When you’re pregnant for the first time you don’t think much about how your muscles will change. Oh sure, you think about the weight gain and you may have some concern about your stomach looking differently after you deliver, but not many of us give a lot of thought to how the muscles and ligaments in our backs change until we start developing that lower back pain that strikes so many expectant mothers in their final trimester.
The average pregnancy will result in a weight gain of 25-35 pounds; that, combined with the added stress that your baby (or babies!) places on your body can result in some serious aches and pains in the back, legs, or buttocks. Sciatic nerve pain is especially common during late pregnancy, and if you already coped with lower back pain before pregnancy, the problem can become even worse.
Chiropractic Care and Pregnancy
During pregnancy, a woman’s center of gravity gradually shifts forward to the front of her pelvis, which increases the amount of stress placed on her joints. As the baby grows larger, the mother’s weight is moved even farther forward, and her lower back curvature increases. No doubt you’ve noticed many women who are far along in their pregnancies rubbing their lower back with their legs slightly spread apart. The mother is trying to alleviate some of the pain caused by this syndrome as she tries to maintain her center of gravity.
Your Doctor of Chiropractic is able to care for your changing body at any time during the birth process. While it’s best to begin treatment before you become pregnant, your chiropractic team is quite capable of caring for you and your growing baby during your pregnancy.
Many expectant women find that chiropractic adjustments provide much needed relief from the lower back pains that often accompany the final months of pregnancy. Because it’s non-invasive and drug-free, chiropractic care is considered to be safe for almost every pregnant woman. In addition, because chiropractors are strong believers in total body care, they’re able to offer advice on nutrition and appropriate exercises for a healthy pregnancy.
Chiropractic Care After Birth
Chiropractic care is just as beneficial after pregnancy. Over the two months following delivery, a woman’s ligaments that loosened during pregnancy begin to once again tighten up. Adjustments during this time can help the ligaments return to their pre-pregnancy state.
Chiropractic care can also help after childbirth. In the eight weeks following labor and delivery, the ligaments that loosened during pregnancy begin to tighten up again. Ideally, joint problems brought on during pregnancy from improper lifting or reaching should be treated before the ligaments return to their pre-pregnancy state-to prevent muscle tension, headaches, rib discomfort, and shoulder problems.
Chiropractic is safe for almost anyone in relatively good health and is an excellent way to keep your body limber and strong. If you’re expecting a baby, there’s no reason why you cannot continue to see your chiropractic team during your pregnancy and beyond.
Story credit: http://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=85
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