As women undergo pregnancy, their bodies change to a large extent both structurally and biochemically, and that can cause pain to develop in the back and the neck, and it can also trigger postural strain. This is the kind of situation which chiropractic care is ideally suited to resolve, and to provide greater comfort for the pregnant woman. At Live Aligned, an Onalaska chiropractor facility, we understand all these changes that a woman goes through, and our chiropractic team is especially well-equipped to help relieve some of the pains and strains associated with pregnancy.
Any kind of misalignment of the spinal cord can create potentially intense pressure on the spinal nerves, thus causing irritation in the surrounding tissue and disrupting signals from the brain. It can also cause considerable discomfort and pain, because of the pressure which is exerted through misalignment. All messages originating in the brain travel through neural pathways in the spinal cord to reach destinations throughout the body, and these signals can be significantly disrupted by spinal cord misalignment.
The spinal cord is protected by a very strong and flexible rod comprised of a number of vertebrae and bones, and this vertebral column also supports the head and serves as a focal area for the attachment of ribs and back muscles. The structure can move in several different directions, and it helps to maintain an upright posture, while also absorbing shock and protecting the column against possible fractures.
What changes in pregnancy
During the typical 40 weeks of gestation, most mothers will add on approximately 30 pounds. This of course, is a significant weight increase and can easily create spinal misalignment, along with distortions in posture. This in turn will affect a great many muscles, nerves, and tissues around the body, and may also have an impact on joint mobility.
Since the majority of the weight gain occurs in the abdominal area, it causes the mother’s center of gravity to shift in a forward direction. To compensate for this shift, the natural curves of the spine become much more exaggerated, particularly in the lumbar region of the back. This is what causes the low back pain commonly experienced by women during pregnancy.
In some cases, the hips will also expand laterally in an effort to stabilize the body, and that will add increased pressure on the sacroiliac joints. At this time, the bones of the body will tend to soften and be more pliable, in response to the release of hormones related to pregnancy. These hormones will also impact ligaments, muscles, and cartilage, softening them in the same way as bones, and making them more easily flexed. This can cause pelvic bones to slip and become displaced, and the same is true of other bones in the body. Some ligaments in the body will also become strained or torqued, and can cause severe discomfort or pain for the pregnant mother.
It’s easy to see how with a relatively sudden weight gain, various areas of the body could be heavily impacted and disrupted, causing noticeable discomfort to the mother. Expert chiropractic care can relieve much of this discomfort and pain, and make a woman’s pregnancy much more tolerable and even enjoyable.