When most people think of chiropractic, they think that it helps with neck pain, back pain, and auto accidents. What people don’t know is that chiropractic can help with much more than just pain.
Many pregnant women have started to seek out chiropractic care to alleviate pain, strengthen their immune system, and to help with the overall health of themselves and their little ones. These benefits sound great, but some women still have doubts about how safe and effective chiropractic can be during pregnancy. In this article, we want to share with you what it is that chiropractors do and the specialized techniques that are used to care for pregnant women.
As chiropractors, our job is to analyze the spine for vertebral subluxations and correct them. What is a vertebral subluxation? It is when the bones of the spine shift out of their normal position putting pressure on the nerves that exit between them. This pressure causes interference to the messages that are traveling across those nerves and ultimately dysfunction in the tissues and organs that those nerves supply. A chiropractor is trained to look for these subluxations and remove them, taking the pressure off of those nerves and allowing the messages coming from the brain to get to the tissues and organs without interruption. This means that you will experience less pain, more function, and will ultimately be healthier overall.
During pregnancy, you will experience many changes throughout your entire body that will lead to discomfort and pain. The number 1 reason pregnant women seek out chiropractic care is for low back pain. As your belly starts to grow, your center of gravity will shift to accommodate the extra weight. As a result of this, you will start to lean backward and splay your hips out more, which causes a lot of strain on your lower back.
Many women also visit a chiropractor for pelvic pain. The pelvis is the foundation of the spine and supports your trunk, because of this it handles a lot of stress and pressure. During pregnancy, the body releases a hormone called Relaxin which is meant to help relax the ligaments in the pelvis to allow it to widen and make room for a growing baby. Because of this hormone working a little too well, some women may experience Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) or pelvic girdle pain. When this happens it can cause the bones of the pelvis to become misaligned not only causing pain but also makes the pelvic inlet smaller which gives the baby a smaller space to move around in and ultimately can cause bad positioning of baby during labor.
The last reason women generally look for a chiropractor is sciatic pain. The sciatic nerve is formed by the lower spinal nerves and runs through the lower back, hips, and buttocks. When the vertebrae in the lower back, pelvis, or sacrum become misaligned they can put pressure on the sciatic nerve causing pain, inflammation, and numbness.
Chiropractic care can be very beneficial for all 3 reasons that pregnant moms want to get adjusted, but there are also other reasons for starting chiropractic care during pregnancy.
The main goal of chiropractic is to make sure the nervous system is working correctly. This is especially important when you are pregnant. We want to make sure that your body is functioning correctly so we can give your baby the best environment possible to develop. Everything you eat, drink, and do either affects the baby positively or negatively. Making sure your nervous system is working properly can only have a positive effect on a growing fetus.
Making sure you have a properly functioning nervous system will also cause you to have a properly functioning immune system. All of the hormonal changes that are taking place during pregnancy can lower your immune function and make mom susceptible to illness. Chiropractic care will bring your nervous system, lymphatic system, and musculoskeletal system into balance to allow your immune system to work at 100%.
Chiropractic care can also help moms reduce their risk of C-Section. While some women may choose to have a c-section, usually it occurs in times of emergency or risk. Consistently seeing a chiropractor make sure your pelvis and sacrum are properly aligned can reduce this risk. A recent study found a strong relationship between women who saw a chiropractor during pregnancy and a reduced occurrence of c-sections or needing to use forceps during delivery.
During the last 3 months of pregnancy, the body experiences many changes to prepare for birth. Hormones relax and stretch the muscles of the pelvis and your belly seems to drop as the baby descends into the birth canal. An important aspect of this time is the position of the baby in the womb. If the baby is not positioned correctly labor can be difficult and even dangerous. Chiropractic care can help to make sure that the pelvis is properly aligned to allow the baby to have an optimal position in the womb.
Chiropractic care has also been shown to help the body prepare for labor. On average, women who undergo chiropractic care during their first pregnancy have their labor time reduced by 21% while women who have already given birth find the time reduced by 31%.
The benefits of chiropractic care do not end once you have given birth. Birth can be traumatic for mom as well as for the baby. Not only can your pelvis become misaligned again, but baby can also experience subluxations during this process. It is very important to make sure that mom and baby are both checked as soon as possible after labor to allow the body sufficient uninterrupted nerve flow to allow the body to heal and develop properly.
In our office, we love taking care of pregnant moms, babies, and kids of all ages. Our mission is to change the way our community thinks about health. What better way to do that than to grow a healthy generation of children!
We are a family practice with offices located in Miami, Kendall, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It has always been our goal to help as many people as possible through principled chiropractic care.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with our chiropractors, call 305-800-7746 or visit our website www.elitespinegroup.com