Many Women Benefit from Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

During the course of pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes innumerable changes biochemically and structurally which can create postural strain and neck and back pain. A brief look at the anatomy of the spine provides insight as to why chiropractic adjustments can facilitate a healthier, more comfortable pregnancy.

The vertebral column is a strong, flexible rod composed of a series of bones called vertebrae which enclose a protect the spinal cord, support the head, and serve as an attachment for the ribs and muscles of the back. This “spine” is able to rotate and move anteriorily, posteriorily and laterally. The vertebral column shows four normal curves, which increase its strength, help maintain balance in the upright position, absorb shock, and help protect the column from fracture.

The spinal cord, which courses down the center of this column conveys sensory impulses from the peripheral nerves to the brain and conducts impulse from the seat of the Central Nervous System, the brain, to all of the peripheral nerves. When an electrical impulse is stimulated in the brain, it travels a neural pathway in the spinal cord. Misalignment of this vertebral column can create pressure on the spinal nerves irritating the surrounding tissue and causing impeded nerve flow, discomfort and/or pain.

3-15-16 Pentz Familiy Chiropractic Summerville SC Chiropractic Care PrenatalOver the course of a forty week gestation, a mother’s weight gain will ideally reach somewhere between 30-40 lbs. This increase in weight can create spinal misalignment and/or postural distortions which in turn affect nerves, muscles and mobility of joints. As the bulk of this weight is deposited in the abdominal area, the mother’s center of gravity shifts forward. In order to compensate, the natural curves of the spine, particularly in the lumbar region, become exaggerated causing “low back pain”.

The hips may also expand laterally to help stabilize the body, putting pressure on the sacroilliac joints. The hormones of pregnancy cause muscles, ligaments, cartilage (such as the symphisis pubis), and even bones to “soften” and become more pliable. Pelvic bones “slip” and can become more easily displaced and/or fixated. In addition, certain round ligaments attach to pelvis bones and then to the uterus as it enlarges with the growth of the baby. When these ligaments are strained or torqued, as with sudden movement or “rolling over”, they can cause even more discomfort for the pregnant mother.

Benefits of Prenatal Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care can:

  1. Correct vertebral misalignment and relieve pressure with gentle and effective adjustments.
  2. Help ensure that pelvic bones are properly aligned, facilitating a quicker, easier delivery.
  3. Re-establish the natural position and mobility of the joints.

Provide freedom from interference of normal nerve energy which is vital for the development of a healthy baby and mother.

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Enjoy a Healthy, Pain Free Pregnancy

 Pregnancy is a beautiful and natural process.  From the moment of conception and throughout pregnancy, your body’s Innate Intelligence is busy coordinating the physical and hormonal changes that are necessary for creating the perfect environment for your developing baby while also preparing the mom’s body for a healthy delivery.

   Some of these changes such as gaining weight, bulging abdomen, increased back curve, pelvic ligament laxity, and postural changes can result in subluxations to the spine and pressure on the nervous system that make pregnancy a painful experience, rather than a joyful one.Pentz Family Chiropractic Summerville Wellness Blog Enjoy a Healthy Pain-Free Pregnancy

   Your nervous system is the master communication system to all the body systems including the reproductive system.  Keeping the spine aligned helps the entire body work more effectively and adapt to these changes with ease. Imbalances in the pelvis and lower back can put pressure on these nerves causing mom to experience pain or other health problems that may be “blamed” on pregnancy, when they are really caused by pressure on the nerves.

   Establishing pelvic balance and alignment is vital during pregnancy for the baby as well.  When the mother’s pelvis is misaligned it may reduce the amount of room available for the developing baby.  This restriction is called intrauterine constraint.  A misaligned pelvis may also make it difficult for the baby to get into the best position for delivery.

   Chiropractic care during pregnancy can provide the following benefits:

  • Maintaining a healthier pregnancy
  • Controlling symptoms of nausea
  • Reducing the time of labor and delivery (by nearly 25% reduction in the average labor times in those receiving chiropractic care versus the generally accepted average labor time in women who had given birth in the past, there was a 33% reduction in average labor time (Fallon J. International Chiropractic Association, 1994 – Virginia)
  • Relieving back, neck or joint pain (Researchers found 7/10 women were helped by spinal manipulation in this study: Bery G, Hammar M,Moller-Nielsen J et al. Obstet and Gynecol 72:71-75, 1988)
  • Preventing a potential cesarean section

   Currently, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association recommends that women receive chiropractic care throughout pregnancy to establish pelvic balance and optimize the room a baby has for development throughout pregnancy. With a balanced pelvis, babies have a greater chance of moving into the correct position for birth, and the crisis and worry associated with breech and posterior presentations can be avoided altogether.  Optimal baby positioning at the time of birth also eliminates the potential for dystocia (difficult labor) and therefore results in easier and safer deliveries for both the mother and baby.

   Many obstetricians and midwives work closely with chiropractors, as a team, to ensure the healthiest pregnancy for mom, and the safest delivery for baby.

   Chiropractic care can also help mom even after the baby is born. In the eight weeks after delivery, the ligaments that loosened during pregnancy begin to tighten again. Aligning the spine and pelvis as these ligaments return to their normal state can speed the healing from deliver and ensure a healthy future. And don’t forget to make sure your new baby’s spine and nervous system is healthy with a simple chiropractic checkup immediately after they are born.

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