A commonly asked question in our practice is, “How safe are chiropractic procedures during pregnancy”?
Many women experience back pain during pregnancy due to the extra and unusual weight placed on the spine. Provided that the chiropractic procedure is carried out gently and with the extra care required in order not to create any detrimental effect on the expectant mum or baby, there is no good reason why chiropractic would not provide relief from discomfort.
In fact, studies have shown that, by providing a consistent program of chiropractic care for the mum-to-be in pregnancy, the nervous system and spine display healthy benefits before, during, and after birth. There is certainly no need to cease chiropractic care due to pregnancy. Posture is equally important at any time, perhaps even more so during pregnancy. As with anything else in life where common sense rules should be applied, and particularly involving the body, provided that care is sensitively followed, there is little likelihood of anything untoward resulting from chiropractic care.
Regular adjustments as deemed necessary by the chiropractor should be carefully considered allowing for the individual circumstances. Post-natal chiropractic has also been found to have beneficial effects for a return to normal spine and pelvic posture.
In short, and as a general rule, chiropractic care may be applied safely through all stages of pregnancy and thereafter.
Chiropractic and Pregnancy
Pregnancy should be an enjoyable life experience. During pregnancy, however, a woman’s body goes through enormous changes. Due to ligament laxity and the shifting of the centre of gravity, mothers-to-be can develop poor posture and more than 50% of pregnant women experience low back pain.
There are many difficulties that you may experience during pregnancy, such as back pain, sore legs, headaches, sciatica, shortness of breath, dizziness, morning sickness, fatigue and Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction that can be attributable to the health of your spine. Since chiropractors are trained to recognize mechanical dysfunction of the spine, along with the muscles and joints, chiropractic can be a great source of relief during the 9 months of pregnancy (and beyond).
Chiropractic treatment offers a safe, gentle, and drug free alternative for the relief of discomfort during pregnancy. It can play an important role in ensuring that your body and spine are functioning normally. This can result in less pain for the mother-to-be and more room for the developing baby, so that both mother and baby can experience less physical and emotional stress.
Also, by reducing the stresses and strains on the joints and muscles, normal daily activities can be continued throughout the 9 months. Many women who are cared for by chiropractors find that labour is shorter and less painful.
The Chiropractic Aim
Chiropractors offer a conservative approach to treatment of pregnant women, without the use of drug interventions. The aim is to alleviate the stresses and strains of pregnancy and to improve comfort for both mother and baby.
Chiropractors are in a unique position to determine special postural influences and muscle imbalances in each case, and to attend to the individual stressors with each visit. They provide appropriate exercise advice according to the patient’s pre-pregnancy level of fitness and current condition. Exercises can include those which strengthen the core muscles and pelvic floor, and those which stabilize and re-balance the pelvis.
This activity is important to:
- strengthen muscles to take on a bigger load
- make joints stronger and more flexible
- improve circulation
- help prepare for the physical exertion of labour and recovery afterwards.
The treatment aims to support the biomechanical structure in the 1st-2nd trimester of pregnancy, and then in the later stages. It will reduce the tension, support as the stress on the musculoskeletal frame exacerbates, and maintain good alignment of the pelvis.