Expectant mothers experience a variety of physical changes during the pregnancy period. Some of these changes are hormonal, while others are physiological, involving body chemistry.
Physical changes during pregnancy occur for the purpose of providing an optimal environment for the developing infant, all while maintaining the mother’s well-being.
Common pains experienced by pregnant women
While these changes assist the infant’s development, some of them are not quite favorable for the mother. Research shows that about 50% to 90% of pregnant women suffer from back pain. This usually occurs during the last trimester, although some studies show that symptoms can occur as early as the twelfth week.
Back pain is the result of vertebral subluxation or misaligned spinal bones, which can aggravate sensitive nerve tissue. In many cases, symptoms experienced by expectant mothers can also indicate advanced vertebral subluxation. Pain in the neck and/or back is due to the increase in weight, resulting to additional stress on the spinal and pelvic muscles.
Why is there added stress to the back during pregnancy?
Physical changes during pregnancy cause shifts in weight, subjecting the spine to additional stress. As the abdomen increases in size to accommodate the infant, it pulls the lower back. Because of this, additional effort is needed for the back and the shoulders to compensate, in order to stand upright or walk.
There are certain hormones produced during pregnancy that accommodate these changes by loosening connective tissues, yet these can aggravate even minor preexisting spinal problems, as pain can intensify.
How Gonstead chiropractic can treat pains during pregnancy
Gonstead chiropractic treatment can be very effective in alleviating pain and discomfort due to pregnancy. The approach is the safest method of chiropractic, and can even be performed during the days leading to delivery. Treatments also involve a variety of specially designed adjusting tables, which are ideal during different stages of pregnancy.
In addition, Gonstead chiropractors are highly trained, making sure each adjustment is as safe, painless, and accurate as possible. They use proven techniques specifically targeting the pelvic girdle, which is greatly affected by pregnancy – any misalignment or dysfunction in this area inevitably leads to back pain.
There are many expectant mothers who received Gonstead chiropractic care who have reported healthier pregnancies and more comfort during deliveries. According to one study, first-time mothers under chiropractic treatment experienced labor times shorter than 25% compared to other women. Mothers who have previously given birth meanwhile, enjoyed 29% shorter labor times.
What can expectant mothers do to lessen or avoid pain during pregnancy?
For women planning to start a family but have preexisting spinal conditions, it is best to seek chiropractic treatment for problematic areas prior to pregnancy, as this can result to a smoother and more comfortable transition.
Many experts recommend low-impact exercise during pregnancy. Those who already have an established exercise routine are encouraged to continue, with added caution and after consulting with their gynecologist.
For women who do not regularly exercise, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends short exercises that do not involve ballistic movement, performed at an intensity level with a heart rate below 150 beats per minute.