Back Pain During Pregnancy: Inevitable or Avoidable?

To understand why chiropractic care can be beneficial during pregnancy, it is first important to comprehend why back pain problems are common for pregnant women.

There are several causes for the spine-related pains that a woman may feel throughout her pregnancy. In most cases, the problems are due to changes in weight and posture. Indeed, while pregnant, you are carrying a lot more weight and your body in general is changing. These changes can affect how you carry yourself, and such postural alterations—even small ones—can create bad habits that lead to back and neck pain. As your baby grows, the stretching of your abdominal wall and change in posture will affect your core stability – effectively increasing the work of your back muscles, joints and ligaments.

However, posture and weight gain are only parts of the equation. Changing hormone levels may be the number one cause behind pregnancy-related spinal issues. During pregnancy, the body releases a slew of different hormones.

One of these hormones, relaxin, brings about the relaxation of your body’s supporting tissues including muscles and ligaments. This hormone is important for an obvious reason: it helps prepare your body for the birthing process. However, the pelvic and uterine muscles are not the only parts of your body that feel the effects of relaxin. Relaxin also impacts the rest of your body’s muscles—including back and neck muscles. As a result, these muscles may not be doing their job in stabilising and supporting your spine, which can worsen posture and heighten back pain.

Because of these factors, back pain tends to be a common struggle for women who are pregnant. Many health care professionals will tell pregnant women that back pain is simply a normal part of pregnancy and is, therefore, not a cause for alarm.

While pregnancy-related back pain is rarely a medical emergency, for those that suffer it, it can be significantly debilitating and lead to further complications. It doesn’t have to be inevitable. Letting back and neck pain (or other related issues, like rib pain, abdominal pain, groin pain or sciatica) go untreated can make a pregnancy more painful and stressful than it needs to be.

Working with a chiropractor can help to improve things. Using safe and appropriate chiropractic techniques, we can assist pregnant women in improving their posture and achieving greater bodily alignment. Improved spinal and pelvic alignment, in turn, can improve your mobility, diminish chronic pain and stiffness and even minimize the pain and discomfort of labour.

In addition to affecting comfort and pain, spinal alignment also impacts your nervous system. A spine that is “out of whack” can disturb the nervous system in obvious ways, leading to increased stress, difficulty sleeping and other unwelcome symptoms. By working with a chiropractor experienced in pregnancy, you can monitor the health of your spine and get the minor adjustments you need to remain happy, healthy and comfortable throughout.

Your initial consultation will always include a thorough history and examination. We need to find out:

  • What the problem is
  • How severe it is
  • How long it has been present
  • How it is affecting you during pregnancy, or visa versa
  • How we can help

Once this has been established, it’ll be well and truly time to get you moving and feeling better! Treatment, time frames and appropriate advice on exercise and self-management will be given as improvement progresses.

Post pregnancy treatment can also be beneficial for your recovery, rehabilitation and can assist to keep you happy and active during your baby’s early life.

Please note that the photos used in this blog post are not owned or produced by us in any respect. These were sourced online and were used due to their relevancy to the topic of pregnancy and chiropractic. We do not have any rights for these images.

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