Pregnant woman having back aches

It’s discouraging when the excitement of preparing for the birth of your baby is overshadowed by pregnancy pain and discomfort. Don’t despair! There is help available for both you and your baby at the chiropractor!

Pregnancy Pains

Why am I in pain? Low back, pelvis and hip pain during pregnancy is caused by a perfect storm of mechanical, hormonal and circulatory changes that put stress on your musculoskeletal (MSK) system. Luckily, Canadian chiropractors have the expertise to treat MSK conditions and are uniquely qualified to relieve pregnancy pain and discomfort without the use of medication – (usually a no-no during pregnancy) as well as provide holistic advice to maintain health before, during and after the baby is born.

 

Mechanical Changes

With a normal weight gain of 20-40 lbs., most pregnant women experience a shift in their centre of gravity that puts stress on their lower backs. Your expanding belly can increase the curvature (“lordosis”) of your lower spine which, in turn, affects your posture when your body overcompensates to regain balance. If that weren’t enough, your core abdominal muscles stretch to accommodate the baby, and your back is left to support your increasing weight.

Hormonal & Circulatory Changes

The concentration of the hormone “relaxin” increases 10 times during pregnancy to help soften your pelvic region and allow it to stretch, but your newly relaxed muscles can also contribute to low back pain and joint discomfort. Plus, blood volume can increase 50%, which can lead to inflammation and water retention (edema). This can also contribute to your pelvic, low back and hip discomfort.

 

Pregnancy Pain: Low Back, Pelvis & Hips

MSK pain is very common during pregnancy. In fact, of pregnant women:

  • 20% have pelvic girdle pain1
  • 50-85% have low back pain2

Many women also feel pain in their sacroiliac joint in their hips that can cause pain and discomfort in the whole region of the hips and buttocks, and run down the legs into the feet.

 

Chiropractic Care for Pregnancy Pain

Chiropractors help relieve pregnancy-related back, hip and pelvic pain by realigning the spine and balancing the pelvis. Prenatal chiropractic treatment involves safe and gentle adjustments, massage, exercise and stretching.

Throughout pregnancy, chiropractic techniques are adapted for belly growth and modified using props like pregnancy pillows and customized tables. The chiropractor can assess your pelvis, sacrum and vertebrae for any misalignments that could be responsible for pain or creating uterine constraint.

Tips for Expectant Mothers

In addition to gentle, non-invasive chiropractic treatment, there are some tips you can follow to help keep your spine aligned:

  1. Exercise! Keep your core strong so it can support your spine. Ask your healthcare practitioner about the benefits of swimming, yoga or other low-impact exercise programs.
  2. Sleep well! You know you need to rest, but are you sleeping smart? Your growing uterus can place pressure on the large blood vessels in your abdomen and restrict blood flow. Sleep on your left side and place a pillow between your knees to keep your spine in proper alignment.
  3. Think twice! Maybe put those killer heels aside until after the baby is born. Rest frequently with your feet elevated. Don’t lift heavy objects (or toddlers) – ask for help.

References:

1. Aldabe D, Ribeiro DC, Milosavljevic S, Dawn Bussey M. Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain and its relationship with relaxin levels during pregnancy: a systematic review. Eur Spine J 2012;21(9):1769-76. Epub 2012 Feb 4.2. Stuber KJ, Wynd S, Weis CA. Adverse events from spinal manipulation in the pregnant and postpartum periods: a critical review of the literature. Chiropr Man Therap 2012;20:8.3. https://www.chiropractic.ca/

 

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Royal York Chiropractic and Massage Therapy (416) 233-5413
4.9 6
Dundas Street West Toronto Ontario M8X 1Y3
  • I started going to Dr. Marco back in January 2020 when I was suffering a lower back injury. After seeing the reviews on google, I decided to give him a chance and I haven't looked back. Dr. Marco has helped me in my recovery and brought me back to feeling healthier than ever. He is extremely knowledgeable, kind and easy to talk too. Not to mention, the prices are very reasonable and not overpriced. I highly recommend him to anyone looking for a chiropractor in Etobicoke.
  • Royal York Chiropractic was recommended to me by multiple people, so I decided to give it a go for my back and shoulder problems. My first experience with Dr. Marco was extremely positive. He is very knowledgeable and easy to talk to. His honesty and commitment to improving my pain is what kept me coming back. Very positive experience!
  • I have been seeing Dr. Marco for many years now and he helps me each time I see him. He’s friendly, knowledgeable and has a level of clinical awareness that comes from years of experience which helps to create an overall positive interaction. Making appointments is never an issue and the clinic environment is welcoming and relaxing. Highly recommend him!
  • I have had very positive experiences with Royal York Chiropractic. While Dr. Peter has predominantly been overseeing my care, I have had adjustments with Dr. Marco as well. Both are competent, caring, friendly and willing to answer questions. Anna keeps the office well-organized and the few times I've had to wait, it has never been for long.
  • I have been seeing Dr. Marco for a few years now and he helps me every time. His adjustments are precise and effective, he knows what he is doing. He can be aggressive or as gentle as you need. Appointments have never been an issue, he always works around my schedule. I would highly recommend him!