For many pregnant women, aches and various pains in the hips and lower back zone are part of the course.
In fact, according to a study conducted by researchers Jonathan N. Grauer and Jennifer Sabino, the incidence of lower back pain in pregnant women is between 50 and 80%, with one-third of women with child claiming that low back pain is a significant problem that alters their quality of life.
Another study reported that 76% of women reported some variation of back pains during pregnancy. Luckily, one of the ways to enjoy pain relief and many other health benefits is chiropractic care.
How Safe is Chiropractic Care for Pregnant Women?
Essentially, chiropractic care involves the health maintenance of the spinal column and the adjustment of misaligned joints by massaging certain key pressure points. The practice is based on physical therapy and does not involve any type of surgery or the use of drugs.
Even though chiropractic care is safe, pregnant women should always get a doctor’s approval before seeing a chiropractor. This treatment is especially not recommended if women are experiencing the following issues:
- Moderate to severe toxemia
- Placenta abruption or placenta previa
- Vaginal bleeding
- Ectopic pregnancy
While all chiropractors are trained to work with women who are pregnant, some of them specialize specifically in prenatal and postnatal care. With that being said, let us take a look at the benefits pregnant women can experience by seeing a chiropractor.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Pregnant Women
1. Reduces In-Utero Constraints
Amongst the many changes that a woman’s body goes through during pregnancy, one of them is an increased production of a hormone called relaxin. Its role can be guessed by the name – it helps relax the body’s ligaments so that the baby assumes the right position while the mom is moving.
In some cases, pregnant women may experience what experts called a subluxation, which restricts the motions of the pelvis. This, in turn, can cause in-utero constraint – when the stress placed on the ligaments is so great that they are unable to relax and allow the baby to change its position.
This condition can be prevented, and treated by chiropractic care, as it reduces the stress on the mom’s frame and, consequently, allows the baby to move freely. Another benefit of this practice is that it allows the baby to turn its head down, priming it for the day of delivery.
2. Shorter Labor Times
This is arguably the benefit that women will be grateful for the most. The shorter labor times are possible thanks to the fact that chiropractic care prepares the mom’s body for giving birth by ensuring that the joints and spine are properly aligned. By correcting their posture, the nervous system link between the mom and the body is established, facilitating a smoother birth transit.
In fact, a retrospective review of statistics showed that pregnant patients seeking chiropractic care experienced, on average, 31% shorter labor times. Furthermore, according to Joan’s Fallon “Textbook on chiropractic & pregnancy”, women who sought chiropractic care enjoyed 25% shorter labor times.
Regardless of the statistics, the numbers look pretty good, as reducing labor times even by a little is a blessing, especially for first-time mothers.
3. Reduces Lower Back Pain
As we have stated during the introduction, lower back pain is one of the most common symptoms that pregnant women experienced due to the extra weight they have to carry. Due to the additional load, the spine undergoes a series of transformations to accommodate the baby.
These transformations, in turn, more often than not result in lower back pains. As the baby grows in size, the pains get only worse. Chiropractic care can help correct the posture of the spine as the baby is developing, keeping the spine in its natural, intended curve.
4. Chiropractic Care Eases Pregnancy Symptoms
Besides lower back pains and disjointed pelvic areas, other common symptoms that pregnant women experience are nausea and vomiting.
Chiropractic care is a great way of getting relief from morning sickness. If the nausea and vomiting are caused due to the nerves being pinched, or the vertebrae being out of place, chiropractic care is purpose-built to solve these exact issues. The adjustments and gentle physical care will put everything where it should be.
5. Improves Postpartum Recovery
Finally, the benefits of chiropractic care extend way beyond pregnancy into the postpartum period. Being adjusted before, and especially after delivering the baby will help the body recover faster from the delivery process.
This is because the physical therapy enhances the alignment and flexibility of the woman’s spine, and stimulates the nervous system, helping it stay functional, balanced and healthy.
Chiropractic care is not only safe for pregnant women but also recommended to treat some of the more common symptoms associated with this phase, such as lower back pains and morning sickness. Adding to the list of benefits is the fact that it shortens the delivery time by a whopping 30%, and speeds up the postpartum recovery process.
All in all, seeking chiropractic care is a great way of making your pregnancy much more enjoyable – but make sure to consult with your doctor before seeing a chiropractor.