Shortens Labor Time
Pregnant women often struggle with back pain due to the additional weight gain of pregnancy. Fortunately, any standard chiropractic technique can be adapted to position a pregnant woman on her side, her back, or sitting in a chair for treatment rather than lying stomach down.
The Cause of Pregnancy Back Pain
The reason back pain develops during pregnancy is due to the release of a hormone called Relaxin. As the name implies, this hormone relaxes muscle tone to accommodate the weight gain of pregnancy. If a person were to add that kind of weight, especially in the belly as when pregnant, and the muscles retained their normal tone, the added weight could cause those muscles to tear, resulting in sprains and strains.
On the flip side, when the muscles become more relaxed due to this hormone it can cause the hips, pelvis or lower back to totally shift out of position. So someone who only had minor back problems, or perhaps had no symptoms at all, may experience sciatic pain down their leg or the numbness of a pinched nerve. This can become worse as the pregnancy progresses because the added weight of the baby can put additional pressure on these areas affected by physical weight gain.
There’s not much an OB-GYN can do for pregnancy back pain. They can’t prescribe pain killers because of potential risks to the baby, and most women don’t want to take over-the-counter medicine for the same reason. So the only course of action has been for women to just suffer through the pain.
How Chiropractic Treatment Can Help
However, this is where a chiropractor can make all the difference. Instead of the expectant mom having to endure the pain or go on bed rest, chiropractic treatment can take the pressure off the nerves so there is reduced pain throughout the pregnancy.
In addition, the Relaxin helps these patients to have a better response to treatment than the average person because their muscles and ligaments are already looser than normal, so it’s easier for a chiropractor to put the joints back into proper position or alignment. Compared to a 25 year old, non-pregnant woman with back issues, a pregnant patient tends to respond better because of the muscle-relaxing hormone.
A woman who gains a great deal of pregnancy weight might have more difficulty getting back into alignment but most expectant moms respond very well and fairly quickly to treatment.
Additionally, once things are back into position, they tend to stay there throughout the remainder of the pregnancy because the hormone tends to stabilize the joints and keep them in alignment once reset.
Additional Treatment Benefits
Along with reduced back pain, women who receive chiropractic care while pregnant can have shorter labor times than those not treated by a chiropractor. One study showed that women who saw a chiropractor during their first pregnancy had a 24 percent shorter labor time than those not receiving treatment, and those who previously had given birth experienced a 33 percent reduction in labor time.
One reason for this is that regular treatment helps to maintain a woman’s pelvis level which makes the birth canal straighter so it’s easier to push the baby out. If the woman has a situation where, for example, one hip has shifted backwards and one forward, this creates a torque in the birth canal and it’s more difficult to get the baby out.
If you are expecting a child, chiropractic treatment can help decrease any pain you may be having and possibly even shorten your labor time. Virginia Beach chiropractor Dr. James Maggio has extensive experience treating women throughout their pregnancies with very positive results. No matter what stage your pregnancy is in, contact him for treatment options.