At least 50% of pregnant women will experience low back pain, with many suffering from severe discomfort that impacts their activities of daily living. Pregnancy-related back pain can be multi-factorial and rarely only has one cause.
The average healthy weight gain is approximately 30 lbs., most of which is around the abdomen adding a significant frontal load. The added weight puts stress on the back, hips, knees and feet/ankles. Additional weight can lead to altered posture and biomechanics as we change the way we sleep, stand, and move during pregnancy. As the baby grows and the uterus expands, the abdominal muscles also stretch and lose their ability to support as they did. The change in posture may cause pain and discomfort specifically in the lower back.
During the third trimester, levels of the hormone “relaxin” increase and contribute to the loosening of joints in order for the pelvis to accommodate for the baby and later birth. However, the loosening of joints can decrease joint stability and further alter posture. Other structures including musculature may be taxed, resulting in a predisposition to pain and injury.
The More Common Complaints During Pregnancy
- Neck pain
- Low back pain
- Mid-back pain
- Pelvic pain and pressure
- Aching legs and buttocks
- Peripheral swelling
- Sciatica or shooting pain down the leg/foot
- Fatigue and low energy
- Night-time muscle spasms
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Sleep disturbances
How Can We Help?
- Reduce back and pelvic pain: Conservative care including spinal manipulation and mobilization of joints and soft tissue therapy can help reduce pain and improve function.
- Relieve fatigued, aching muscles: Chiropractic treatment plans can include soft tissue therapy and various exercises to help rehabilitate postural changes and relieve muscle pain.
- Help prepare for childbirth: A chiropractor can recommend safe, effective exercises and stretches to help prepare your body for the baby’s delivery.
- Ensure a faster recovery: As part of a comprehensive plan of management, chiropractic treatment can help manage quicker recovery and address post-natal biomechanical complaints and rehabilitation.