As many new mothers can attest, the muscle strains of pregnancy are very real and can be more than just a nuisance. The average weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds, combined with the increased stress placed on the body by the baby, may result in discomfort. Studies have found that about half of all expectant mothers will develop low-back pain at some point during their pregnancies.
During pregnancy, a woman’s centre of gravity almost immediately begins to shift forward to the front of her pelvis. The displaced weight increases the stress on her joints. As the baby grows in size, the woman’s weight is projected even farther forward, and the curvature of her lower back is increased, placing extra stress on the spinal disks. In compensation, the normal curvature of the upper spine increases, as well. How Can a Chiropractor Help? Many pregnant women have found that chiropractic adjustments provide relief from the increased low-back pain brought on by pregnancy. Treatment also aims to increase the space that the baby has to move around in, encouraging your baby to settle in the best inter-utero position. Chiropractic manipulation is safe for the pregnant woman and her baby and can be especially attractive to those who are trying to avoid medications in treating their back pain and has even been shown to help with labour and birth.
Chiropractic care can also help after childbirth. In the eight weeks following labour and delivery, the ligaments that loosened during pregnancy begin to tighten up again. Ideally, joint problems brought on during pregnancy from improper lifting or reaching should be treated before the ligaments return to their pre-pregnancy state-to prevent muscle tension, headaches, rib discomfort, and shoulder problems.