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Moving Toward Better Health

The official blog of Konicki Schumacher Chiropractic

27
Feb

Pregnancy and Back Pain

Posted by Dr. Tom Konicki
Dr. Tom Konicki
Dr. Thomas Konicki earned his B.S. in Biology at the University of Cincinnati and then went on to the Los Ange...
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in Women and Children

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Dear Dr. Konicki,

Question: I am four months pregnant and my back has started to hurt. Since I can't take drugs for pain, what can I do?


Answer: The muscle strains of pregnancy are very real. The average weight gain is 25-30 lbs. for a woman, which places more stress on your back. Studies have shown that half of all expectant mothers will develop low back pain at some point during their pregnancies.

As your baby grows, your center of gravity shifts forward and also pulls on your low back. This weight increases stress on your low back joints and increases the curvature. This in turn puts more stress on your spinal discs - - all of this resulting in pain.

When your low back curves more towards your stomach, your upper back curves the other way. This is why pregnant women can have upper back pain, even traveling up into the neck.

Lastly, pregnancy hormones help loosen the ligaments attached to your pelvic bones. This allows your pelvis to accommodate the growing baby as well as to be more flexible during birth.

Unfortunately, looser ligaments also mean that it is easier for you to come out of alignment in your back and pelvis. When this happens, you can expect more back pain and even sciatica.

Many mothers know that sciatic pain (shooting, stabbing pain into your leg) can become severe. Chiropractic care is very effective in relieving this type of pain. We do this with specific manipulation to the muscles and lower spine and pelvis.

The following are tips for helping back pain during pregnancy. The first tip is regular exercise. If you have not been exercising before becoming pregnant, discuss this with your doctor before starting.

Walking, swimming and stationary bike are safe cardiovascular exercises. Better muscle tone helps support your back, reducing back pain.

Also, if you are more fit, you will proceed through pregnancy and delivery easier. Giving birth is extremely demanding and it makes a big difference if you are in good shape.

Wear flat, sensible shoes. High heels will increase your low back curvature, increasing your pain.

To pick up small children, bend at the knees and not your waist. If they are getting too big, simply avoid lifting them.

Get as much rest as possible. This isn't always possible especially for mothers working full-time or taking care of other siblings. Do what you can.

Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees to take pressure off your low back. Full-length body pillows or pregnancy wedges may be helpful.

Do not stay at the computer for long hours. Take frequent breaks. This will help reduce swelling in your legs as well as take stress off your low back. Take a quick break every 30 minutes to move about the office.

It is such a joy in our practice to help a pregnant mother manage her back pain and sciatica. In the end, we get to meet a new baby!

Copyright © 2008 - Konicki Schumacher Chiropractic. All rights reserved.

 

About Dr. Konicki

Dr. Tom Konicki is a board certified chiropractic orthopedist and has practiced for many years in South Dayton. You can reach him at www.kschiro.com or mail your questions to Ask the Chiropractor, 2165 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, Dayton, Ohio 45459.

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