Pregnancy & Back Pain

According to the paper “Chiropractic Treatment of Pregnancy-Related Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review of the Evidence,” published in 2008 and written by Dr. Kent Stubor and Dr. Dean Smith, up to 80% of pregnant women experience back pain.  Up to 85% of these women never seek treatment for this pain, likely because they attribute it to “a normal part of pregnancy.”  Over two thirds of these women continue to have back pain after the birth of their baby, which Stubor and Smith notes “raises concern about the pain becoming chronic and inherently more difficult to resolve.”

Your chiropractor understands that the causes of pregnancy-related back pain is different from other cases of back pain.  Pregnancy-related back pain results from a combination of progressively loosening joints, due to the hormone relaxin, and a dramatic increase in the curve of the lower back, due to a growing womb.  These changes cause a significant increase in the stress on the spinal joints and a greater likelihood that these joints will move out of alignment.

The treatment goal for pregnancy-related back pain is no different from any other type of back pain: restore normal joint alignment and motion.  However, your chiropractor will likely modify the treatment methods in several ways.

First, a special adjusting table may be used.  Blair Family & Sports Chiropractic is unique in that it has several tables that accommodate a pregnant belly, allowing the mother to lay face down.  Second, the thrust given during the adjustments will be shallower, as joints are more mobile during pregnancy.

Pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life that should be enjoyed!  Unfortunately, the body undergoes changes that predispose pregnant women to painful spinal misalignments.  If you or someone you know is one of the 80% of expecting mothers who experiences spinal pain during pregnancy, remember that chiropractors are experts at providing safe, drug-free treatments to reduce back pain.