During pregnancy many physiological and hormonal changes take place, all for the purpose of creating an optimal environment for the developing baby. This complex process involves every system of the pregnant woman’s body. The musculoskeletal system is affected by the protruding abdomen, “duck-like” walk, and increased lower back curvature. The pelvis changes early in pregnancy due to the release of estrogens and Relaxin. These hormones cause the ligaments to relax and often, this together with increased synovial fluids widens the pelvic joints. This increased mobility is not restricted to the pelvis only, and may be noticed in other joints as well. As the uterus enlarges and expands forward, the center of gravity is displaced, subluxations of the spine may occur, and this results in associated muscle cramps and nerve pain. This change in posture puts more strain on the lower back and pelvis, which may result in lower back pain. Fifty percent of all women complain of low back/hip pain during pregnancy.
Subluxations of the neck may be caused as it compensates for the changes to the lower spine by moving forward. This results in various symptoms including headaches, nausea or insomnia. Subluxations cause illness due to neurological disturbance. All body functions are controlled by the brain sending and receiving messages over nerves. When spinal segments are subluxed (or misaligned), nerve interference occurs and this disrupts the vital communication system of the body. One or more parts of the body can be affected as can your overall health.
Should I have Chiropractic care during my pregnancy? YES! Chiropractic care can help you and your baby achieve a healthier pregnancy and delivery. As it is not advisable to take drugs during pregnancy, chiropractic offers a drug-free and natural alternative to decrease the discomfort that is often experienced. It is gentle, safe, and adjustments are tailored to the different phases of pregnancy. The health benefits have been demonstrated in clinical studies. Irvin Hendryson, M.D. found that women who received chiropractic adjustments in their third trimester of pregnancy were able to carry and deliver children with more comfort. Per Freitag, M.D., an orthopedist, conducted a hospital study in which chiropractic adjustments were incorporated during the patient’s pregnancy. He found that the need for painkillers during delivery was reduced by 50%.
The best time to be checked for subluxations is before you would like to become pregnant to insure proper pelvic and spinal alignment, and optimal nervous system function. If you are already pregnant, chiropractic adjustments are given throughout the nine months and can have a direct positive affect on your pregnancy, labour, and delivery.