Are Physical Therapy & Chiropractic Safe for Back Pain During Pregnancy?

Oct 01, 2013

The number of pregnant women who experience back pain is between 50 to 70 percent. Although the reasons for back pain may vary from patient to patient, the cause generally stems from one of the following sources: an increase in hormones, added stress, a change in the body's center of gravity, additional weight gain, and diminished posture. Women searching for ways to cope with their pregnancy-related musculoskeletal pains may be unaware that four of these five listed factors can be directly addressed with gentle chiropractic adjustments and a proper physical therapy exercise program.

Why See a Chiropractor During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, there are many changes a woman's body goes through in preparation for creating the environment for the developing baby. These changes often result in a misaligned spine or joints. Establishing spinal alignment and pelvic balance is a great reason to see a chiropractor during pregnancy. When the pelvis is misaligned it may reduce the amount of room available for the growing baby. This may also make it hard for the baby to best position itself for delivery. This may have a negative impact on the mother's ability to have a natural, non-invasive birth. Breech and posterior positions can interfere with the natural ease of labor and lead to a potential cesarean section delivery.

Why See a Physical Therapist During Pregnancy?

Like with all physical rehab, properly aligning and balancing joints is a fruitless effort if not paired with a good strengthening and stabilizing exercise program to maintain this healthy posture. Although there is a general impression that physical therapy is reserved for rehabilitation after an injury or surgery, that doesn't entirely encompass the total scope of physical therapy practice. Physical therapists specialize in pain relief by identifying and treating the underlying causes of pain in each individual. This can be especially beneficial for expecting mothers suffering from postural related neck and back pain as a result of a shift in body weight and center of gravity.

Once determined appropriate spine and joint alignment is achieved, our main focus is to maintain this healthy posture by providing expecting mothers with specific exercises to target their precise needs to help make the pregnancy and birthing process easier and healthier. Exercise increases muscular strength and endurance, especially in the hips, back, pelvic floor and abdomen. Improving these areas prepares the body for the physical demand of delivering a baby, positioning oneself for a better labor experience. This means fewer complications for mother and child during delivery. In addition, therapeutic exercise during pregnancy can assist the recovery after the delivery. It tones muscle which will improve metabolism, decrease the severity of fatigue, and assist in losing post-pregnancy weight.

Hey...You Never Answered the Question! Are They Safe or What?

YES! Both chiropractic care and physical therapy are not only safe for pregnant women, but medical doctors encourage them both during and after pregnancy. Neck and back pain are all too common during pregnancy. See a physical therapist and chiropractor before it affects you and get on the path to a happy and healthy pregnancy and delivery.