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Pregnancy and Back Pain

Pregnancy And Pain!

Congratulations! You’re pregnant!  Such an exciting time for you – I know, I have 2 young ones myself – Silas and Sybil, and my wife was a champion (still is! 😊) throughout her pregnancies.  As you already know, your body is going through some changes, some are enjoyable and some are not so enjoyable!  Back pain is not something you signed up for or even thought about when you became pregnant.  Or, maybe you already had some back pain and now it is getting worse as your baby grows.  Pain will usually begin during your 2nd trimester for a variety of reasons.  Rest assured, there is help available to alleviate your discomfort.

Why Back Pain in Pregnancy?

There are many reasons why you may get back pain, or why it may become worse when you are pregnant.  Weight gain (it’s normal), pressure on blood vessels and nerves from your growing fetus, stress, and even muscle separation in the growing belly can sometimes cause discomfort.

After having seen hundreds of expectant moms at various stages of pregnancies in my Newmarket chiropractic and wellness clinic, one of the most common causes of back pain in pregnancy is due to something out of your control.  Relaxin.  Relaxin is the hormone that your body produces to allow your ligaments in your pelvic area to relax and stretch.  It also allows the joints in the low back and pelvis to “loosen” in order to allow the birth process to happen.  That is a good thing – the easier the process the better.  The problem with relaxin is that it can also cause your ligaments and joints to loosen to the point where your spine and pelvis can become unstable.  Instability causes your spine and pelvis to become easily misaligned (subluxated) by ordinary movements.  This can then cause muscle spasms and inflammation – pain!

What Can I Do?

Here is what you can do (exactly what my wife did) to minimize your pain throughout your pregnancy:

  • Exercise – keep active right up to the day before you deliver if you can.  Even low intensity walking helps.
  • Whole Foods – keep it simple; nothing out of a box, if it grows in soil or walks or swims, you’re good. Click here for a list of anti-inflammatory foods to add into your diet.
  • Practice Body Awareness – what positions are you sitting in and for how long? What about your sleeping posture?  Do you stand with weight balanced equally on both feet or do you shift to one side?  Being aware can help keep your spine and pelvis in alignment.  Try and reduce that “lazy” sitting posture.
  • Get Adjusted – there is no better way to keep your pelvis and spine aligned. Make sure your chiropractor has special pregnancy pillows and adjustment tables designed for pregnant bellies.  Not only will this help reduce your discomfort (back pain, sciatica, headaches, neck pain), chiropractic adjustments can help make the birth process happen easier, a nice added bonus. 🙂

Have an uneventful pregnancy,

Dr. Jon Saunders

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