treatment of back pain in pregnancy
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By: Chris Brown
Date: 18/06/2019

See a chiropractor during pregnancy

3 ways seeing a chiropractor during pregnancy can have surprising results before, during and after delivery.

During pregnancy and birth, our bodies are under more strain and stress that at most other times in life. Although we are more than capable to deal with everything that is thrown at us, we can help to minimise aches and pains by seeing a chiropractor during pregnancy. In fact, a maternity chiropractor can do surprisingly more than dealing with your extra weight and new baby-carrying posture. Read on to find out what.

Common ailments for expectant mums include sciatica during pregnancy, pelvic girdle pain and shoulder or back pain. At London Wellness, we see many mums-to-be who want to know how to alleviate back pain during pregnancy and are concerned as to whether it’s safe to see a chiropractor during pregnancy.

Well, not only is it safe, it’ll probably improve their pregnancy, delivery and recovery period after the birth.

Firstly, let’s look at what our body is doing while we’re pregnant.

In short, pretty much everything is moving around. The top half of our body is becoming cramped due to the growing baby pushing our ribs up, our thoracic spine backwards and out of alignment, and squeezing our organs into an ever-decreasing space. And somewhere, we still need to have room to inflate our lungs and breathe.

To alleviate back pain during pregnancy, we need to realign our body as much as possible and this is where a pregnancy chiropractor can really help. Pregnancy hormones make the body more flexible and supple (in order to assist with all this moving of internal parts!) and this is good news when it comes to treating things like sciatica during pregnancy. Seeing a chiropractor for adjustments and massage may have a greater impact but the results will probably be temporary as the baby continues to grow and need more space. So, you’re more likely to experience a good outcome from seeing a chiropractor during pregnancy but it might be sensible to do so on a regular basis to ensure you maximise the time spent being comfortable and mobile.

Secondly, by keeping your body as close to neutral alignment (when the spine is in its natural position) as possible, you will give yourself the best possible labour and birth. Discomfort and difficulties during labour are often caused by the baby struggling to work its way down through the birth canal. Pain during pregnancy and labour will lead to your body being tense and you being uncomfortable. If you have been receiving pregnancy back pain treatment or seeing a chiropractor for SPD during pregnancy (symphysis pubis dysfunction), you’ll find you have less tightness and can therefore relax into your labour. In turn, a relaxed labour leads to a simpler delivery and less recovery time needed.

There are no hard and fast rules about how often you should see a chiropractor during pregnancy but, for the reasons outlined above, it may pay to have regular appointments that are closer together than when you aren’t pregnant. Any practitioner you see, no matter how good they are, cannot remove pain caused by pregnancy. Your body is changing to accommodate your baby, sharing its resources and using your energy so discomfort is inevitable. However, it can be minimised and possibly removed for short periods of time.

Check our ‘at-a-glance’ guide below for average treatment frequencies.

Thirdly, and lastly, seeing a pregnancy chiropractor will mean your body is in the best condition it can be during pregnancy and birth. This bodes well for recovery and for future pregnancies. Conditions such as pelvic girdle pain or SPD are likely to recur in all a woman’s pregnancies so it’s well worth minimising any damage by seeing a chiropractor during pregnancy.

Your Chiropractor and Pregnancy – at a glance:

  • Average treatment frequency:
  • First trimester – as required
  • Second trimester – minimum of once per fortnight
  • Third trimester – minimum of once per week

Treatments used during pregnancy:

  • Adjustments – chiropractic adjustments will be used if you have seen a chiropractor before or if you are happy to be adjusted
  • Soft tissue massage – massage is excellent for loosening soft tissue and can work very well to relax you during pregnancy as well. We would use this when there is pain between your shoulder blades, a common pregnancy problem as your posture deteriorates to help you carry the extra weight.
  • Stretches/exercises – these would be focused on increasing strength as opposed to too much stretching. For example, our chiropractors can teach clients how to release their diaphragm (a major cause of the heartburn experienced during pregnancy)

Ultimately, we would like to reassure expectant mums that they can be safely and effectively treated here at the London Wellness Centre. Treatments are always tailored to individual clients and can often be gentler during pregnancy as the body is so receptive to being adjusted during this time. We will try to make you as neutral and comfortable as possible during your pregnancy, therefore giving you the nest chance of a pain and complication-free labour and birth.