Joseph Merckling, DC Bellport Chiropractor
As many mothers-to-be can attest, a woman’s body goes through a number of changes during pregnancy. Average weight gain by expectant mothers is usually in the 25 to 35 pound range over the course of the pregnancy. The increase in the weight in addition to the position of the baby in the front lower abdomen causes changes to expectant mother’s center of gravity causing a forward shift within the first months of pregnancy. This forward shift changes the body’s posture and alters the biomechanics of the way we move. The forward tilting of the pelvis causes the lower back to arch more than usual, placing additional stress and strain on the discs and joints in the low back. As the baby grows, additional stress/stretch is placed on the abdominal muscles which are the major support structures to the lumbar spine and pelvis. Hormonal changes during the later stages of pregnancy also cause ligaments to loosen around the pelvic bones adding to the postural and mechanical imbalances.
These postural and mechanical changes affect the alignment of the bones of the pelvis and lumbar spine. This can lead to mild to severe discomfort for the expectant mother from muscle strains, joint or disc inflammation and Sciatic nerve pressure. Studies have shown that about half of all pregnant women develop low back pain during their pregnancies. The problem is generally worse as the pregnancy progresses or for people who previously had diagnosed spinal conditions. Lower back pain can lead to difficulty walking, pain with sitting, standing, sleeping, and many other daily activities.
Generally, the first line of medical treatment for musculoskeletal conditions is with prescription anti-inflammatory, pain medications or muscle relaxers. However, in the pregnant patient population many doctors and patients try to avoid medications that treat their low back pain due to the potential for side effects to both the mother and baby.
Suffolk County Chiropractor’s unique, conservative, and drug free approach to lower back pain is ideal for the pregnant patient. Your Doctor of Chiropractic can help with finding imbalances and misalignments in the lumbar spine and pelvis that cause the pregnancy related low back pain. Chiropractic adjustments and spinal manipulation are safe and effective for the pregnant woman and the growing baby throughout the pregnancy. Chiropractic treatment techniques are modified for the comfort of the expectant mother utilizing the gentlest of approaches. After childbirth, chiropractic care can also help to re-balance the pelvis before the ligaments that loosened during pregnancy begin to tighten back up. Chiropractors offer nutrition, ergonomic, and exercise advice which can also aide in helping relieve the lower back pain.
Joseph Merckling, DC is a Chiropractor based out of Bellport, New York