Chiropractic and Pregnancy
At Dody Chiropractic in Littleton, CO, we know that no other time in a woman’s life is the incredible adaptive capacity of the human body more evident than during pregnancy. The changes in body chemistry and function that accompany pregnancy are amazing. When a woman is pregnant, the hormones in her body changes, and she experiences different forms of pain. A lot of the pain experienced is due to the baby placing pressure on nerves, joints, and muscles. This pain can make it difficult to sleep, relax, or get through the day. That is where a chiropractor can help. The International Pediatric Association states that chiropractic care is not only safe and effective during pregnancy, but there are benefits of chiropractic care that can help with labor and delivery.
What Happens During Pregnancy?As pregnancy progresses, some of these changes can compromise the integrity of the mother’s spine and nervous system.
- Progesterone decreases smooth muscle tone, which alters the blood supply as well as the integrity of all joints of the body.
- Estrogen relaxes the joint capsules allowing for more movement in the joints, including those of the pelvis. This “relaxation” effect allows the pelvis to open sufficiently to allow the baby’s head and shoulders to pass through, also supported by the hormone Relaxin.
- Weight gain and the increase in the lumbar curve are also responsible for added stress on the mother’s spine as a unit and thus her nervous system.
- Different types of pelvis shapes can also exert various stresses during pregnancy.
- Other influences will also be the number of pregnancies, the pelvic muscles’ status, levels of exercise, and past trauma to the pelvis or coccyx.
- More pregnancies can often mean more susceptibility. With each successive pregnancy, the pelvic muscles and ligaments become more stretched and pre-dispose the pelvis to misalignment. However, at the same time, they are also easier misalignments to correct.
- Misalignments of the pelvis can occur in 3 separate places-each of the Sacro-Illiac joints and the symphysis pubis joint, all of which happens readily in pregnancy. Misalignments can cause stress and weakness to the supporting structures of the pelvis.