At Kinney Chiropractic, we treat pregnant women all the time. Back pain and pelvic pain are very common in women who are pregnant. Some women start to experience pain earlier on in their pregnancy, but typically it starts around the fifth or sixth month of gestation when you start showing and the growing baby begins to put more stress on the mom’s body.
There are many physical and hormonal changes that happen with pregnancy that can contribute to lower back and pelvic pain. As the baby grows the alignment of the spine and a mother’s pelvis will change to create more space and compensate for the added weight. Increasing the curve of the spine, or lordosis, in the lower back causes pain and instability in the lumbar spine. The shortening of the psoas muscles, which extend from the lumbar spine down the front of the legs, exacerbates pain and is common among pregnant women. As you approach your due date the body releases a hormone called relaxin which allows the pelvis to expand to accommodate the larger baby and prepare the mother’s body for the birthing process. This also causes instability and pain, specifically in the lumbar spine and then the SI (sacroiliac) joints on either side of the pelvis.
Working with a chiropractor early on in pregnancy allows us to catch small problems quickly before they become big problems. We can provide treatment that minimizes discomfort, increases stability, and naturally prepares your body for the labor process. Chiropractic care is a drug-free, natural solution for pregnancy pain. Perfect for a time of life when you shouldn’t be taking medication because it could negatively impact the developing baby.
How We Treat Pregnant Moms in Belmar, NJ
Comprehensive History, Consultation, and Examination
We know what it’s like to be pregnant and how the experience can be anxiety-ridden or filled with joy. We want to create a comfortable experience for our patients so they can enjoy the process and begin bonding with their child. We really listen to our pregnant moms, taking into consideration past pregnancies and children at home, to try to understand how their past experiences, accidents, injuries, or daily activities could be contributing to the pain they’re experiencing.
After a detailed history, we conduct very specific chiropractic and functional exams along with orthopedic and neurologic testing, all with the goal to get to the root cause of the problem so that we can correct it effectively and efficiently. Obviously, we don’t take X-rays on our pregnant moms, so we do a much more thorough postural and palpatory exam to uncover functional issues.
Specific Chiropractic Care in Belmar, NJ
The most powerful technique available to a chiropractor is the chiropractic adjustment. We use specific tables and techniques to accommodate a pregnant woman’s body, allowing them to lie face down while we work to restore the alignment of their spine. This allows us to give the treatment a mom deserves during pregnancy. Adjustments decrease pinching and pressure on the nerves, restore range of motion, and correct spinal alignment to allow for the normal development of a healthy baby and improve mom’s comfort throughout her 40 weeks of pregnancy.
Soft Tissue and Massage Therapy
Tight muscles are common among pregnant women. At Kinney Chiropractic, we work to loosen up tight muscles in the lower back and pelvic area which take the brunt of the stress as a pregnant woman’s body changes. We will work to reduce stress and strain on the psoas muscle and muscles surrounding the belly. We work specifically with the round ligament, one of the ligaments that support the uterus, which is often abnormally tight as the uterus expands. We have a massage therapist on staff who is certified to work with our pregnant moms and does prenatal massage. Massage not only pampers mom but also dramatically reduces pain.
Webster Technique is a specific technique that’s utilized to naturally help turn a breech baby. A very specific exam is performed to assess where there might be interferences in a baby’s ability to turn and move in utero, and specific muscle work and adjustments are administered to allow the baby to get its head down in the natural birthing position.
At Kinney Chiropractic, we have an acupuncturist on staff. Acupuncture uses traditional Chinese medicinal principles to improve the energy flow throughout the body. With improved energy comes improved overall health. Many pregnant women find success working with our acupuncturist to alleviate pregnancy pain.
Common Pregnancy Pains in Belmar, NJ
Low Back Pain
Low back pain and sciatica are the most common pregnancy pains due to extensive lordosis and the massive amount of additional weight that pulls the belly forward putting stress on the lumbar spine. In addition to the excess weight postural, pelvic, and hormonal put additional stress on the muscles and ligaments causing lower back pain in pregnant women. We use chiropractic adjustments to correct alignment and help take pressure off the nerves. In addition to adjustments and massage therapy, we stretch out all of our pregnant moms and utilize manual soft tissue and trigger point work.
Hormones released during pregnancy cause the ligaments to stretch to make room for the growing baby. When ligaments are stretched, specifically the round ligament, it causes intense pain in the front or the sides of the pelvic area, sometimes even in the back of the pelvis. Depending on where the baby is sitting we can apply pressure directly to those ligaments and tendons.
