An estimated 75 percent of pregnant women in America experience back pain at some point during their pregnancy, according to Illinois-based chiropractic physician and educator Erik Korzen.

However, since women who are pregnant shouldn’t take medications or procedures for lower back or any other pain, alternative therapies which involve low-intensity exercises are ideal. Pregnant women benefit more from therapies that increase joint movement, maintain flexibility, and prevent hip muscle spasms that increase the risk of lower back injuries.

Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

Chiropractic care helps stabilize the joints and tissues, as well as strengthens the mother’s nervous system. Research has shown regular chiropractic care during pregnancy can help decrease the labor ordeal and even shorten the duration.

Dr. Carson Robertson, of Alpha Chiropractic & Physical Therapy, says, “In our chiropractic office, we have found that women benefit from different types of treatments. Some women work on all the components, while others come in for occasional treatments. Many complement chiropractic and massage therapy with their yoga, Pilates, or active exercise plans.”

Dr. Sam Henley, a chiropractor from Active Life Columbia, says that lower back pain becomes a common issue during pregnancy as there is an excessive production of the hormone relaxin. “Relaxin loosens up the ligaments to prepare a mother’s body for childbirth. Because of this ligamentous laxity, the joints of the body are more vulnerable, especially those of the lower back, where the baby’s weight rests,” he says.

During the last trimester of pregnancy,  women are continuously gaining weight to support the growth of her growing baby, this, in return contributes to loss of core strength. The result of this adds stress to different muscles and joints throughout your body. “This is most notable in women whose curves change drastically. Combine the physical changes with a tendency to “hinge” at the lower back instead of squat, will increase the strain and risk of lower back pain,” says Dr. Robertson.

Chiropractic Tips to Ease Lower Back Pain 

Dr. Robertson lists out the following exercises that can be useful for expecting mothers.

1. Chiropractic Manipulation To Maintain Joint Mobility: Pregnancy-related musculoskeletal pain develops from an increased strain in the pelvis, lower, and upper back. There are different types of chiropractic manipulations, and not all involve popping and cracking. Many pregnant women prefer the Activator Technique or Flexion distraction therapy as opposed to manual manipulation, which involves the usage of a spring-loaded device to tap or nudge the joint.

2. Massage Therapy To Decrease Muscle Spasms And Maintain Lower Back And Hip Flexibility: Regular massages throughout pregnancy helps prevent lower back pain in the third trimester. The pressure does not need to be deep and painful. Instead, involve gentle strokes to increase circulation.

3. Exercises Early In Pregnancy to Enhance Core Strength: Developing strength and endurance earlier minimizes pain later. Likewise, the stronger the core is in the beginning, the more strength women will have during labor, which would also hasten the recovery process. Core strengthening exercises also exercise your back, the intensity of these workouts can vary from low to medium which can involve bridging or other variations.

4. Stretching For Back, Hip, And Hamstring Flexibility: Developing flexibility is crucial. Physical changes later will prevent many types of stretching, especially exercises of the hip or piriformis. A combination of hip stretching exercises will strengthen the back and alleviate pain.

For more interesting stories, visit our Health page. Read more about Pregnancy & Babycare here.

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