Your friendly Chiropractor in Chandler AZ, Dr. Dan Rae, is back to discuss something that I am constantly being asked about. Several times a week I will have patients ask me if it okay for them to receive care or continue receiving care because they are Pregnant, and I answer with a very emphatic yes.
During Pregnancy, the expectant mother’s center of gravity shifts towards the front of her pelvis. This added weight at the front of the pelvis causes stress to the joints in the pelvis and low back. As the baby grows, this additional weight causes the curvature in the lower back to increase, placing extra stress on the fragile facet joints on the back side of the spine. Any pre-existing conditions or issues in the expectant mother’s spine can be exacerbated as the spine and pelvis become overtaxed, which can leading to pain and difficulty performing any and all normal daily activities.
Multiple studies have shown that about 50% of all expectant mothers develop low-back pain at some point during their Pregnancies. This is even more true during the third trimester when the baby’s body gains the most weight. Chiropractic Care throughout Pregnancy can relieve and even prevent the pain and discomfort frequently experienced in Pregnancyas well as create an environment for an easier and safer delivery. It is a safe and effective way to help the spine and pelvis manage the rapid increases in physical stresses. In fact, many expectant mothers have found that Chiropractic Care helped them avoid the use of pain medications during their Pregnancy, and studies have revealed that chiropractic adjustments help decrease time in labor. We also provide taping techniques that can relieve those stresses placed on the joints in the pelvis and low back as depicted in the image below.
Chiropractic tips for Expectant Mothers:
Chiropractic Care is important to help maintain a healthy skeletal structure and nervous system function throughout the Pregnancy. Make sure to receive regular chiropractic adjustments.
Walking, swimming, or stationary cycling are safe exercises during Pregnancy. Avoid exercises that involve jerking or bouncing movements, and stop exercise immediately if you notice any unusual symptom, such as nausea, dizziness or weakness.
Wear flat shoes with arch supports. Your feet become much more susceptible to injury during Pregnancy, partially due to a rapidly increasing body weight, but also because the ligaments that support the feet become more lax due to hormones released in the body during Pregnancy.
When picking up children or anything off the ground, bend at the knees, not at the waist. The low back is much more susceptible to injury during Pregnancy.
Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees to relieve pressure from the lower back. Full-length “body pillows” or “pregnancy wedges” can be very helpful.
Eat several small meals or snacks every few hours. This will help alleviate nausea, stabilize blood sugar and allow your body to extract the maximum amount of nutrients from the foods that you eat. This is actually a good tip for all individuals Pregnant or not.
Take a prenatal vitamin with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid every day; 800 micrograms is even better. Folic acid has been shown to dramatically reduce the risk of neural tube defects in a developing fetus. It is actually best to be taking folic acid prior to Pregnancy. If you are trying to become Pregnant, make folic acid part of your daily dietary intake. Make sure to check with your doctor before taking any vitamin or herbal supplement to be sure it’s safe for you and the baby.