(Dec – Jan 2013 Vol. 32) – Common pregnancy pains
Dr. William Choi is a local chiropractor who specialises in the Gonstead Method, and he practices at Academy Of Chiropractic Clinic, 30 Merchant Road #02-27, Singapore 058282. Here’s his takes on the common aches and pains you are likely to experience.
LWB: What are some common pains experienced by pregnant women?
Dr. Choi: The changes associated with pregnancy can aggravate or even cause a vertebral subluxation. Vertebral subluxation is a term used to describe when a spinal bone has lost its normal position and ability to more properly which causes irritation to nearby delicate nerve tissue.
Research has shown that as many as 56% of pregnant women experience back pain which can be sign of advanced vertebral subluxation. Other common pains experienced by pregnant women are knee and back pain associated with swelling, and neck pain.
LWB: Are there any special precautions they can take to avoid these?
Dr. Choi: Women who are looking to start a family and have preexisting spinal conditions should seek to the musculoskeletal frame during pregnancy, specific corrections to problematic areas prior to pregnancy will provide a healthier and more comfortable transition during future trimesters.
The American College of Sports Physicians and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have made recommendations for exercise during pregnancy. Generally, women who already have an established exercise are advised to continue, with appropriate caution.
For those women who have not established an exercise program prior to pregnancy, the ACSM guidelines recommend an intensity level where the heart rate below 150 beats / minute, exercise of short duration and avoidance of ballistic movements. However, pregnant women should always consult with their Gynecologists before starting any exercise routine.
LWB: Why are pregnant women more likely to suffer from these aches?
Dr. Choi: During pregnancy a women’s body changed dramatically, causing shifts in weigh bearing and adding stress to the spine. As the abdomen grows forward, it pulls the lower back with it. The mid-back and shoulders the pull back to compensate and it turn the head and neck tilt forward.
The pregnant mother’s body produces several hormones to help the spine cope with some of these changes by loosening the surrounding connective tissues.
However, if even a minor spinal problem exists in the spine prior to these changes, it will intensify during the course of pregnancy. This makes it vital for a woman to maintain the integrity of her spine before and throughout her pregnancy.
LWB: Is pain relief medication safe for pregnant women, or are there alternatives?
Dr. Choi: No drug can be considered 100% safe to use during pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins are safe to take during pregnancy. If you take any medications, you should check with your doctor. Your healthcare provider will weigh the risks and benefits. And remember, you should also tell your doctor about any alternative medications or supplements you take, even if they’re “natural”.
Regular Gonstead Chiropractic care can aid in the prevention of any discomfort. Gonstead doctors of chiropractic use great care to ensure the most accurate, safe and painless adjustment possible.
The Gonstead adjustment is so safe care can continue until the day of delivery. The Gonstead system of chiropractic employs special adjusting table and modifications used for each stage of pregnancy. Regular Gonstead chiropractic care, in combination with other healthy habits, provides the best opportunity for a healthy happy baby.
Pregnancy should be a time to reflect on your family’s goals and dreams-not a time to be burdened with pain. An optimally functioning mother, free of verve interference, will contribute much of the health of her baby.
LWB: Lastly, what would you recommend for a pregnant women in order to have a better time during the ultimate painful period – labour?
Dr. Choi: Numerous Gonstead chiropractic patients under care during pregnancy report healthier pregnancies and more comfortable delivers. One study revealed that first time mothers under chiropractic care had 24% shorter labor times versus women who were not.
In addition, chiropractic patients who have had previous children enjoyed 29% shorter labor times. Gonstead doctors use specific time-proven techniques to check the alignment of the pelvic girdle, which is crucial for the expecting mother. Dysfunction in the pelvic joints has been shown to lead to back pain during pregnancy.
A property aligned pelvis allows for sufficient space for the developing baby and a quicker easier delivery.
Other methods to ease pain and tension are immersion in a warm bath, relaxation and breathing techniques.
Livewell Baby, December – January 2013 Vol 32