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Is Back Pain a Common Issue During Pregnancy?

Yes, one of the most common issues with pregnancy is back pain.

 

As is the case with many physical ailments, chiropractic care can help ease some of the burdens of pregnancy. When women go through pregnancy they typically gain between 25 and 35 pounds. In order to accommodate this new weight, the spine must adjust, causing lower back pain.

 

Regular visits to a chiropractor can help pregnant women in a number of ways. Spinal adjustments can help to relieve pain and make for an overall healthier lower back. Additionally, a chiropractor can inform pregnant women on correct posture and stretches to alleviate pain throughout the day.

Benefits of a Prenatal Massage Treatment

 

Research shows pregnancy massage therapy can help:

  • Increases blood circulation, which provides more oxygen and nutrients to both mother and fetus and stimulates the lymph system, thereby increasing immunity and removal of toxins

  • Relieve muscle tension, fatigue, and body aches

  • Assists in maintaining good posture and adjusting to a changing alignment caused by the baby’s increasing weight

  • Alleviates stress on weight-bearing joints

  • Soothes and relaxes the nervous system by releasing endorphins into the mother’s body. As a result, the expectant mother feels more relaxed and at ease, and will also sleep more easily and more deeply (more on this below)

  • Supports the return of blood to the heart and increases blood flow to the uterus and placenta

  • Relieving Sciatic Pain (more on this below)

  • Reduced Complications (more on this below)

  • Less overall stress (more on this below)

Image by Kayla Maurais

Pregnancy Massage Soothes Pain by Releasing Endorphins 

Massage stimulates pressure receptors in the skin and muscle tissue, which sends signals to the brain to release endorphins. Endorphins are natural pain-relieving and mood-boosting chemicals in the body. They can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and pain, and promote feelings of relaxation and well-being. Pregnant women may experience additional physical and emotional stress, and massage can be a helpful way to manage these symptoms and promote overall well-being. Even if you have had pain through most of your pregnancy, massage can soothe your pain now and also after the birth of your child with a Postnatal Massage.  

 

Relieving Sciatic Pain

The added weight from pregnancy doesn’t just affect the spine. The weight of a baby can put pressure on blood vessels and nerves in the pelvis and back.

 

One of the most common symptoms of this pressure is known as sciatic pain. The sciatic nerve runs from the uterus down the legs and is the largest nerve in the body. Pressure on this nerve can cause a range of issues, including pain, muscle tension, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, and less commonly herniated disk.

 

Stretches During Pregnancy for Sciatic Pain Relief

There are a few chiropractic stretches that can be used during pregnancy in order to relieve these symptoms, but first, consult a doctor before trying them:

  1. Seated Piriformis Stretch: While sitting on a chair, place one ankle on the opposite knee. Lean forward slowly and gently stretch the back.

  2. Table Stretch: Lean on a table and push your hips away to stretch the entire back.

  3. Hip Flexor Stretch: Lunge forward with one knee while kneeling with the other, like so.

Reduced Complications

Pregnancy will cause significant changes to both the spine and the pelvis, leading to a number of issues. Fortunately, these are chiropractors’ specialties. In particular, pelvic issues in pregnant women can lead to complications during childbirth.

 

Positioning the baby is important for a healthy and less painful delivery. Much of the positioning of the baby before birth is dependent on the alignment of the pelvis.

 

While these kinds of complications are rare, regular chiropractic visits can help reduce some of these complications and make for an easier delivery.

Less Overall Stress

The stress associated with being pregnant and giving birth is large and well-known. Chiropractic care can help reduce this stress and increase overall well-being.

 

A multitude of studies shows that regular spinal manipulations and other chiropractic techniques can increase sympathetic relaxation and reduce pain, leading to less overall stress.

 

Pregnant women need to watch their stress levels for the health of the baby and to ensure a healthy delivery.

Get Started Today!

