There’s no question that a woman goes through tremendous changes during the nine months of pregnancy.
The second trimester is when the most obvious physical changes likely to affect the spine will begin to occur. As the uterus grows to accommodate the fetus, the lumbar curve of the spine will increase to account for the stomach protruding further forward.
The pelvis will also start to shift position as the normally tough pelvic ligaments soften in preparation for eventual delivery. In order to counterbalance for the abdomen protruding forward, many pregnant women end up leaning somewhat backward as they stand or walk. This can then place pressure on the pelvis, the sacroiliac joint and the ligaments, causing additional pain.
All of these changes are not isolated to the back and pelvis, but will also affect the knees, ankles and feet. All of these shifts in the normal position of the back can also affect posture, which may lead to sciatica and edema (water retention) in the ankles and knees.
How can chiropractic during pregnancy help?
The most obvious targets for chiropractic adjustments will be the lumbar spine and the sacroiliac joint, in order to shift the vertebrae back into alignment, which will help relieve lower back pain. Adjustments to these joints may also relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve and help patients sleep more soundly at night. Swelling and pain in the knees, ankles and feet can also be addressed with chiropractic adjustments.
Finally, there is numerous case study evidence available showing the effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments in aiding proper fetal presentation within the womb.
It is vitally important that chiropractic care be viewed as a first line of defense for the health of both mother and child during pregnancy.
*source credit: ‘Chiropractic Economics’