It always fascinates me when people tell me that they have had chiropractic wellness care since they were born but they still have periods of low back pain, aches and pains, and sometime feel unstable - how can this be?
Interesting enough, some individuals have joints that are abnormally angled. The word abnormal is probably a bit harsh, but I'll also point my finger at myself as well seeing that, I too, have an abnormality of the low back which periodically gives me some aches and pains. Approximately 20-35% of people are born with an anomaly or birth defect where a joint sits higher on one side compared to the other. Another reason for feeling unstable is, during pregnancy, some females can dislocate their pubis symphysis... combine these two factors and this can create havoc.
The vast majority of pregnant women experience musculoskeletal pain and it is very important to see a chiropractor regularly to ensure stability, proper developmental signals to the developing fetus, and keeping mom's nerve flow running properly and adaptive to stress.
3 Important points I am trying to make:
1. Pregnancy places significant strain on even the healthiest of spines.
2. Everyone's spine is different and each body responds in its own unique way to stress.
3. Additional support such as chiropractic adjustments allow the body time to re-orient itself to the 9 months of changes that are happening and create healing.
Why do so many pregnant women experience back pain during pregnancy?
1. Hormones - an increase in hormones during pregnancy affects the joints of the pelvis making them more lax or mobile. This is a normal process that helps a woman's body accommodate to a vaginal (natural) birth.
Hormonal changes plus the alteration of the center of gravity due to a large pregnant belly lengthens and weakens not only the ligaments and surrounding muscles around the pelvis, but the thick band of fascia that helps to stabilize the thoracic and lumbar spine.
2. Weight Gain and Previous Injuries - the natural increase women have during pregnancy loads our spine and pelvis. If the mother has experienced pervious injuries or had accidents that have damaged the low back area and these injuries have been left uncorrected, they may have healed with poor joint biomechanics.
How does it affect the mother?
We see that when a pregnant mother's spine is placed under stress with a sizable abdomen, any number of health complaints may result - including low back or leg pain (stabbing, dull, shooting, or burning), pain felt around the pelvic girdle, buttocks, pubic region or radiating into the back of the thighs. Because the spine moves as one unit, one area of injury may impact the motion of the spine in another area and so there is typically no shortage of health implications.
Additionally, because of the way the nervous system works, the musculoskeletal system (low back, thighs, abdominal wall) can also influence the organs of the body (somato-visceral reflexes), thus some women may have pain (referred pain) into her organs. For some women this may result in heart burn, or bowel issues for example.
All in all, with everything said -- it makes perfect sense that so many pregnant women experience aches and pains during pregnancy. Shockingly though this is not the greatest concern I have for pregnant women. My deepest concern is how poor function of the mom's nervous system and spine can impact the growth and development of the baby...
Call and get your nervous system checked at our Pediatric and Wellness Chiropractic office in Elkhorn, WI. Located just north of sunset park.
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