Braxton Hicks contractions, happening anywhere from seven to eight months of pregnancy, can also give rise to pelvic pain. Some patients suffer from constipation or UTIs during pregnancy that can give rise to pelvic pain. All of these issues can be addressed naturally so that we can reduce discomfort and pain in the pelvis.
It’s important that you let your chiropractor know if you have any of these abnormal conditions because it could be a warning sign of something worse to come. It’s important that we know what’s happening so that we can correct it as soon as possible or find the right source of the solution.
Pregnancy headaches are not fun, Dr. Kinney knows from experience. 39% of women get tension headaches or migraines either during pregnancy or postpartum. Sometimes even cluster headaches in the face.
Pregnancy headaches usually happen in the first trimester due to hormonal changes. The higher blood volume your body carries to accommodate the baby and weight gain can lead to headaches. Dehydration, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, sensitivity to light and sound, are all pregnancy headache triggers so it’s important to stay properly hydrated and ensure that you’re taking care of yourself.
In the second and third trimester headaches are usually due to excess weight gain and postural changes or not getting enough sleep. The overall discomfort of the second and third trimesters can also trigger headaches. High blood pressure and gestational diabetes can give rise to late-stage pregnancy headaches.
Symphysis Pubis Disorder
60% of women will develop some sort of experience with symphysis pubis pain. The symphysis pubis is the front part of the lowest part of your pelvis, right in between your legs. Hormonal changes and ligament changes due to the expansion of the pelvis, in addition to the movement and kicking of the baby, will give rise to this type of pain. Oftentimes SPD goes away as soon as the baby is born.
Round Ligament Pain
10% to 30% of pregnant women usually develop round ligament pain in the first or second trimester. They’re often referred to as growing pains as the baby begins to grow rapidly. During the second trimester, the uterus anchors itself to the body using the round ligament. The expansion of the uterus pulls abnormally on the round ligament, stretching and tightening the ligament causing pain.
Moms often feel like they have to hunch over because standing up straight pulls on the round ligament. Standing or changing positions, coughing or sneezing, sometimes walking and exercise can exacerbate this achy, crampy, sharp, stabbing pain. Through adjustments and soft tissue or massage of the ligament, chiropractors can help relieve round ligament pain.
As a pregnant mom gets into the second or third trimester, hormonal changes in the body, especially the hormone relaxin, give the bladder the ability to expand and take on extra pressure. It is common to have little accidents or issues with incontinence when it comes to urinating. There are some preventative measures to prevent or reduce urinary incontinence – Kegel exercises, not gaining too much weight, avoiding coffee and soda. It may help to wear an extra pad, but if it gets to be too difficult to manage it’s time to talk to your OBGYN.
When the baby is in a breech position, they are poised to be born legs first as opposed to head first. We don’t have the full story about why a baby’s head doesn’t automatically go into the correct position, but a chiropractic theory is that due to improper alignment, a dysfunctional nerve supply coming through the spine, or abnormal muscle or ligament tone, the baby doesn’t have enough room to turn its body head down.
At Kinney Chiropractic, we use the Webster Technique, an all-natural breech baby turning technique. Chiropractic adjustments during pregnancy are critical to ensure normal nerve supply to the mom to ensure the baby is growing and developing properly.
Belmar, NJ Chiropractic FAQs
Is chiropractic safe during pregnancy?
Absolutely. You should find a chiropractor like us at Kinney Chiropractic who treats pregnant women and are comfortable with treating pregnant women. I was adjusted throughout my entire pregnancy and it was the best thing I ever did to help with alleviating pain. I was able to maximize my body’s normal function and optimize my nerve supply for my health and my developing baby’s health.
When should you start seeing a chiropractor during pregnancy?
As soon as you know you’re pregnant. You want to have the healthiest growth and development of your baby, so I would start as soon as you know that you’re pregnant. Make sure that your spine, your health, and your nerve supply is exactly where it’s supposed to be to help support your growing baby.
Can chiropractic adjustments cause a miscarriage?
No. Miscarriages are not caused by chiropractic adjustments. Chiropractic adjustments are safe for pregnant women.
Can you go to a chiropractor in the very first trimester?
Absolutely. It’s important to go as soon as you know you’re pregnant so that you can keep your body healthy but also keep your baby’s body healthy.
Is it normal to have lower back pain early in pregnancy?
Yes. Low back pain can happen anywhere during the course of pregnancy due to hormone and alignment changes. Low back pain is most common during the first trimester.
How do you relieve pelvic pain during pregnancy?
Chiropractic care works wonderfully to help relieve pelvic pain. Adjustments help correct alignment of the spine and restore motion in the spine. Pelvic pain relief is also possible by stretching and massaging your soft tissue.