It is not uncommon for pregnant women to experience back pain or pelvic pain whilst pregnant. The usual pressures placed on the spine of a non-pregnant individual are vastly different to that of a pregnant mother. Thus, as a baby grows, the mother’s spine and pelvis is required change and adapt dramatically, placing increased pressure on the joints of the pelvis and spine.
Common Symptoms of Pregnancy Back and Pelvic Pain
The increase in physical demand required during pregnancy can place pressure on nerves and joints of the spine and pelvis, directly causing pain. The pelvic muscles need to work harder to stabilise the pelvis, as the abdominal muscles stretch and relax to accommodate the baby. This results in aches and pains in the lower back and pelvis due to muscle fatigue. As the abdomen expands, the lower back alters its curve and position, placing pressure on joints, muscles and nerves. This increase in abdominal pressure may also cause;
- lower back pain
- middle and upper back pain
- pain in the hips
- pain in the pubic area
- frequent urination
- swollen legs
- varicose veins
Most women will experience some minor discomfort during their pregnancy. Such pain is largely relieved by rest and adjusting position frequently. Approximately 1 in 5 women seek treatment for their pregnancy-related back and pelvic pain.
Normal hormonal changes occurring during pregnancy cause softening of ligaments that stabilise the bones of joints. This places increased requirements on the stabilising muscles of joints throughout the body. In some circumstances, this may cause the joint in the pubic area to separate and is known as “diastasis pubis”. The degree of separation may cause significant disability and will determine the level of chiropractic care and referral required.
Chiropractic Care for Pregnancy Related Back Pain & Pelvic Pain
Balanced Body Chiropractic is experienced in treating and supporting back pain and pelvic pain experienced by women during their pregnancy. Chiropractic care may assist in pain management and relief by addressing the joints affected, relieving nerves that may be under pressure and gently releasing muscles where appropriate. A thorough examination including orthopaedic testing, functional assessment and historical factors will determine the most appropriate schedule of care. Advice on self management, safe movement and stretching techniques is also provided. In some cases, assistance with daily activities or referral for ultrasound may be indicated.