Carrying a growing baby in your body is bound to take a toll. As your baby develops inside of you, your body compensates for the a dded weight in any way it can. Usually this means an extended, aching spine. The good news is that a chiropractor can help relieve stress in the back and prevent your spine from losing its shape.
What Happens to Your Spine and Back During Pregnancy?
Just because back pain in pregnancy is common doesn't mean you should ignore it. About 80% of pregnant women experience bac k pain, ranging from mild discomfort to a chronic nuance. When you experience back pain during pregnancy, here's what is happening t o your body:
- The fetus develops. As your baby and stomach grow, your spine extends backward to balance the new weight. This is especially hard on the lordotic curve in your spine (the lower part of your back that has an inward curve).
- Your back adjusts. When the lower part of your back begins to extend backward, it becomes difficult to bend fo rward and stand up straight.
- Your body produces hormones. During pregnancy, your body produces hormones to relax your ligaments. The se hormones loosen your ligaments to prepare your pelvis for delivery. However, pregnancy hormones also loosen other ligaments in yo ur body, which lends way to an out-of-shape-spine.
- Your spine can't recover. When your spine is in an extended position, it puts strain on the surrounding vertebra e and tissue. To make up for this stress, you rely on your abdominal and back muscles to stabilize the spine. But during pregnancy, your muscles often lack the strength to do so. This is where lower back pain in pregnancy comes from.
Most women experience this type of back pain starting in the fifth month of their pregnancy. If left untreated, the spine may rotate and cause problems with delivery.
Is It Safe to Visit the Chiropractor While Pregnant?
Chiropractors go through extensive training to work with pregnant women. It is safe to work with a chiropractor throughout your p regnancy because they know what is happening to your spine and how to correct it. Talk to your chiropractor before an adjustment and ask about their experience and what benefits you can expect.
When you visit a chiropractor throughout your pregnancy, you may be able to avoid or undo some of the damage caused by extra weight. Remember how an out-of-place spine puts stress on your muscles and ligaments? Well, when a chiropractor realigns your spine, these muscles can relax a little bit. Relaxed muscles means less back pain.
What Are the Benefits of Visiting the Chiropractor While Pregnant?
There are so many benefits to seeing a chiropractor while pregnant. As we already discussed, having your spine aligned on a regular basis throughout your pregnancy will help the health of your spine in the short- and long-term. Here are a few other benefits you can ex pect:
- An easier labor. Adjustments from a chiropractor relax the muscles in your back and pelvis. This relaxation takes away stress from the uterus and makes for an easier delivery. Many women notice shorter contractions and a shorter labor when they se e a chiropractor before giving birth.
- More energy. How much energy do you have when you're in pain? Chances are it's not a lot. When you see a c hiropractor during your pregnancy, your pain is more manageable and you have more energy.
- More sleep. Women who see a chiropractor one to two times a month during pregnancy report getting more sl eep.
- Less pain. And of course, the most urgent reason pregnant women find themselves at the chiropractor is to ma nage the pain of pregnancy. Adjustments decrease pain in the back, hips, and neck.
So what are you waiting for? Less pain, more energy, and an easier delivery are all possible during pregnancy with a trip to the chiro practor.