Your body goes through a lot of changes right from the moment of conception. These include changes in your back and pelvic region, which could bring about untoward pain and discomfort.
Unfortunately, lower back and hip pain are a reality for pregnant women. After all, your body ramps up the production of ligament and joint-loosening hormones so your baby can properly make an exit. But the release of these hormones, along with your swollen belly, could leave you struggling to maintain your balance.
In particular, pregnancy can do a number on your spine. But by seeing a chiropractor while pregnant, you can relieve discomfort and realign your spine for an easier birth.
What is Chiropractic Treatment?
Chiropractic care is a hands-on, non-invasive approach to diagnosing and treating conditions related to the spine, muscles, joints, and nervous system. A chiropractor diagnoses issues that affect your body’s movement, alleviates pain, and promotes overall health.
Chiropractors are trained to correct joint dysfunctions by applying gentle movements to your spinal column and extremities. These chiropractic adjustments can help restore joint function and improve your body’s nerve communication. To top that off, a chiropractor combines available evidence and clinical expertise to develop a personalized treatment plan to alleviate your pain.
But what does a chiropractor do for pregnancy, you may ask? In a nutshell, chiropractic care can help expectant mothers like you manage back pain, pelvic pain, and other musculoskeletal symptoms.
Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy: Is It Safe?
A lot of expectant mothers end up wondering whether seeing a chiropractor during pregnancy is a good idea. The truth is, chiropractic therapy is a safe, natural, and drug-free approach to alleviating pain. But even though it can help promote a happier, healthier pregnancy, there are some cases when a chiropractor and pregnancy don’t make a good mix.
Case in point: if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, chiropractic treatment might not be the best way to manage your pain:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Moderate to severe toxemia
- Placenta previa or placenta abruption
- Ectopic pregnancy
For good measure, make sure to get approval from your doctor before deciding to see a chiropractor. All licensed chiropractors are trained to work with pregnant women, but you may want to look into chiropractors who specialize in prenatal care.
Chiropractors that specialize in prenatal care will use an adjustment table designed to keep the pressure off your belly during treatment. Moreover, they can teach you effective stretching exercises to relieve tension and ease discomfort.
Need-to-Knows During Your First Appointment
If you’re experiencing discomfort during pregnancy and are considering seeking chiropractic treatment, here are a few tips for you to keep in mind:
Reach Out to Your Health Care Provider
Your health care provider can help you determine whether the pain and discomfort you feel can be treated with chiropractic care or not. After all, your symptoms could be a sign of something else.
Find a Chiropractor
The next step is for you to look for a chiropractor experienced in treating pregnant women. If you aren’t new to chiropractic care and have consulted with a chiropractor before, you won’t necessarily need to schedule an appointment with the same provider when you’re expecting.
Schedule an Initial Consultation
During your initial visit, a chiropractor will ask about your medical history and perform a physical exam. Take the time during the consultation to be upfront about the symptoms you feel, as it could help your chiropractor rule out other treatment options more suitable to your condition.
Develop an Exercise Program
To get the most out of your chiropractic treatment, make it a point to stay active through regular exercise. Pregnancy chiropractic adjustments can provide instant relief, but performing stretching and exercise will provide a longer-lasting benefit.
After your first visit, your chiropractor will develop a personalized treatment plan depending on your condition and stage of pregnancy. Depending on your plan, the frequency of treatment could range from two to three visits a week to once a month.
Reaping the Benefits of Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care during pregnancy is recommended for expectant mothers because of the physical and hormonal changes they go through that affect posture and comfort. As your baby becomes heavier, for instance, your center of gravity will shift and it’ll lead to a change in your posture. Sometimes, these physical changes could lead to a misaligned spine or joints.
Paying regular visits to your chiropractor can help correct these issues. And apart from making you feel better, it can also be beneficial to your baby. With that said, we’ve listed down some of the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy below:
Better Pain Relief
Pregnancy is often associated with lower back and pelvic pain, but the discomfort could also extend to your legs, thighs, and neck. Getting a chiropractic adjustment can help align your spine and relieve discomfort.
Natural, Comfortable Delivery
A misaligned pelvis could restrict your baby’s natural environment during development. For example, a baby in a breech position could prevent a natural birth and possibly lead to a C-section. By seeing a chiropractor, you can determine if your baby is in the optimal position for birth.
Stronger Emotional Health
You’ve probably heard of the old proverb “Health is Wealth.” These words ring true, especially during pregnancy. So if you’re experiencing pain or discomfort, this could lead to emotional stress, and affect your overall health. Chiropractic treatment can help keep your mind at ease by alleviating the pain that often comes with pregnancy.
Reduced Time in Labor
Getting chiropractic care isn’t a guaranteed way to shorten the time spent in labor, but it can reduce the back and hip pain so you’ll feel more comfortable while giving birth. If you want to decrease the length of labor, combine chiropractic care with proper nutrition and regular exercise.
Improved Overall Health
Sometimes, a misaligned spine could stand in the way of proper nerve communication between your brain and body. Disrupted communication in your nervous system could result in greater pain and poorer body function. Your chiropractor can address these issues and improve your overall health.
Keep in mind, however, that you shouldn’t rely solely on chiropractic treatment for pregnancy pain relief. To reap the full spectrum of benefits, make sure you maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly. You may also want to look into alternative treatments such as acupuncture or massage. Just like chiropractic treatment, theses treatment options can help blunt muskuloskeletal pain.
Partner with LifeClinic for Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic treatment is a safe and effective practice during pregnancy. Routine care can help you manage back and hip pain, establish better pelvic balance, and provide your baby with as much space as possible before delivery.
At LifeClinic, we help you keep your body functioning at its best through our chiropractic, rehabilitation, and physical therapy services. Find a LifeClinic location near you today.