Back pain is abundant in today’s society and it can be particularly common during pregnancy. Unfortunately, an unhealthy spine may lead to an unhealthy pregnancy, labor, and delivery. That’s why it’s so important to take care of your spine throughout your lifetime, but especially during this crucial baby-growing phase. The key to a back pain-free pregnancy is
not about managing symptoms or treating problem areas, it is about preventing it from happening in the first place. And the key to prevention lies in taking care of your nervous system!
What exactly does that mean? Let me explain…
The bones that make up the human spine surround and protect the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. The brain controls all functions of the body (both voluntary and involuntary) by sending messages down the spinal cord and out through the nerves to rest of the body.
When the spine is out of alignment (or subluxated) these messages become interrupted and hinder the brain’s ability to control organs and other crucial bodily functions… Ahem, growing a tiny human.
So you can see that when you take care of your nervous system you’re doing a lot more than just preventing back pain, you’re allowing your body to live at its highest potential.
Step #1 To Preventing Back Pain During Pregnancy
The first thing you need to do (if you haven’t already) is to find a good chiropractor, preferably one that has prenatal experience, and make yourself an appointment.
If you’re a newbie and have never been to a chiropractor’s office before don’t worry, there’s never been a better time to start!
When you are pregnant you produce a hormone called relaxin.
This does exactly what it sounds like – it causes the joints and ligaments to become more lubricated so that your pelvis and hips will relax and open up properly for birth.
This particular feature of pregnancy can actually be pretty taxing on your low back as the increasing weight in your abdomen can put pressure on the lower spine and cause it to shift forward and down.
As the spine becomes subluxated it can cause unwanted pain and discomfort.
There is, however, an upside to the hypermobility of your spine. In a way, it gives you a “leg up,” when it comes to the ease at which your spine can be corrected back into alignment.
Your bones move easier and therefore may actually align quicker.
In addition to regular chiropractic care, it’s also important to incorporate a few more healthy habits into your daily life in order to steer clear from back pain.
Step #2 To Preventing Back Pain During Pregnancy
One of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy spine is a having a positive mindset. It’s unfortunate that so many women just expect to have back pain during pregnancy because they assume that it’s somehow normal.
Well, now you know that it’s absolutely NOT normal! You just need to believe it.
Your thoughts become your reality. Thinking negative thoughts like, “back pain is inevitable, might as well just get used to it,” will only lead to more suffering.
Try and think more along the lines of “My body is strong and healthy. I have a perfectly functioning nervous system that will allow my baby to grow and develop in optimal health.”
Working on a positive attitude will make a world of difference for your health and life in general.
Step #3 To Preventing Back Pain During Pregnancy
Chiropractic adjustments alone will not help you if you’re not making time for daily self-care. In other words, you need a routine in place to make sure that each adjustment counts.
Continue to move your body, perform any and all exercises that your doctor gives you, and maintain proper posture and body mechanics throughout each and every day.
Gentle exercises like walking, yoga, and swimming are perfect for pregnancy and will help to strengthen your core and back muscles, protecting your spine.
With that being said, it’s really all about balance. We all know it’s not particularly good to sit for hours on end, but it’s also not good to be on your feet all day either.
Make time for movement but also make time for relaxing. You’re growing a baby for goodness sake.
Schedule in set times to perform the at-home spinal care exercises that your doctor gives you. This way you can be sure to get them in as often as you can.
Throughout each day try and be cognizant of your posture. Keep your head up, shoulders back and down, and keep a slight bend in your knees (if you’re standing). Also, be sure to avoid slouching whenever possible.
Every time that you need to pick something up off the floor try squatting, as opposed to bending at the hips. These little things may seem trivial but they will help you tremendously in the long run.
Consistency is key. Make it a point to be as consistent as possible and incorporate these healthy habits into your daily routine. Your back will thank you!
Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Pregnant Women
Not only will you be living a back pain-free pregnancy but you will see so many other amazing benefits from being under regular chiropractic care. Here are just a few.
- Promotes easier pregnancy and delivery
- Reduces labor time (less traumatic for mom and baby)
- Decreases need for interventions during labor (lower C-section rate)
- Optimizes fetal positioning
- Improves common pregnancy symptoms such as nausea
I want to hear from you! Are you pregnant and struggling with back pain? Have you tried any of these? Let me know in the comments.