Back pain during pregnancy - what can you do about it?
Back pain is a common complaint for many women during pregnancy and may occur as early as your first trimester. As your uterus grows, your abdominal muscles stretch out to accommodate your developing baby and belly, and as a result your abdominal muscles become weaker. As your belly enlarges, your center of gravity shifts forward, which puts tremendous stress on your spine. Additionally, there are normal hormonal changes that loosen your ligaments and relax your joints in preparation for the delivery of your baby. All of these factors, not to mention the additional weight you're carrying around, can lead to spinal and pelvic pain as well as tight and achy muscles.
While lower back and pelvic pain during pregnancy is completely normal and typically no cause for concern, it can be extremely frustrating and distracting, often making is hard for you (and sometimes your partner!) to sleep at night, making your days long and tiring. For some women their back pain may escalate into sciatica (pain that travels into the hip and down your leg).
During pregnancy, there are very few medical interventions that are considered safe when it comes to dealing with pregnancy related back pain and sciatica symptoms. If your typical response to aches and pains is to grab the bottle of Aleve and go on with your day - that's not happening while baby is on board! That doesn't mean you have to just live with the pain, though. Chiropractors trained in the Webster Technique are competent care providers who know how to safely and effectively treat your pregnancy related back and pelvic pain.
Dr. Pierce uses not only the Webster Technique to treat pregnancy related back pain, but will also spend time manually treating the tightened muscles around your spine, hips and pelvis causing pain, but educate you on exercises, stretches and daily habits that will help reduce your pain and in many cases eliminate it completely - and naturally. Many patients also benefit from the inclusion of acupuncture and/or trigger point dry needling to treat their back pain during pregnancy. Acupuncture, provided by a qualified provider is safe during pregnancy and can be extremely beneficial for pain and stress relief, pregnancy induced nausea and may help you sleep more soundly.
More about The Webster Technique:
From the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association's website:
You have probably heard about the Webster Technique -- the chiropractic technique used in pregnancy to help optimize the mother's pelvic function. It was featured on the Learning Channel's hit series "A Baby Story." You have read about it inMothering magazine and Midwifery Today. You have probably read about it on the Internet, all over Face Book and in Pregnancy Chat rooms.You have heard it talked about by birthing professionals, mothers, other practitioners. and friends. But what is it?
The Webster Technique, discovered by Dr. Larry Webster, in 1978, founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA), is a specific chiropractic adjustment to eliminate sacral subluxation and improve nerve system function in the pelvis. He developed it as a specific pelvic adjustment for pregnant women to help balance pelvic muscles and ligaments and potentially improve birth outcome.
As a woman's pregnancy progresses, many changes will occur in her body. Her uterus will expand as her baby grows, and with that there will be structural and functional changes. Some of these changes can lead to discomfort, and for some women, severe pain as the ligaments that suspend and support the uterus become taut and pull on their bony attachments in the pelvis.
The Webster Technique uses gentle and specific maneuvers to relieve tension on these ligaments and correct the biomechanical changes in the joints of the pelvis to help relieve pain and improve pelvic mechanics. In addition to performing Webster Technique adjustments with any other beneficial joint mobilizations, Dr. Pierce can prescribe pregnancy "pre-hab" exercises to improve pelvic function and stability before baby arrives- as well as post baby rehab to help your body get back to normal after the delivery!
Dr. Pierce is a certified Webster Technique provider through the ICPA.