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Back Pain, Pregnancy and the Chiropractic Solution

The muscle joints and back pain of pregnancy can be very real and is often more than just a nuisance. Studies have shown greater than 50% of expecting mothers struggle with pain. The problem is often worse in those who have pre-existing difficulties. Understanding the causes of pregnancy related back pain can help lead to providing an effective solution.

Two primary changes occur during pregnancy that leads to pain. Almost immediately, a woman's center of gravity will begin to shift forward. This leads to an increased curvature in the lower back. The discs and posterior joints of the spine become stressed and the back muscles become shortened. This problem is extenuated by the gradual weakening of the abdominal muscle as they stretch to accommodate the increasing size of the baby.

The biomechanical changes of pregnancy are accentuated by hormonal changes that help to loosen the ligaments attached to the pelvic bones. Although these natural hormonal changes need to occur, they tend to accentuate the biomechanical changes that occur simultaneously. Strained muscles and joints, combined with lax ligaments, create a perfect recipe for back pain.

Chiropractic care during pregnancy has been consistently shown to provide a safe and effective treatment for pregnant women with back pain. In addition, the treatments may have additional benefits. Studies suggest that manipulations of lower back and pelvis can reduce labor length by 24-39 percent. Additional studies have verified that chiropractic care can be safely continued until the time of birth.

Finding the right chiropractor for pregnancy is important. Choose someone who is comfortable with working with pregnant women and has experience. In addition, try to find someone with exercise expertise, as many of the benefits of chiropractic care can be amplified with a proper stretching and an exercise program. It has become more and more common for OB/GYN's to recommend specific chiropractors that they have had experience with. This can be a good place to start.

Dr. Tyson Swigart is founder and owner of Southpointe Chiropractic and Fitness, 673 Morganza Road, Suite 105, Canonsburg, PA. To make an appointment or for more information, you can reach Dr. Swigart at (724) 873-0700.

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