Is pain normal during pregnancy, and when should I start getting adjusted?
Taking care of your body sooner rather than later is always the best approach. Why wait until you are in pain? Being in pain is never normal! Feeling some discomfort is "normal" during pregnancy as your body is going through so many rapid changes and your baby is growing. Although you may feel some discomfort, you don't have to be in pain during pregnancy as many people believe. Working out the muscles along your low back and hips and getting a gentle adjustment can make all the difference with your comfort level!
What are symptoms that I commonly see during pregnancy?
Many times, people seek my help when they are already in pain if they are not currently under chiropractic care. Low back pain is the most common symptom I see. As your body shape changes, strain is placed on your lower back resulting in tightened muscles. Misalignment of the spine is normal during this time as the curvature of the spine changes along with your growing belly. This can result in sharp pain to dull achy pain. I see many moms with sciatic pain traveling down their leg. This is often caused by a misalignment and tight muscles that are irritating the sciatic nerve. This can be managed with adjustments and working out the tight muscles to alleviate the tension placed on the nerve. Pain along the pubic bone is no fun! This can be very painful, and very tender to adjust. Difficulty walking or pain while walking may be an indication that the pubic bone needs to be adjusted. This pain can be experienced any time during pregnancy, but generally, I see it more often towards the later part of pregnancy as the joints are becoming looser and the baby is dropping lower in position applying extra pressure in the pubic area.Round ligament pain is one of the most common symptoms that I see, especially towards the end of pregnancy. The location of the ligament can be found towards the bottom of your growing belly. The purpose of the ligament is to hold the uterus in place. As your baby bump grows, the ligaments become stretched causing tension or spasms to occur. Webster Technique is used to alleviated the tension felt in the round ligaments. Many times, this area is so tight most of the visit is spent releasing this ligament. Taking care of the round ligaments is very important in maintaining proper alignment of your pelvis.Headaches may be common during pregnancy due to the shifting hormones. Taking gentle care in release the muscles along the base of the skull and neck, and adjusting the neck can aid in relieving the headaches.
How often do I need to get adjusted?
Everyone responds to an adjustment differently. While pregnant, you generally will not hold your adjustment quite as well as you would not pregnant due to a hormone called relaxin. Relaxin does just what the name implies; it relaxes your joints getting you prepared for delivery. Because of this, I recommend that you get adjusted a little more often. In my experience, I have seen great results with getting adjusted every other week. Around the 35-week mark, depending on how you are feeling, we may increase the frequency to once per week. After a few adjustments, I will get a better idea of how long the adjustments are lasting for you, and we can base the frequency of care on that. You know your body better than I do so together, we can figure what frequency will work the best for you.
Does the adjustment hurt?
Getting adjusted during pregnancy is very gentle. Due to the relaxin hormone, your joints move much easier and with much less force or pressure. Many different techniques can be used to adjust your spine. I can discuss each option with you, and you can pick which technique you are the most comfortable with. I also have pregnancy pillows that can be used. The middle is cut out of the pillow, so baby can nestle safely and comfortably in the pillow while you are face down on the table. Most women love this option as they haven’t been on their tummy in months! If you choose against this option, the adjustment can be done in a seated position. There are so many options available to you that we can find something that you are comfortable with.
Is chiropractic care safe for the baby?
A gentle adjustment while pregnant is safe for you and the baby. Ensuring your hips are properly aligned and the muscles of the low back and hips are relaxed will allow the baby to have more room to move around.
Should I be exercising while pregnant?
Yes, absolutely! If you were not exercising prior to becoming pregnant, gentle exercising is best. I recommend, at the very leWant to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon. ast, walking several days per week. Yoga and gentle core exercises are highly encouraged when tolerated well. Part of the treatment I recommend to my patients will be an early and late pregnancy exercise plan that I customize according to each person’s needs. Regularly stretching and performing core strengthening gentle exercises will help the adjustments last a little longer between visits and help your overall comfort level. If any stretches or exercises cause pain or discomfort, discontinue immediately.Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.
Are there things I can do at home to help with the discomfort between visits
Yes! There are things that you can do at home to help reduce the discomfort you may be feeling between visits. One of the first things I recommend is getting an exercise ball. Believe it or not, an exercise ball can be your best friend during pregnancy. I frequently tell my moms to sit on an exercise ball instead of a comfortable chair or couch. Sitting on a soft couch or chair can cause strain in your low back as you try to get up. Sitting on an exercise ball has a few advantages. One, you must keep good posture on the ball or you’ll fall of 😊 Two, slightly bouncing on the ball, and rolling your hips around, will aid in keeping your muscles relaxed and moving. There are so many options that you can try at home; too many for this one blog post! The exercise ball is a favorite of the patients that I have the privilege of seeing; so I though I would share that option.