• Dr. Nicole Knapp

Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

Chiropractic care restores proper joint movement, spinal alignment, and nervous system function. During pregnancy there are millions of hormonal changes and chemical reactions that mother and baby are being exposed to and it is all being coordinated through the nervous system. The nervous system needs to respond to rapid changes accurately and this requires a healthy spine.

When Chiropractors’ perform an examination on the spine they are looking for what is known as a vertebral subluxation. This is where the vertebrae become misaligned or are not moving properly. A vertebral subluxation has the ability to irritate and interfere with nerve impulses that run from the brain to a particular area in the body. As a pregnant woman gains weight her center of gravity changes. There is an added forward and downward pressure placed on the spine, which can commonly lead to low back pain and, at times, neck pain.

During pregnancy, a hormone referred to as relaxin is released to help loosen ligaments. This in turn can further add to the already existing spinal discomfort. If a pregnant woman has a misaligned pelvis there may be a decreased amount of room available for baby. Furthermore, the misaligned pelvis may make it difficult for baby to be in the best possible position for delivery. This can cause the baby to become breech and interfere with natural laboring positions leading to a C-section.

According to J Chiro Med, women who seek chiropractic care throughout gestation have, on average, have 25% shorter labor times whereas multiparous women who seek chiropractic care, on average, have 31% shorter labor times. According to that same study it is noted that relief from back pain during pregnancy occurred in 84% of cases. The authors also noted that chiropractic care may significantly decrease the incidence of “back labor”.

Chiropractic care is safe for the pregnant woman and for baby. It is effective in treating low back and neck pain and is especially attractive when trying to avoiding pain medication during pregnancy. Along with chiropractic care some techniques a pregnant woman can practice include: Stand erect; Practice good posture. When lifting, bend your knees and keep your back straight.  Consult your chiropractor for exercises to minimize lower back pain and strain Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees. Perform regular exercise no more than 30 minutes a day. Have regular spinal check-ups; they are an important part of preventative health care

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