Chiropractic care has many benefits for the pregnant mother. It helps to reduce low back pain and creates a stress-free nervous system to prepare the body for childbirth.
How is the spine affected by the additional weight and stages of pregnancy?
Dr. Luke Stringer: The specific area of the spine that is most affected is the lumbopelvic spine, or in layman terms, the low back and the hips. On average, pregnant moms increase their weight by around 15 to 25%. This obviously creates a great amount of stress on the joints and the soft tissues, such as ligaments and tendons. Obviously, the majority of that weight is coming through the abdomen, which can pull the spine forward, which creates something called hyperlordosis, or basically just an exaggerated curve in your low back, which again creates even more stress and tension on the joints and the soft tissue. Lastly, during the pregnancy, a hormone called progesterone loosens the ligaments, obviously to prepare the body for birth. However, in the low back and the pelvis, when those joints become looser, it creates a lot of instability within the hips and the spine. Obviously, all these three processes can essentially create a lot of pain and inflammation within the body.
What type of chiropractic services are available to pregnant women?
Dr. Luke Stringer: Many. However, a specific technique which is focused around pregnancy and the birthing process is called the Webster Technique. This focuses on the position of the sacrum. Sacral subluxation, which is essentially poor alignment of the sacrum, can contribute to a difficult labor. This technique has been shown to reposition breech babies. It has improved uterine function. It improves pelvic contractions.
What is the biggest complaint you hear from pregnant women, and how can you help?
Dr. Luke Stringer: One of the major complaints is obviously low back pain. Over 50% of women suffer with low back pain during the course of their pregnancy. Chiropractic care has been shown to manage, reduce, and even relieve low back pain during pregnancies. It allows the joint to return to its normal function. It allows for good range of motion, and by doing so, creates an even load into the joint and the tissue, which allows it to weight-bear appropriately. By doing this, you can create less discomfort and pain.
Can prenatal chiropractic care help prepare the fetus in the woman’s body for childbirth?
Dr. Luke Stringer: Certainly. Dr. Roger Sperry won the Nobel Peace Prize with his work in neurobiology. What he discovered was that 90% of the nutrition and stimulation to the brain actually comes through movement of the spine. Not only can chiropractic care help the mother physically prepare for the birthing process, but a well-functioning, stress-free nervous system allows the body to function without interference, and by doing so, creates an optimal environment for the fetus.
Lastly, what are the benefits of seeking chiropractic care post-delivery?
Dr. Luke Stringer: Obviously, the birthing process is an arduous and taxing task on the body. The biggest issue we have found with all of our pregnant moms, either through them having a c-section or a natural delivery, is misalignment in their hips and their low back. Combined with poor core stability and strength, this can lead to a lot of weakness and instability, and eventually over time, pain within their low back and their hips. Chiropractic care can specifically improve both mobility and stability of the spine, and also improve the stability and the strength of the pelvic floor and the core. By doing so, it creates a good foundation for us to move and function from.
If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Luke Stringer visit www.southloopchiropractor.com or call (312) 987-4878 to schedule an appointment.