Yes, chiropractic care IS safe during pregnancy. In fact, there are no known contraindications to a pregnant woman receiving chiropractic care other than the same ones that would affect a non-pregnant woman. Chiropractic care is a fantastic option for pain management while pregnant, especially because there are few options a pregnant woman can try to remedy things like sciatica and lower back pain. That’s one of the reasons I frequently get referrals from midwives and MDs; their patients have pregnancy-related back pain, sciatica, or other complaints and chiropractic treatment is a safe and effective option.
Why do Pregnant Women Get Lower Back Pain?
At no other time in an adult women’s life will she experience such major physical changes to her body than when she is pregnant. Increasing breast size, protruding abdomen, and weight gain all place mechanical stress on the spine and surrounding tissues. This stress can translate to pain and discomfort as the spine changes shape and takes on the new responsibilities of accommodating a pregnancy. Periodic joint manipulation, commonly known as chiropractic adjustments, throughout pregnancy can help relieve pregnancy-related low back pain, sciatica related to pregnancy, and other symptoms that present.
Sciatica When Pregnant
Sciatica, otherwise known as inflammation of the sciatic nerve, is common in pregnancy can cause shooting pain down the leg making it difficult to find comfort in any position. When you’re dealing with all of the other things pregnancy throws at you, shooting pain down the back of your leg (or legs!) is the last thing you want to deal with. Chiropractic care can restore motion to the joints and tissues around the pelvis giving the sciatic nerve more freedom while reducing the change it becomes irritated and inflamed. My patients also find that after we cover some simple rehab exercises they get a lot of relief from their sciatica symptoms.
Round Ligament Pain
Round ligament pain is a common complaint from pregnant women. I typically find this bothers women in their second trimester. If you’re having round ligament pain don’t be too worried, it’s one of the most common complaints in my patients who are pregnant. Round ligament is pain that is in the lower belly and sometimes into the groin. It can be on both sides of the belly or groin and is caused by the stretching and spasming of the round ligament. During your appointment, there’s a soft tissue release technique I typically use in addition to chiropractic adjustments and mobilizing the pelvis.
The overall message is that chiropractic care IS SAFE during pregnancy. It’s a great strategy for addressing pregnancy-related low back pain, sciatica, and round ligament pain while pregnant. There are other benefits of receiving chiropractic care through pregnancy—such as decreased labor times and proper positioning of the baby—but the above covers the more common reasons as to why a pregnant woman would seek chiropractic care. Pregnancy should be a fun, exciting, joyous time of your life. Don’t let pain be the main thing you remember.
Dr. Brianna Williams DC has spent significant time learning from one of the foremost experts in pediatrics and prenatal care in the chiropractic profession. She works closely with midwives, obstetricians, and birthing centers to ensure a comfortable pregnancy for her patients. If you would like further information or have questions feel free to email her at our Cary chiropractic office.