Chiropractic For Pregnancy Pain Relief
Pregnancy is one of the most stressful things that can happen to a woman’s body. From the moment of conception, a woman’s body starts to change to nourish and accommodate a growing baby. Muscles and ligaments relax, joints shift and the dimensions of the body change rapidly. All of these changes can lead to significant and even debilitating pain for some women.
To make matters worse, there’s not a lot that the medical community can do to treat or manage this pain. Many medications are not considered safe for pregnant women because of the risk to the babies in utero. The few that are acceptable to use really only temporarily mask the pain. They don’t treat the underlying cause of the pain, which means as soon as the medication wears off, the pain is almost certain to return.
Women do not have to suffer through this pain and discomfort, waiting it out until the baby is born. Chiropractic treatments can effectively treat the underlying cause of the pain and discomfort, allowing a woman to enjoy her pregnancy pain-free.
Common Pregnancy-Related Complaints That Can Be Treated With Chiropractic
Almost every ache and pain that occurs during pregnancy can be treated with chiropractic. Most of the time this pain is the result of compressed nerves or stiff joints, muscles and ligaments that aren’t able to function properly. A few simple adjustments can restore the body to proper function and alleviate the pain for good. Some of the most common problems for which pregnant women seek the help of a chiropractor are:
- Low back pain
- Leg and calf pain
- Pelvic pain
- Pain in the glutes
- Lower body pain
- Leg cramps
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Treating The Pain
A lot of the pain pregnant women experience is due to the function of the spine. The spine has a natural curve that, when aligned properly, perfectly supports the body and dissipates the forces exerted upon it. During pregnancy, this curve becomes much more severe to compensate for the growing belly. The resulting changes in the curve put a lot of pressure and force on the spine and the joints in the rest of the body. As the joints become squeezed, they can’t move properly, resulting in pain and discomfort.
Chiropractors are trained to look for and recognize these areas of compression and release the pressure through manual adjustments. Other sources of pain can be from stretched and torn muscles, which then fill in with scar tissue. As this tissue hardens, it restricts the body’s natural movement and pain is the result. Using something called the Active Release Technique, a chiropractor can essentially break up this scar tissue, which not only restores range of motion but can also reduce pressure on compressed or pinched nerves.
Pregnancy-related pain tends to become worse as the pregnancy advances. Unfortunately, this is when women become even more unlikely to seek treatment. They assume the belly is too big for a chiropractor to have decent access to her back since she can’t lie on her belly. But chiropractors who specialize in treating pregnant women have a variety of supports, tables and pillows with special cutouts to accommodate a growing belly. These tools allow a woman to lay comfortably facedown even through the 9th month of pregnancy.
Keep in mind that just as medical doctors have their specialties, chiropractors do as well. Not all chiropractors treat pregnant women so if you want to seek out chiropractic treatment to deal with pregnancy-related pain, make sure the chiropractor you choose works with pregnant women as a routine part of his or her practice. Don’t be afraid to ask what kinds of techniques the chiropractor uses to treat pregnancy pain or how many pregnant women the doctor has treated.
Treatment For Post Pregnancy Pain
While many of the pains associated with pregnancy go away after the baby is born, new ones can crop up. It’s very, very common for new moms to have shoulder and upper back pain, especially moms who breastfeed. Awkward positioning, milk-laden breasts and constantly carrying a baby can all lead to pain in the upper back and shoulders. Another source of post-pregnancy back and hip pain can be attributed to carrying the baby, moving around much more than the body is used to and hauling baby gear in and our of the car or around the house. The body must adjust to the extra weight and sometimes odd angles – both of which can strain the back.
Many women benefit from a routine chiropractic adjustment within 6 weeks of giving birth. At this time, the body is still limber from pregnancy hormones, making it easier for a chiropractor to perform an adjustment that gets the spine, hips and pelvis back in proper alignment so you can take care of your newborn free of pain.
Some chiropractors will even teach new moms core strengthening exercises to regain some of the abdominal strength that has been lost due to the pregnancy. A strong core will help support the back and allow the body to adapt to new stresses better.
Safe, Natural Solution To Pregnancy-Related Pain
Although moms-to-be are often wary of getting any kind of medical treatment during pregnancy, chiropractic care has been proven to be one of the safest and most-effective forms of pain management available. Many OBGYNs, medical doctors and midwives will recommend chiropractic treatments to their patients when drugs and medication are not an option.
Chiropractic care is a 100% natural and drug-free form of pain relief that can provide immediate results. Many appointments take no longer than 15 minutes and full recovery from pain can be achieved in as little as 6 sessions. Once the pain is gone, there is no need to follow up with more treatments unless the pain returns, but many women find they enjoy receiving regularly scheduled adjustments throughout their pregnancy.
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