Being pregnant is a joyous and memorable event with your body undergoing many changes and its normal to experience many different changes in your body, but what are “normal” changes and what are changes that indicate a more underlying concern? Most changes you experience will be quite minor. However, there are symptoms that can indicate slightly more serious conditions that we want to explore more on that. Most pregnancies will progress with very minor issues but it’s important for you to be aware what is out there and what you could be faced with. This will aid you to be better prepared of what to expect and how to best get medical advice.
Increase laxity in the ligaments causing pelvic and back pain
The hormone relaxin is released from the beginning of pregnancy which helps enable to pelvis to expand during the birth by increasing the laxity (looseness) in the ligaments around the pelvis. Relaxin also increases mobility in joints such as the hips and feet which starts to show at 6 weeks and peak at 12 weeks. The pubic symphysis and sacroiliac joints are particularly affected and can lead to pelvic and low back pain. The resultant ligament laxity and hypermobility can be long lasting and cause pain throughout the lower limb and altered spine alignment. The pelvic floor is affected both during pregnancy and during birth, it is important to address this post birth with the assistance of a chiropractor to regain normal strength and support for the pelvic contents and to possibly aid with continence. Avoid sitting for long periods as this increases strain on the pelvic structures.
Suffering from foot pain during pregnancy is common. Carrying extra weight of the baby will place more force through the knees and the feet. This can cause structures within the foot to be overused and tired. Conditions such as plantar fasciitis which is an overuse injury of the plantar fascia or the arch of the foot is common during pregnancy. When a pregnant woman gains weight in their first trimester, it usually puts more strain on the plantar fascia causing it to be inflamed and results in a sharp pain in the heel, especially after sitting a while or when waking up in the morning. The best thing to do to relieve the pain is to heat the feet, ensure proper foot ware with arch supports and keep them elevated when sitting down.
Many women experience indigestion and heartburn while they are pregnant which can be painful or uncomfortable. There are ways to help avoid or treat indigestion and heartburn, especially if it’s mild. Sometimes the feeling of heartburn can be confused with a more serious condition called pre-eclampsia. If you have indigestion in the early stages of your pregnancy, this may be caused by changes in your hormone levels. In the second or third trimester, indigestion becomes more common and may be caused by your baby pushing up against your stomach. Symptoms of indigestion may include:
As a normal part of pregnancy, your breathing may be affected by the increase in the hormone progesterone, which causes you to breathe in more deeply. This might make you feel as if you’re working harder to get air. Breathing may also become more difficult as your enlarging uterus takes up more space resulting in pressure against your diaphragm. As your baby “drops” lower into your pelvis as you near delivery, you should be able to breathe a little easier. In the meantime, try to:
Chiropractic may be beneficial in the treatment of mothers with aches and pains during their pregnancy and we can aid you by giving appropriate advice. Chiropractors adopt a range of different techniques to best suit each pregnant patient.
a) Seated and supine (laying on your back) adjustments as too much pressure on the abdomen could cause a lot of discomfort lying face down
b) Pregnancy pillows to assist patient when lying on their stomach
c) Activator instead of manual adjustments late on in pregnancy
d) Kinesio Taping- pelvis to provide stability
e) Exercise advice
f) Trigger point therapy
g) Soft tissue work and stretches
h) Appropriate mobilisation techniques
i) Flexion / distraction technique to decompress the spine and stretch tight muscles
j) Sacroiliac bracing to stabilize the pelvis
k) Blocking to realign the pelvis
The benefits of chiropractic during pregnancy include:
Lakeside Chiropractic is located in the Northern Suburbs of Perth. We use a range of treatment modalities which are supported by scientific evidence, all while adapting treatment plans to each individual patient. These incorporate advice and exercises to optimise your health and wellbeing during your pregnancy. For more information about common conditions while pregnant, give us a call on 9300 0095 or visit our website at www.lakesidechiro.com.au to book an appointment.Schedule an Appointment