There’s a lot to plan for when it comes to pregnancy, from doctor’s appointments to stocking up on newborn necessities. One thing that’s crucial to consider in your planning is how to deal with the physical changes you’re about to undergo.
Your body goes through significant changes during pregnancy and after giving birth, including some pretty serious changes to your musculoskeletal system. While more rigorous research is needed around the benefits of seeing a chiropractor while pregnant, a review of current literature suggests that a visit to your chiropractor may help you manage those changes and the discomfort that often comes with them.1
There are three key stages to consider seeing your chiropractor.
Getting started with chiropractic care before you conceive is part of a long-term health and wellness plan. Combined with regular exercise, it can help you manage chronic pelvic, coccyx or lower back pain2, all of which can be exacerbated by pregnancy.
By making an appointment with your chiropractor before falling pregnant, you’ll have the chance to get comfortable with your doctor, understand what to expect from an appointment and how your body will respond to different techniques. Everyone is different, so learning how chiropractic care can benefit you helps you get the most out of care throughout your pregnancy.
It’s no secret that the physical changes that come with pregnancy can often lead to back pain, whether its short-term discomfort or the beginning of a longer-lived condition. In fact, as many as 69% of pregnant women report that they suffer from lower back pain.3
In a case study looking at a group of pregnant women suffering from lower back pain 94% of cases showed improvement in pain after receiving chiropractic treatment, including spinal manipulation. They reached this result with an average of two visits to their chiropractor and reported no adverse effects.4
While these studies are based on a limited number of case studies, they indicate that if you’re dealing with back pain during pregnancy, making an appointment with your chiropractor is safe and has many potential benefits.
Other benefits of chiropractic care can include treating symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) and pelvic pain, help adjusting to your changing body and preparation for a natural birth.
Once you’ve given birth, you’ll need to adjust to the new state of your body and manage your post-partum recovery. Post-birth care from your chiropractor can help with management of long-term changes to your body that may cause pain, including SPD.
According to some research, rehabilitation of your pelvic muscles, including stabilization exercises, is “recommended to reduce pain, improve long term outcomes and prevent chronicity”.5 Consulting your chiropractor for an ongoing care plan can help to help get you back on your feet and back to your regular routine.
So whether you’re pregnant, planning to conceive or have recently had a baby, its worth making an appointment with your chiropractor to talk about what treatment might help you.
1 C L Borggren., Pregnancy and chiropractic: a narrative review of the literature, Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 2007
2 M Bernard, P Tuchin., Chiropractic Management of Pregnancy-Related Lumbopelvic Pain: A Case Study, Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 2016
3 4 A J Lisi., Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation for Low Back Pain of Pregnancy: A Retrospective Case Series, Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health, 2006
5 ER Howell., Pregnancy-related symphysis pubis dysfunction management and postpartum rehabilitation: two case reports, J Can Chiropr Assoc, 2012