Dr Tom Barnett MChiro LRCC
Starting a family is a wonderful thing and should be celebrated, many congratulations if you’re pregnant and reading this blog. During pregnancy your body will be undergoing lots of changes, some with good side effects like your skin glowing and hair being stronger and some with not so good side effects like tiredness, morning sickness and low back pain.
As Chiropractors, we will focus on lower back pain in this blog and why this happens. Not every woman will develop pregnancy related back pain but you are more likely to suffer if you have had back pain previously or had PGP (pelvic girdle pain) during a previous pregnancy.
So the question you’re probably thinking is, do I have to put up with it? Is there something that can help me?
Well in short the answer is, you don’t have to put up with it and yes there are many things that can help relieve symptoms of pregnancy related back pain, Chiropractic being one of them.
Chiropractic care is safe during pregnancy and has been recognised by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to be an effective therapy to help combat pregnancy related lower back pain.
There are 3 joints within the pelvis, 2 sacro-illiac joints at the back and 1 pubic symphysis joint at the front. To allow you to give birth, these joints become looser so they are able to move more. Great for the baby, not so great for the mother. These extra movements can contribute to lower back pain.
As your baby grows, you grow too. This leads to a change in your posture that unfortunately is inevitable for the majority of pregnant women. Posture is so important, it helps keep your spine and pelvis moving the best way that it can. With the increasing weight and size of your bump, your centre of gravity will increasingly shift forward meaning the lower back will curve inwards more, this puts excess pressure on your spinal joints that can lead to discomfort and pain.
Chiropractic can help relieve pain by helping joints move as best as they can and by releasing built up pressure and tension with-in the joints and surrounding muscles. The best thing to do is to have a consultation so your chiropractor can work out what care is going to be best for you.
For many women, especially if it’s your first pregnancy and had no previous history of low back pain there can be little or no pain soon after having your baby (natural or C-section).
However, you might find you also experience post-pregnancy spinal stiffness or discomfort, this happens for many reasons including; the stress and strains of giving birth, a relatively quick change in overall body posture and position, or a build up of tension on the spine through pregnancy. So it’s really important to have a re-examination check up with your chiropractor after giving birth, even if you don’t have any pain anymore. Sometimes this can lead to worse problems in the future and worse pregnancy related pain if future pregnancies.