvis meets the spine. Here is a list of potential causes of back pain during pregnancy:
Weight gain – During a healthy pregnancy, women typically gain approximately 25-35 pounds. This additional weight puts stress on to your back. This weight may also put pressure on the nerves in the pelvis and back.
Hormone changes – During pregnancy, your body produces a hormone called relaxin. Relaxin allows ligaments in the pelvic region and the joints to relax and become looser in the preparation of the birth process. The same hormone can cause ligaments that support the spine to become loose, leading to instability and pain.
Postural changes – Pregnancy shifts your center of gravity. In fact, you may not even notice but your body begins to adjust your posture and the way you move. This may result in back pain or strain.
Stress – Emotional stress can cause muscle tension throughout the body particularly in the back region. You may find that you experience an increase amount of back pain during stressful periods of your pregnancy.
How do I treat pregnancy-related back pain?
From my experience, combinations of the following techniques work extremely well in easing pregnancy-related back pain. It may even prevent postpartum back pain.
Chiropractic adjustments – Regular chiropractic adjustments can be beneficial throughout the pregnancy. With proper patient positioning for comfort and relaxation, only gentile forces are needed to safely and successfully correct fixations in the spine and pelvis.
Improve your posture – Poor posture strains your back. Using proper postural techniques when working, sitting or sleeping is a smart move to a healthier lifestyle.
Exercises – Regular proper exercises can strengthen your muscles and ease the stress on your spine. Safe exercises for most pregnant women include walking, swimming and etc.
Acupuncture – Acupuncture is form of Chinese therapy where thin needles are inserted into your skin at specific locations to stimulate energy flow. Many research studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective in relieving back pain during pregnancy.