June 29, 2016

Is chiropractic safe during pregnancy?

Most women experience back pain throughout their pregnancy. With the hormone relaxin being released throughout the body in order to allow the pelvis to expand and give birth, all joints subsequently become more lax and easier to strain. As a result of weight gain together with a change in the centre of gravity as the woman’s bump and chest grow, many women can for the first time experience discomfort and pain in their back, hips and joints.

We are often asked if it is safe to be adjusted during pregnancy. At Complete Chiropractic in Dee Why we help many Northern Beaches mums  through all three trimesters.

Many expectant mothers come to me with complaints of lower back pain and breathing difficulties. Most of the women who see me won’t seek help from general practitioners because they don’t want to take drugs, so instead they seek help from alternative modalities. The complicating factor for pregnant women is that their spinal curves become exaggerated while they’re pregnant. Hands-on practitioners usually place their patients facedown while they treat them, however, a pregnant woman can’t and shouldn’t hold this position for long. Combined with the baby’s weight, this pulls the spine forward into an extreme arch, placing pressure on the discs and joints and irritating the nerves and muscles. For this reason in particular, traditional chiropractic, osteopathy and massage aren’t well suited to pregnant women.

Pregnant women would find it difficult to work through all of the major alternative therapies while pregnant. Exercise or stretches during the late stages of pregnancy are also difficult. As I mentioned previously, simply ‘holding’ a body upright is difficult and for pregnant women, this is even more true as their necks compensate for the lower back changes that occur with a growing belly. Doing any exercise on your back during pregnancy is not advisable because the weight of the uterus presses on the veins and arteries, which reduces blood flow from the legs back to the heart. Overheating the body through exercise also isn’t advisable as it can put stress on the baby, who doesn’t have the ability to cool itself down.

Speak to our team today and see if we may be able to help you – ph: 99720040

J.M. Fallon. Textbook on chiropractic & pregnancy. Arlington, VA: International Chiropractic Association; 1994: 52, 109.

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Fallon J.M. Chiropractic and pregnancy: a partnership for the future. ICA Int Rev Chiropr.1990;46(6):39–42.

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Fallon J.International Chiropractic Association. 1994-Arlington, Virginia.