Pregnancy is a wonderful experience for most women, filled with many hormonal and biomechanical changes that are fascinating to observe. During the nine months, as these rapid changes take place, the body’s pelvic joints and ligaments prepare themselves for labour and delivery by widening and relaxing. The spine must also adapt to these changes- not to mention supporting the sudden weight gain! As the abdomen enlarges, the abdominal muscles stretch, shortening the back muscles. This increase in weight at the front of the body causes a shift in the center of gravity and therefore an increase in what is called the lumbar lordosis- a curvature in the lower back. In other words, pregnant women often have bad posture. This may lead to back pain as pregnancy progresses. And if you are worry about loosing that extra pregnancy weight once you give birth, supplements like Leptitox can really help you, read the Leptitox review at the link.
There are preventative measures that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of such back pain. Every pregnancy is unique and therefore the symptoms experienced are unique. Nonetheless, the following advice can be applied to all expectant mothers.
Practice perfect posture. Be conscious of your posture. The goal is to maintain as perfect a posture as possible by standing tall and lengthening your neck. Relax your shoulders, but not slump forward, and gently pull your shoulder blades together in the middle of your back. Tighten your stomach muscles and slightly tilt your pelvis upward, reversing the tendency to curve your lower back by sticking out your buttocks. This posture will help keep your muscles strong, and reduce the strain on your back as your body changes over the course of your pregnancy.
Sleeping, standing and sitting. Sleeping may become more difficult as your pregnancy progresses. It is best to lie on your left side so blood flows from your legs back to your heart more easily. Also, place a pillow between your knees to keep your spine and pelvis straight, helping avoid unnecessary strain or tension in the area. Standing may also become more challenging. Take occasional ten-minute breaks to elevate your feet. This can decrease swelling and it feels absolutely great! It is also important to wear proper footwear. Avoid wearing flip-flops, which offer little support, and high heels, which cause you to arch your lower back even more. Sitting too long, even in a decent chair, will also cause your back and feet to ache. Get up often and move around; stretch out your lower back, hips and legs, and rotate your ankles. Sit in a supportive chair without slouching.
Exercise. Another way to ensure ideal posture is to exercise regularly. This helps maintain muscle strength and suppleness. If you have not regularly exercised before, pregnancy is not the right time to begin a strenuous workout routine. However, if you have exercised regularly prior becoming pregnant, you can continue your workouts as long as you avoid getting dehydrated, overheated or exhausted. It is also advised to switch form high-impact activities to more gentle ones.
For many expectant mothers, a chiropractor can also play a key role in making this as comfortable a time as possible. A chiropractic assessment will determine if there are any areas in your spine or pelvis that are not moving as well as they should be. If this is the case, and subsequent treatment is deemed appropriate, soft tissue therapy and chiropractic adjustments will help restore normal motion in these areas, thus making your back and pelvis more limber and relaxed for labour and delivery. The hormone relaxin circulates during pregnancy to increase joint mobility, so chiropractic care at this time is even more gentle than usual. Accomodations are also made to ensure the comfort of the expectant mother throughout the treatment.
Dr. Wright has children of her own and understands firsthand the challenges and joys of being pregnant. Her practice includes a wide range of patients and she welcomes expectant moms along with everyone else!