Click here or call our Enmuclaw, WA office at 360-825-5757 to set up a consultation to see how we can help you eliminate pain quickly and to accomplish your spinal health goals.

Prenatal Massage Enumclaw, Washington

Prenatal massage therapy addresses different needs and other issues associated with the dramatic physical changes a mother experiences throughout her pregnancy. Maternity massage therapy is a safe, natural, and drug-free remedy to many common discomforts that women often experience during their pregnancy. 

Being a mother is a joyful and wondrous thing, but getting there can be difficult. Bringing a new life into the world requires significant and prolonged changes to the body. These changes can cause many physical and mental ailments for some women. While modern medicine offers some treatments for these ailments, such as medication, there are many natural remedies that can be used instead.

What Causes Pain During Pregnancy?

Pain during pregnancy can be caused by a variety of factors. Some of the most common causes include:

  1. Round ligament pain: As the uterus expands, the ligaments that support it can stretch and cause pain in the lower abdomen or groin.

  2. Hormonal changes: Pregnancy hormones can cause the joints and ligaments in the body to become more relaxed, which can lead to pain.

  3. Back pain: As the pregnancy progresses, the weight of the baby and uterus can put extra stress on the back, leading to pain.

  4. Pelvic pain: Round ligament pain, hormonal changes, pelvic girdle pain (PGP), urinary tract infections, bladder inflammation, and constipation can all lead to pelvic pain (more on this below).

  5. Headaches: Pregnancy can cause headaches due to hormonal changes and increased blood flow.

  6. Braxton Hicks contractions: These are mild, painless contractions that can occur throughout pregnancy, and can cause discomfort or pain in the abdomen.

  7. Constipation: Pregnancy can cause constipation, which can lead to pain in the lower abdomen.

  8. Heartburn or indigestion: As the uterus expands, it can put pressure on the stomach, causing heartburn or indigestion.

It's important to note that some pain during pregnancy can be a sign of a serious condition such as preterm labor, ectopic pregnancy, or a miscarriage. If you experience severe or persistent pain, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

What Causes Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy?

Pelvic pain during pregnancy can be caused by several factors. Some common causes include:

  1. Round ligament pain: As the uterus expands, the ligaments that support it can stretch and cause pain in the lower abdomen or groin.

  2. Hormonal changes: Pregnancy hormones can cause the joints and ligaments in the pelvis to become more relaxed, which can lead to pain.

  3. Pelvic girdle pain (PGP): This is a condition that occurs when the joints in the pelvis become stiff and painful (more information on this condition is below).

  4. Urinary tract infections or bladder inflammation: These conditions can cause pain in the lower abdomen or pelvic area.

  5. Constipation: Pregnancy can cause constipation, which can lead to pain in the lower abdomen or pelvic area.

It's important to note that pelvic pain during pregnancy can also be a sign of a serious condition such as preterm labor, ectopic pregnancy, or a miscarriage. If you experience severe or persistent pelvic pain, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

What is Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP)?

Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) is a condition characterized by pain in the joints of the pelvis, which can affect the hips, lower back, and pubic area. PGP is common during pregnancy and can occur in both the front and back of the pelvis.

It is caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy which causes the ligaments that hold the pelvic joints together to become softer and more elastic. As the pregnancy progresses the weight of the baby and the uterus also puts more strain on the pelvic joints, which can cause pain.

Symptoms of PGP can include:

  • Pain in the lower back, hips, or pubic area

  • Difficulty walking or standing for long periods of time

  • Difficulty turning over in bed

  • Pain when standing on one leg, such as when getting dressed

  • Pain that worsens with activity and improves with rest

There are several treatment options available for PGP, including physical therapy, which focuses on exercises to improve strength, flexibility, and balance. Pain relief medications can also be used, and special belts can be worn to help support the pelvis.

It is important to consult a healthcare professional for specific treatment options and to rule out other causes of pelvic pain during pregnancy.

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