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Pregnancy and Back Pain

Congratulations! You’re now expecting a new, bouncing bundle of joy. You’ve done your research on names, cribs, parenting methods, pregnancy, delivery and probably everything under the sun. You have a stack of books sitting on your kitchen table. Your search history is full of various pregnancy blogs. You are even using one of the many pregnancy apps on your phone everyday. Well, one topic that usually affects all pregnant women, but is very hard to learn more about is pain. Specifically pain. Luckily, we here at Balkman Chiropractic Clinic are here to help you out.


There are many causes to your back pain when you’re pregnant just like there are many causes to back pain in general. One of the biggest reasons is the change in how your body moves. With a growing fetus inside of you, your body has to adapt to make room. This shifts your center of gravity. It also alters the normal length tension relationships in your postural muscles. In addition, your body is preparing for delivery. You begin releasing a hormone called relaxin.  Relaxin does exactly what it says. It relaxes the ligaments in your body to allow them to stretch more easily and further. And with the average birth weight of 7.5 lbs you want this hormone working so your pelvis will open up enough to allow safe passage of your child. This hormone is crucial to delivery. But at the same time it affects your body as a whole. It causes the same reaction in every ligament in your body. In your low back, this causes how you move to change. This increased motion can lead to increased pain. While this is one potential causes of your pain, there can be many others. 


Research estimates that between 45% and 75% of women will experience pregnancy related low back pain. Low back pain usually is encountered between the 5th and 7th month but pain can be experienced at any point. Any history of low back pain before you were pregnant, doubles your risk for pregnancy related low back pain. Around 40% of women continue to experience pain at six months postpartum and around 20% report it three years later.  What this all means, is that if you are pregnant, have been pregnant before or know someone who is pregnant chances they/you have back some degree of back pain.


Now all of these stats are scary, but there are things you can do to mitigate the pain and discomfort. The first is stay active. If you are an active individual, someone who is always in the gym, running, or just doesn’t sit still keep going. Most OB’s will recommend you exercise during pregnancy. Staying active allows your body to better adapt to the changes during pregnancy. 


Diet also plays a huge roll in how you feel during pregnancy. Eating a well balanced diet, in the correct caloric amount will give your baby the building block it needs to grow, and your body the energy it needs to keep going. 


One of my favorite resources on pregnancy is a book by Dr. Brandie Nemchenko called What You Don’t Expect When You’re Expecting. In it, she discusses many easy ways to treat your low back pain and other pregnancy related issues. It’s a great read, and worth checking out.


Lastly, if you or someone you know is dealing with back pain it’s time to start suffering and take charge. In our office, there are many safe techniques that can provide relief for pregnancy related low back pain. Many women, all around the country use chiropractic care to manage their pain. Give us a call today so we can help you out 479-646-3984.


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