Being pregnant should be a joyous time in a woman’s life, but there are a few things that can make it rather uncomfortable. We’re going to discuss a few of the reasons that back pain often accompanies pregnancy and how upper cervical chiropractic may provide relief that is safe for both mom and baby. Plus, we will consider the role that upper cervical chiropractic can play in prenatal health as well as when it comes to the birth itself.
Pregnancy and Back Pain
If you are suffering from back pain during pregnancy, you are far from alone. In fact, about 50-70% of pregnant women will experience back pain. For pregnant women, back pain usually occurs at the SI (sacroiliac) joint. This is where the spine and the pelvis meet.
Why does pregnancy often result in back pain? While the fact that a typical pregnancy adds 25-35 pounds seems like the simple answer, it is just one contributing factor. Consider the following four circumstances that can also be the root cause of back pain:
- Postural Changes – It’s not just about the weight, but where the weight goes. Having most of that 25-35 pounds out in front of you shifts your center of gravity. You likely have noticed that even the way you walk has changed. This can lead to strain on the spine.
- Hormone Levels – In order to give birth to a baby, your body needs to loosen the ligaments and joints in the pelvis area. This is triggered by a hormone called relaxin. Sometimes, rather than just affecting pelvis joints and ligaments, the hormones also affect the spine.
- Stress – Stress is stored in the neck and shoulders. That is why stress often leads to neck and back pain as well as headaches. If you are suffering emotional stress, whether related to the pregnancy or not, this may be adding to the back pain.
- Nerve Compression – As the baby grows, he or she may put pressure on some of the nerves or blood vessels in the back. This too can be responsible for back pain.
With all of these factors in play, it is actually surprising that more women don’t experience back pain during pregnancy. Let’s take a look at how upper cervical chiropractic care can help you to deal with this pain without posing any risk to you or your baby.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic – A Safe and Natural Alternative
When someone is suffering from severe back pain, the sad fact is that most doctors still just reach for the prescription pad to offer pain medicine as treatment. However, the March of Dimes website provides numerous facts about the serious dangers of mixing opioids and pregnancy. Therefore, it is vital to find natural ways to get relief from the pain. A few things that you can do at home to reduce the risk of back pain during pregnancy include:
- Don’t sleep on your back.
- Have your doctor provide an easy exercise routine that you can use to strengthen your back muscles without harming your baby.
- Don’t wear shoes unless they provide adequate support. High heels should wait until after you deliver.
- Elevate your feet when you rest.
- If you have to pick something up from the ground, squat rather than trying to bend at the waist.
- Use a support belt.
- See an upper cervical chiropractor.
Upper cervical chiropractors offer a particularly gentle and precise form of chiropractic. While the focus is on the top two bones of the spine rather than the lower back, this chiropractic niche still addresses the issues that lead to back pain during pregnancy.
Spinal health flows from the top down, so the best way to control postural changes is to ensure your C1 and C2 stay in alignment. Also, since the atlas (C1) surrounds the brainstem, keeping this bone properly aligned is vital when it comes to controlling the proper release of hormones. Keeping the upper cervical spine in order may also help you cope with stress, as a properly functioning central nervous system (CNS) plays the main role in dealing with emotions. From making sure blood is getting to the brain to ensuring cerebrospinal fluid can drain freely, all of this is related to the upper cervical spine.
Upper cervical chiropractic is also the safe solution because the adjustments are so gentle. You don’t want someone bending your spine and popping your vertebrae with a high force adjustment. Gentle corrections that focus on the upper part of the neck ensure that there will be no unnecessary pressure on the abdomen.
Why Make Upper Cervical Chiropractic Part of Your Prenatal Care?
Spinal alignment is an important element of the birthing process. If your spine and pelvis are properly aligned, your baby has a direct route to follow. This can help to limit the occurrence of complications. Don’t underestimate the benefits of upper cervical chiropractic for postnatal care as well. Not only is it good for mom, but it is gentle enough for infants as well. This would especially be important if there was any difficulty in the birthing process that could have caused a misalignment.
In the end, the most important thing is that you and your baby are happy and healthy. Upper cervical chiropractic may be just what you need to reach that goal. So why not contact a practitioner in your area today? A consultation may be just what you need to determine if this is the right natural option for your family.