Chiropractic During Pregnancy for Low Back Pain

Are you Pregnant? Are you experiencing low back pain? If so, you may be wondering; “Is this normal? Why does my back hurt so bad? Is there anything I can do about it? I am pregnant, so I’m really limited in how I can treat my pain. Is there a safe option?”

While pain is not considered normal, it is very common during pregnancy. In fact, up to 85% of women experience low back pain during pregnancy. There are several reasons that you may be experiencing Low Back Pain. During a healthy pregnancy, women typically gain 25-35 pounds. This additional weight is distributed unevenly towards the front, which causes a dramatic shift in weight bearing in pregnant mothers. As a result, this causes an increase in the lumbar curvature (lordosis). This causes the muscles of the low back and pelvis to become hyperactive. Also, because of the increased curvature of the lumbar spine, the thoracic spine and pelvis become hypermobile.

So, what does all this mean for momma? Well the short answer is, Pain! This can be a dull pain in the low back, sharp pains in her pelvis, or even pain shooting down into her leg. In my experience, the dull low back pain is often the result of the muscle strain and an increased lumbar curvature. The sharp pelvic pain is often the result of the shifts in the joints of the pelvis. This is very common during pregnancy due to the relaxation of the ligaments as the pelvis prepares for the eventual birth. Pain shooting down the leg is known as sciatica and can have several causes during pregnancy, but one common cause is a hypertension of the piriformis muscle.

What can be done about it? Many of the causes of low back pain during pregnancy are musculoskeletal in origin. This means that they are caused by issues in the muscles and joints. Musculoskeletal issues respond well to stretching, therapy, and chiropractic treatments. The piriformis muscle responds well when stretched. A great way to stretch the piriformis muscle is demonstrated in a short video that can be found ( here ). Chiropractic treatments often combine stretching, therapy, and joint manipulation to give a well-rounded approach to treating these musculoskeletal issues. This is great for addressing the joints of the pelvis and helping the body cope with the many changes that the body goes through as the pregnancy progresses.

How safe is it? Manual medicines such as chiropractic have been found to be very safe for both momma and the baby. Research has shown that adverse effects are rare, and were not found to affect the pelvis, lumbar spine, and most importantly, they did Not affect the developing baby. Additionally, because the treatments used are natural, this means that there is no worry about potential side effects of drugs. Like any treatment option, there are some contraindications, or reasons that you should not utilize chiropractic treatments. If you are experiencing any of the following, you should avoid chiropractic treatment and contact your Obstetrician. These include; sudden onset of pelvic pain, vaginal bleeding, cramping, ruptured amniotic membranes, placenta abruption, placenta previa, ectopic pregnancy, and toxemia.

I have successfully used chiropractic to treat many musculoskeletal conditions in my pregnant patients. It is so safe and effective, that chiropractic is the primary method I used to treat my wife during her first pregnancy, and I am currently using to helping alleviate her pain during her second pregnancy.

I hope that you can use some of this information to help alleviate your pain during your pregnancy. If you have any questions, please, don’t be afraid to ask.

Dr. Bradley Davis,

Chiropractic Physician