Prenatal Chiropractic Care and Massage Therapy
In our office, we see a lot of expectant mommies – and we love them! Typically, midway through their pregnancies, women begin experiencing low back and pelvic pain. As you can probably imagine, here are several reasons for why this happens, the most obvious being the extra weight that is being carried around by these structures! This extra weight also causes the curve in your low back (lumbar spine) to become more exaggerated. We call this condition "lordosis". This change in the spine, a normal occurrence during pregnancy, unfortunately causes stress on your joint spaces that your body is not used to. It can also lead to a change in your gait – which can contribute to the “pregnancy waddle”!
Another condition we commonly see in my expectant mommies is "piriformis syndrome". This is a condition in which a small muscle in your buttock region because tight due to the abnormal stress on the hips and low back. This muscle lies over the top of the sciatic nerve. Therefore, if it becomes tight, it can lead to sciatica (pain, numbness, weakness or tingling down one or both legs), as well as feelings of pain, tenderness and tightness in the buttock and hip regions.
Finally, there is a hormone called relaxin that is released in your body during pregnancy. The job of this hormone is to help relax your ligaments to prepare your body for the growth and delivery of your child. Relaxin helps your pelvis to stretch to accommodate the growing baby. Unfortunately, all of these changes can lead to irritation of the joints in your low back and hips, which can cause pretty severe pain.
As I mentioned in the beginning, we love our pregnant moms because they typically respond very well and very quickly to chiropractic care, as well as massage therapy! Because the spine and pelvis undergo so many changes during pregnancy, it is important to reintroduce stability and proper alignments into these joint spaces. Chiropractic treatment can do just that. Specific chiropractic adjustments, performed on the low back and pelvis allow the body regain the proper orientation of the joints and restore normal joint motion. What was considered “normal” for your joints before pregnancy, typically won’t work for your body while you are pregnant. As chiropractors, it is our job to allow your body to find its new “normal” to accommodate for the changes that are taking place.
Because chiropractors help facilitate the proper orientation and motion of these joints, many women report that in addition to feeling significant relief or complete resolution of their symptoms, they also experience easier labor and delivery through the use of chiropractic.
Additionally, chiropractic care during pregnancy is also important for the growth and development of your baby. Evidence has shown that a decrease in the diameter of the pelvis (which can result from misalignments of the joints in this region) significantly impacts the baby’s ability to move into the proper position for birth and move through the birth canal during delivery. If your baby is breech, you may also benefit from the Webster technique, a chiropractic adjusting technique designed to manipulate the pelvis in a way to allow the baby to move into the appropriate position in preparation for birth. At our office, we have a "Mommy pillow" that allows our expectant mothers to lie face down comfortably while this adjustment is performed. Although there is certainly no guarantee that chiropractic adjustments will prevent you from having a breech baby, ensuring that the baby has plenty of room to move can certainly improve your odds. We often also recommend that our expectant mothers seek massage therapy in conjunction with chiropractic adjustments to even further improve their outcomes. Prenatal massage is an excellent way to relax muscles and ligaments that can become tight during pregnancy, making the duration of the pregnancy, labor, and delivery more pleasant for both mom and baby! For more information on the science behind chiropractic, please click on the "What is Chiropractic" button below. Please also check out the other links on related topics.
For more information on any of the pregnancy-related support services we offer, please visit the links below. If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to call and Dr. Fleming would be happy to speak with you! Dr. Fleming is a family chiropractor in Daytona Beach, Florida. She is passionate about preventative health care and nutrition and enjoys empowering her patients to improve their health and fitness, one day at a time!
Dr. Alesha Fleming
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Professor of Anatomy & Physiology and Biology
Natural Health and Wellness Chiropractic, Chiropractic Physician
Daytona Beach, Florida