So you’re expecting – congratulations! This time is one of the most exciting times in your life, and one where your body is going to see a lot of change! Some of these changes are very easy seen, the growing belly, changes in how you walk, stand, or move. Although these changes are normal, they may place stress on the body’s muscles and joints that may be painful.
So what’s happening to my body during this time?
- You’re growing in size! The normal weight gain for a women is 25-35 pounds during pregnancy, so it’s not surprising that more than 50% of women experience low back pain (An increase in breast size during this time can also cause neck or mid-back pain as well)
- Your centre of gravity changes moves forward, which places additional strain on the muscles and joints of the back. This may cause the curve of your low back to increase, what we call increased lumbar lordosis
- The abdominal muscles loosen, which also contributes to change in posture
- The ligaments that attach the uterus to the pelvis (most commonly, the round ligament) stretch as the uterus continues to grow. This can cause pain as it’s under a lot of stress!
- Especially in the third trimester, there is an increase in the hormone relaxin. This hormone helps to start to loosen the ligaments of the pelvis to prepare for birth, which can decrease joint stability, and further alter posture and cause pain
Here’s some the symptoms pregnant women report:
- Neck, Mid-back and/or Low-back pain
Pelvic girth pain
- Sore legs or buttocks
- Pain shooting down the back of the legs, into the feet (Sciatica)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- De Quervain tenosynovitis
- Disrupted sleep and night time muscle spasms
So what can we do for you?!
Alleviate back and pelvic girth pain
By assessing how the joints are moving in your back and pelvis, a chiropractor can provide treatment to areas that aren’t moving properly or are uncomfortable.
Treat sore, tired muscles
The muscles of the back go through a lot when carrying a baby! Soft tissue therapies such as ART or Graston can provide lots of relief. Seeing one of our massage therapists can also be very beneficial, as they have lots of time to work on those to those muscles that are working overtime.
Keep your legs healthy with Compression socks
Wearing compression stockings can be very relieving, as it helps with symptoms like swollen feet and ankles, or tired achy legs. They can also help reduce the risk varicose veins and thrombosis.
Get you strong!
Childbirth is an amazing feat – but requires a lot of work! By preparing your body with exercises and stretches, this can help prepare you for when baby comes, and for regaining your strength after.
Chiropractic care and other manual therapies including massage have been shown to be a safe way to treat back and pelvic pain, both in the general population and mamas-to-be! Chat with one of our practitioners if you’re expecting, we can’t wait to support you through this exciting time!
- Hall H, Cramer H, Sundberg T, Ward L, Adams J, Moore C, Sibbritt D, Lauche R. The effectiveness of complementary manual therapies for pregnancy-related back and pelvic pain: A systematic review with meta-analysis. Medicine. 2016 Sep;95(38).
- Borggren CL. Pregnancy and chiropractic: a narrative review of the literature. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 2007;6(2):70-74. doi:10.1016/j.jcme.2007.04.004.
Author: Emily Huber