|There’s no question that a woman goes through tremendous changes during the nine months of pregnancy. The most obvious physical changes that are likely to affect the spine will begin to occur during the second trimester. 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).
The second and third trimesters can also present difficulties with finding a comfortable sleeping posture. Current best recommendations are for pregnant women to not sleep on their back or stomach, but instead to sleep on their left side.
They should be in a fetal position, with the knees tucked up and a pillow between their legs. Unfortunately, this can be difficult for those who are used to sleeping on their back or stomach, as well as due to the fact that hormonal changes with pregnancy can often cause night sweats, making it difficult to sleep.
Balancing the body with by using the Zone Technique can help other pregnancy related issues like nausea, heartburn, fatigue, migraines/headaches, poor sleep. Zone 1 specifically targets hormones and reproductive organs. Zone 3 relaxes the body for pain relief, balances hormones and the immune system, and restores nerve flow to the whole body, including the low back, hips, sciatic, and uterus. Zone 4 helps with pregnancy nausea or heartburn. Zone 5 stabilizes muscles and ligaments. And Zone 6 optimizes blood flow to deliver nutrients to developing little one and regulates blood pressure to avoid swelling and conditions like Preeclampsia.
How can chiropractic during pregnancy help?
As a Certified Chiropractor in the Webster Technique, we have seen tremendous success, not only helping with typical pregnancy aches and pains, but especially allowing the opportunity for breeched babies to turn themselves around.
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 adjustments.
Lastly, regular Chiropractic Adjustments can help put the baby into ideal position for labor.
Pregnancy is a time of tremendous change for any woman, and chiropractic care can help make these changes easier by relieving pain.