It is the last thing you expected when you found out you were pregnant. Sharp and stabbing pains or dull throbbing ache in your low back and pelvis. What is worse, due to your pregnancy, medications you would typically use for these problems are off limits! Your family doctor or OB/GYN then tell you that its ‘normal’. You have to ‘just live with it’.
Not so fast…
Why Do You Hurt?
The further along you are in your pregnancy, and the more your belly grows, and the further forward your center of gravity is. This adds additional pressure and strain to the low back and pelvis. As a result, this often contributes to pain and discomfort. There are also hormonal changes that occur which can contribute to pain developing. Relaxin is a hormone that is produced during pregnancy. One of its roles is to ‘relax’ the joints and ligaments of the back and pelvis. This helps to get the body ready for childbirth. This hormone is sometimes a reason some pregnant women ‘waddle’ when they walk. This ‘slack’ in the joints can contribute to developing muscular strain and joint irritation. This may lead to many different pain problems to occur such as low back pain, hip pain, and groin pain.
In addition to the low back and pelvic pains, it is not uncommon for pregnant women to have other painful problems. Leg pain, rib pain, upper back and neck pain, headaches and carpal tunnel problems are just a few. One reason for this is due to fluid retention. As you progress through your pregnancy, typically you start to retain more and more fluid. This swelling puts extra pressure in these areas, making them more prone to developing problems.
Pregnant pains? We can Help
If you’re pregnant, and you are feeling pain and discomfort, our team of chiropractors and massage therapists can help. They provide safe and effective treatment options to help moms-to-be. We help you be as comfortable as possible throughout your pregnancy.
Resource for Home Care
In addition to providing hands-on manual therapy to alleviate your aches and pains, home strategies are typically recommended as well. This enables you to take back control of your situation more effectively. A useful book for pregnant women is What You Don’t Expect When Your Expecting, written by Dr. Brandie Nemchenko. Dr. Nemchenko takes the reader through a series of common problems pregnant women face and provides effective and practical strategies that can be implemented immediately to help with your pain.
There is a lot of ‘old wives tales’, inaccurate and conflicting information out there regarding pregnancy. It is important that the information you are reading is coming from a reputable source. I’ve found that two useful resources are Canada’s guide to a healthy pregnancy and a summary of the Canadian Guidelines for physical activity during pregnancy.