Pregnancy and back pain go hand in hand. After all, the mother-to-be is suddenly carrying about thirty pounds of extra weight in front of her and this does not only contribute to a change in posture but also to an increase in stress on the lower back. There is probably not a pregnant woman on this earth who has not experienced lower back pain as part and parcel of at least one of her pregnancies, and the odds are even worse for those who already have some latent back irritation brought on by a host of other daily life issues as well as preexisting medical conditions. With the shift of the center of gravity, posture changes even more, and now not only the increasing weight of the pregnancy affects the way a woman carries herself, but the body’s attempts of counterbalancing furthermore aggravate the posture as well as the spine.
As a chiropractor, here are some words of advice for those who are pregnant and suffering from back pain and also shoulder pains:
* This is the time to wear flat shoes which support your feet and ankles. Do not give in to the fashion fads that dictate heels even to pregnant women! There is nothing glamorous about being pregnant and wearing footwear that will hurt your body rather than support it.
* Now more than ever lifting needs to be done with the knees and not your lower back. While it is best to avoid lifting altogether, this is not entirely possible if you already have a toddler at home.
* Do chair exercises to prevent your leg muscles from cramping.
* Sleep on your side – which is probably something that your doctor is already telling you to do – but also place a pillow between your knees. You will be surprised how much this little act will do to alleviate your lower back pain.
* If you carry around heavy bags consider purchasing a backpack with wide, padded straps to carry the load on your back.
* If your back hurts to such an extreme that it interferes with your quality of life, contact your doctor and ask about undergoing chiropractic treatment. Generally speaking, chiropractic adjustments are a safe procedure during pregnancy, but just like with anything else, you will want to run it by your doctor first. When you do get your doctor’s okay, make sure that you contact your chiropractor to find out if she or he has experience treating pregnant patients. Choose a care provider who has experience in this area!
Obviously, there will be some back pain that simply cannot be adjusted away, but the good news is that after giving birth the majority of back pain sufferers indicate that their back pain went away almost overnight. Others will benefit greatly from chiropractic care at that point, and many a chiropractor actually suggests that you should come in within a month or so after giving birth to get your spine adjusted. Waiting longer might make it a bit harder since all the ligaments are now stiffening again.