PREGNANCY & CHIROPRACTIC: (By Jenny Roppola: Chiropractor at Cleveland Chiropractic)
Pregnancy is an exciting time. The pending arrival of a new baby is also a time of much change for both mum and dad. Unfortunately for the new mum, many of the physical changes to help grow baby also lead to added stress on mum's body. The ever-increasing size and position of the growing baby can lead to more strain and stress on a spine and pelvis that is also trying to accommodate existing spinal distortions/weaknesses. The added load of a baby inutero leads to a substantial change in biomechanics, most commonly presenting as lower back pain, sciatica (pain in the buttock, down the leg and even to the foot), and/or pubic joint pain.
Simple changes to daily activities can help to ease this stress:
- Avoiding heavy lifting and being careful of how even lighter objects (e.g. Hand bag) are carried
- Minimise the amount of time spent standing
- If lying down, use pillows to support your knees (if lying face up) and hips/belly (if on your side)
- Swimming, aqua aerobics and even walking in water can help with circulation and provide a 'gravity free' environment in which to move (but do check with your health care practitioners to see if these activities are suitable for you)
- Massage can also help with circulation and muscle aches
Chiropractic has been regularly used by pregnant women to address lower back, sciatic and pubic joint issues. Techniques can be modified to accommodate a growing baby belly, the progressive joint laxity associated with later stages of pregnancy and the altered biomechanics of being pregnant. Postural advice and ways to care for your spine during pregnancy are also areas chiropractors can help.