Health & Medical Diseases & Conditions

Chiropractic Care And Pregnancy

Chiropractic care is the safe, regulated realignment of vertebrae, especially in the spine, but also in the limbs and pelvis. The nervous system "speaks" through the spine, so keeping it aligned can help with communication throughout the whole body. And chiropractic care during pregnancy can help relieve pain and discomfort in the spine and joints, reduce nausea, and even reduce the length of labor and delivery.

One of the biggest hardships for pregnant women is actually the physical strain of carrying the baby. The average pregnant woman might gain as much as 25 pounds. The weight pulls the body in different directions than it might be used to, and the strain on the pelvis and spine can lead to discomfort. This is likely to lead to muscle fatigue, strain, and discomfort. Lower back pain is a common problem with pregnancy, especially later in the cycle when the fetus's head presses on the woman's back and buttocks. Fundamentally, the center of gravity shifts, which can lead to misalignments.The curvature of the back can increase and the abdomen will protrude, also. If there's a pre-existing misalignment of the spine or pelvis, these changes can lead not only to pain and discomfort but more serious problems; a misaligned pelvis, for example, might limit the room a developing baby will have or increase the chances of a breach birth, which could lead to c-sections or other difficulties.

Being mindful of lifestyle choices can have a big factor in the need for and success of chiropractic care. Things like exercise, even the type of shoes worn can have a huge effect on the spine and muscles. Moderate exercise strengthens these muscles and helps with the discomfort. Of course, the exercise shouldn't be too strenuous, and adequate warm-ups and cool-downs, like stretching, are essential. Moderate cardiovascular exercises like walking and swimming are ideal because they avoid bouncing or jerking actions. The type of exercise a woman did before pregnancy has a lot to do with what's safe during pregnancy. And basic safety is essential, such as avoiding falls and overly strenuous activity. Likewise, sensible shoes are a necessity, as is proper lifting techniques, such as bending from the knees, when picking up children. Sleep deprivation can be a major factor in injury and misalignment as well. Frequent naps aren't just a luxury; they're essential. The way a pregnant woman sleeps can lead to strain as well. Sleeping on the side and keeping a pillow between the knees relives lower back pressure. The left side is optimal for unobstructed blood flow. Workstations should be arranged properly with computer monitors at eye level, a footrest to relieve pressure on legs and feet, and an ergonomically correct chair. Walking or movement breaks, again, are essential to avoid misalignment.

Of course, you should always consult with your doctor, but chiropractic care, when used in conjunction with a proper diet, can greatly decrease the discomfort associated with pregnancy. Not just physical discomforts and nausea, but other discomforts such as stress can be greatly reduced through chiropractic care, greatly increasing your quality of life during this special time.

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