I’m Pregnant, Can I Have Chiropractic Treatment?
Chiropractic care is often utilized for lower back pain during pregnancy. Back pain is the most common complaint of women seeking care when pregnant. It has been reported that up to 50% of pregnancies manifest lower back pain. Chiropractic treatment has been recommended by obstetricians as they recognize the importance of their patient’s comfort during pregnancy. Relief from pain allows the patient to perform her activities of daily living with less stress and strain on the back. Chiropractic offers lower back pain relief without the use of medications. During pregnancy hormones change and the biomechanics and posture of the spine may be altered to accommodate the baby during the months the baby is developing. Chiropractors have training in the care and treatment for the mother-to-be during her pregnancy. Techniques and treatment protocols are varied for the pregnant patient.
What Happens to the Spine and Pelvis During Pregnancy?
Hormones are secreted during pregnancy allowing the ligaments to become more elastic to aid the body in accommodating the birth process. Posture is altered and this can stress the joints of the back and pelvis. Gait may be altered placing stress on the back. Hormones may change the body chemistry and this can result in headaches, muscle aches and pains.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy
The obvious benefit is to reduce and manage lower back, upper back, neck or headache pain. Clinical cases report utilizing chiropractic care may result in less pain during labor as the joints are more movable. An additional benefit may include reduction of the duration of labor.
How Will I Be Treated?
Common questions asked prior to treatment include:
- What are the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy?
- How does the adjustment help me?
- How often do I receive treatment?
- Flexion-Distraction – Very comfortable lower back treatment is performed with the patient lying on her side.
- Drop Piece Adjustment – A specialized treatment table is used that allows the pregnant patient to lie on her stomach with gentle pressure applied to the sacroiliac joint.
- Soft Tissue Massage – Helps to relax the muscles.
- Nutritional Counseling
- Exercises – Will be recommended in concert with your obstetrician.
Chiropractic treatment helps to maintain motion of the spinal and pelvic joints. During pregnancy the joints and muscles become stressed as the baby develops. Treatment helps with pain control and minimizes the need for pain medication which is helpful for the developing baby. Discussion of healthy foods to assure proper nutrition for the mother and baby will be reviewed. Exercises will be recommended that both your chiropractor and obstetrician agree are safe and may be beneficial to help control back pain. Patients who have a history of problem pregnancies may or may not be accepted as a patient. Prior history and a discussion of the prior pregnancy that was problematic will be reviewed. Cooperation with the obstetrician is recommended. There is no set treatment for every woman, but recommendations for the healthy patient are an adjustment once a month for up to the 6th month, 1 visit every two weeks for the next two months and 1 visit per week during the 9th month. The patient with pain will have a different schedule.
- Maintain a regular exercise program, but don’t “over stretch” during the 3rd trimester.
- Walk on a regular basis to assist circulation and conditioning.
- Do not wear high heels; keep the heel height of the shoe to no more than 1/2 inch.
- Avoid the use of a recliner and when sitting try to keep your knees lower than the pelvis.
- The use of a lumbar support pillow or cushion can be helpful when driving and sitting at work or in the home.
- A pillow between the knees at night when on your side eases stress on the lower back.
- A pillow under the knees when lying on your back also eases stress on the lower back.
- Cross the ankles; do not cross your legs.
- Take rest breaks during the day. It can be for just a few minutes, but make a change in your activity.
- During car travel of a hour or more you should stop, get out of the car and walk around for a few minutes to help circulation.
- For an acute flare-up of lower back symptoms use ice to the area and contact the office for treatment.
Can I Do Anything Else To Help My Lower Back Pain?
Office treatment is only one facet of the care and treatment of the pregnant patient. There are several actions or routines that may be done at home or work to help reduce lower back pain. These include:
The doctors at Coon Rapids Chiropractic Office have experience in the care and treatment of the pregnant patient. They accept referrals from obstetricians and communicate with them to keep the doctor informed of the care and treatment their patient is receiving.
Call today for an appointment. (763) 755-4300