Are You Experiencing Pregnancy Pains?
There is no question that pregnancy is tough on the body.
Your body goes through many changes while being pregnant including stretching of ligaments and altered body mechanics!
With all this change, one of the most frequent reported areas of pain is the lower back.
Stats Canada tells us that up to 70 percent of women experience back pain while pregnant.
The Most Common Causes of Pain in Pregnancy:
Stress – Causing Tension and Stiffness
With so many changes happening during pregnancy there is often a sense of juggling while preparing for life with a newborn. This new set of responsibilities and the shortening timeline to prepare can add extra stress in your life.
Increased stress can cause additional tissue tension often experienced in the shoulders and low back. Increased tissue tension under stress can cause instability and imbalance of the core musculature.
This imbalance combined with a stress induced sensitivity can leave your body vulnerable to musculo-skeletal pain throughout your body.
Postural Change and Weight Gain
Women can gain up to an additional 25% or their original body weight during pregnancy. Most of this weight is distributed in the front of her body and the lower abdomen. With such a rapid weight change in 9 months, it’s no question this has a large impact on a woman’s body.
With such a significant shift in weight distribution, pregnancy creates a shift of your center of gravity. This shift pulls everything forward requiring back muscles to work much harder, this causes increased stress and stain on both muscles and joints of the low back.
During pregnancy there is a hormonal shift in a woman’s body to prepare for delivery.
One hormone released during pregnancy is called Relaxin:
- Relaxin allows the body to relax the walls of the uterus to house the growing fetus.
- Relaxin also prepares the pelvis for delivery by loosening the large ligaments of the pelvis.
Although loosing these ligaments is important for pregnancy it does crease further instability in the joints of the pelvis. This instability causes irritation and pain of the pelvic joints and soft tissues. When irritation is present the lower back muscles may try and compensate leading to muscle strain and spasm.
How Do We Reduce Back Pain During Pregnancy:
Remaining active during pregnancy is important to keeping muscles strong and reducing excess weight gain during pregnancy.
Exercise helps increase energy, increase strength and flexibility, reduce stress and manage weight gain.
Getting clearance from your doctor is an important first step.
Exercises to try during pregnancy: Yoga, Pilates, Swimming
Improve Your Posture
With pregnancy bringing on increased weight and an altered distribution of weight, it is important to maintain good posture.
A low impact exercise regime will help counteract the effects of weight gain. Here are some general postural based exercises that are great to maintain posture during and after pregnancy: Postural Exercises
Support Your Body While Sleeping
It is recommended that women avoid laying on their back during the second and third trimester. It is best to sleep on your left side to reduce pressure on your heart and liver. This position further ensures proper blood flow to the baby.
To reduce body strain while sleeping try a pillow between your knees. This keeps your hips aligned reducing the chance of pelvic and low back irritation. Hugging a pillow also ensures good upper back and shoulder alignment.
There is no question that chiropractic care is known for reducing back pain, and pregnancy related back pain is no exception to the rule. I have found that pregnant women are some of the fastest responding patients when experiencing pelvic and low back pain. Women can experience such a dramatic shift in their pain when the body is functioning optimally.
Chiropractic care is safe, non-invasive and drug free. This is important during pregnancy to reduce any unnecessary strain on your baby.
Chiropractic care helps:
- Increase Mobility
- Improve Sleep
- Reduce Stress and Stress Based Reactions
- Prepare The Body For Delivery