Franklin Chiropractor | Pregnancy low back pain
Pregnancy Related Low Back Pain – How Can You Cope Low back pain during pregnancy is quite common. In fact, between 50-75% of all pregnant women will experience low back pain. The pain is usually caused from rapid changes in weight, posture, gait and hormones. The average woman gains between 20-40 pounds throughout pregnancy. This weight gain moves your center of gravity forward, causing your pelvis to tilt and your lower back to sway –placing excessive stress on the ligaments, discs, and joints of your spine. Pregnancy-related low back pain typically starts between the fifth and seventh month of pregnancy, although a significant portion of women experience pain sooner. Symptoms often begin at the base of your spine and may radiate into your buttock or thigh. Discomfort is often aggravated by prolonged standing, sitting, coughing, or sneezing. Your symptoms may increase throughout the day, and some patients report nighttime pain that disturbs their sleep. The extremes of activity seem to contribute to pregnancy-related low back pain – with increased risk for both “sedentary” and “physically demanding” lifestyles. Patients who have suffered with back pain prior to pregnancy are more than twice as likely to re-develop back Be sure to tell your Franklin chiropractor if your symptoms include fever, chills, bleeding, spotting, unusual discharge, cramping, sudden onset pelvis pain, light- headedness, shortness of breath, chest pain, headache, calf pain or swelling, decreased fetal movement, or symptoms that radiate beyond your knee. Unfortunately, pregnancy related low back pain occurs at a time when your medical treatment options are limited. Not surprisingly, over 90% of prenatal health care providers would recommend drug-free treatment, including the type of alternative therapy provided in this office. Studies have shown that chiropractic manipulation provides significant relief of pregnancy-related low back pain. Almost 75% of women undergoing chiropractic care report significant pain reduction with improved ability to function.Most patients will also benefit from continuing aerobic exercise throughout pregnancy. The US Department of Health and Human Services advises that healthy pregnant women may begin or continue moderate intensity aerobic exercise for at least 150 minutes per week. Women should not begin “vigorous” exercise during pregnancy, but those who were preconditioned to
vigorous exercise may continue. Be sure to check with your Franklin chiropractor prior to initiating or increasing any exercise program while you are pregnant. Be sure to take frequent breaks from prolonged sitting or standing. You may find benefit by using a small foot stool to alternate feet while standing. Sleeping with a pillow between the knees in a side lying posture may help you to rest more comfortably. You should wear shoes with good arch supports. In some cases, your chiropractor may recommend a sacroiliac belt or pelvic support belt to help relieve your pregnancy-related low back pain. Our Treatment Here is a brief description of the treatments we may use to help manage your problem. Joint Manipulation -Your franklin chiropractor has found joints in your body that are not moving freely. This can cause tightness and discomfort and can accelerate unwanted degeneration i.e. arthritis. Your franklin chiropractor will apply a gentle force with their hands, or with hand held instruments, in order to restore motion to any “restricted” joints. Sometimes a specialized table will be used to assist with these safe and effective “adjustments”. Joint manipulation improves flexibility, relieves pain and helps maintain healthy joints. Myofascial Release -Overworked muscles often become tight and develop knots or“trigger points”. Chronic tightness produces inflammation and swelling that ultimately leads to the formation of “adhesions” between tissues. Your franklin chiropractor will apply pressure with their hands, or with specialized tools, in order to release muscle tightness and soft-tissue adhesions. This will help to improve your circulation, relieve pain and restore flexibility. Therapeutic Exercise -Muscle tightness or weakness causes discomfort and alters normal joint function, leading to additional problems. Your franklin chiropractor will target tight or weak muscles with specific therapeutic stretching and strengthening to help increase tissue flexibility, build strength, and ease pain. Healthy, strong, and flexible muscles may help prevent re-injury. Some Things That You Can DoTo Help Yourself In & Out of Bed – Here are a couple of tips to help you get in and out of bed more comfortably: To lie down: Sit on the edge of the bed, pull your arms to your sides and tilt your body into the bed, maintaining the bend of your knees at 45 degrees. Finally, bring your feet into in a lying position or roll onto your back. To get up: From a side-lying position with your knees bent, push your body upright into a sitting position, swinging your legs over the edge of the bed as you rise. Lumbar Support Cushion – Sitting without proper support is a common contributor to back pain, so make sure you: Sit all the way back in chairs and car seats to promote proper posture. Adjust the lumbar support in your car to fit your back.Consider a “lumbar support pillow” to make sitting more comfortable. Footwear-Improperly supported feet can affect the alignment of all of the structures above. To improve your overall comfort: Choose shoes with good arch support. Avoid going barefoot or wearing shoes that lack support (i.e. flip-flops). The following brands of sandals provide better than average arch support: Naot, Fit Flops, Orthoheels, Abeo, Vionic and Yellow box. Avoid high-heeled shoes or boots (keep heels to a maximum of 1½ inches, especially if you are going to be doing a lot of walking). “Cross-trainer” athletic shoes tend to provide the best all around support and shock absorption for daily activities. Patients with fallen arches should consider adding arch supports or orthotics. Repair or replace shoes with worn soles or heels. Exercise- Water Aerobics -“Water Aerobics” simply means that you are exercising in the pool. Water exercise adds resistance but reduces the effect of gravity, and is usually less stressful on your joints. Water Aerobics are better tolerated by people who have joint problems like arthritis. You do not need to be a swimmer to exercise in the water – most classes are held in chest-deep pools. Check with your gym or local YMCA to inquire about classes. Working out in a group class can help with motivation. As with all aerobic exercise, you should start gradually and don’t exceed the “talk test”- meaning you are still able to talk while exercising.