Curvesday Thursday: Pregnancy and Chiropractic

Back pain during pregnancy is common. Approximately half of all pregnancies are complicated by back pain.1

About 10% of the time, the pain becomes so severe that it can interfere with the ability to work or carry out normal activities during pregnancy.

This article explains the common risk factors, causes, and treatments of back pain during pregnancy.

Risk Factors for Back Pain during Pregnancy

Key factors that are associated with increased risk of developing lower back pain during pregnancy include:

  • Physically strenuous work
  • Lifting, bending, and child care
  • A history of low back pain prior to pregnancy

Common Causes of Back Pain during Pregnancy

Malfunction in the sacroiliac joint is the most common cause of back pain in pregnancy. While it can be quite painful, this condition is treatable and (especially with treatment) tends to get better after delivery of the baby.

The sacroiliac joint forms the functional unit of the pelvis that allows normal alternating movement during walking. As the pregnancy advances, hormonal changes prepare the pelvis for delivery of the child by loosening the strong ligaments that control the function of these joints.2

The increased elasticity of these ligaments during pregnancy is necessary for the birth canal to expand as the baby passes through it. However, the associated increase in motion and instability around the sacroiliac joint can also be a source of sacroiliac pain.

For patients experiencing back pain during pregnancy, chiropractic may provide effective pain relief with just a few simple treatments. For example:

  • Manipulation or adjustment of the pelvis has provided relief and restored function for 91% of patients studied.3

To assist the effect of this type of treatment, your chiropractor or medical provider may recommend:

  • Easy stretching exercise routines
  • A pelvic support belt.

Low Back Pain Relief after Pregnancy

Additionally, the pain usually subsides soon after delivery of the baby. Over the six-week period following delivery, the pelvic ligaments regain their rigidity and are better able to support normal weight bearing and motion during normal daily activities.

Importance of Treating Lower Back Pain

Remember, the good news is that appropriate treatment can help provide significant back pain relief during the pregnancy and, importantly, minimize the chances of having chronic back pain in the lower back after the pregnancy.

Are you experiencing pregnancy related back pain? Call our office today at (304) 263-4927 to schedule an appointment. Dr Terry Chambers is a Board certified chiropractor and acupuncturist, licensed in WV, and trained to perform functional medicine.




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