One of the most common complaints we hear is back pain in early pregnancy. This can occur in patients who are pregnant for the first time or in women who have had one or more previous pregnancies. For those who have been through pregnancy before this pain is usually not new their first bout with this complaint, but that is not always the case. Either way there is a treatment available which can help to manage the pain or even completely resolve the issue altogether.
When looking for the source of back pain it is important to understand the many changes that occur in the body during pregnancy. Hormones have an enormous impact on the entire system. The one that is most influential with back pain is Relaxin. As you may have guessed, this hormones effect is to loosen the ligaments of the body, particularly in the pelvis, to prepare for labor and delivery. As a result, those joints that depend heavily on the ligaments may be weakened and more susceptible to biomechanical or physical stresses.
The most common place for this to express itself is the sacroiliac or SI joint. This joint is found at about the waist line on the back and includes two bony landmarks that can readily be felt on either side of the spine. If you have experienced back pain in early pregnancy and have been able to point directly to one of these two points it is highly likely that you have SI pain. There exist a few popular habits that can contribute to the dysfunction of this joint after relaxin has begun to take effect. All of the following may be habits that seem inconsequential and never have resulted in back pain previously, but remember that the joint is now loosened and preparing for labor and delivery making it less capable of enduring any moderate stressers.
- Leg crossing while seated
- Hip sinking (leaning toward one side while standing- usually seen in mothers carrying children)
- Sitting cross-legged on a flat or soft surface
- Driving a large vehicle in which one leg is constantly being lifted or overused.
So how can we help? Chiropractic has been successful for many years at helping to identify and correct imbalances and stresses on the body. More specifically, our office is certified in the Webster Technique- a technique created specifically for the treatment and management of pregnant women. Here we focus on the entire pelvis, including the sacrum (part of the SI joint) and associated ligaments, in a effort to restore balance, decreased tension and stress, and allow for proper motion.
We have seen fantastic success in helping pregnant women reduce or eliminate low back pain in early, middle, or even late pregnancy. The result of such sucess means that these women see a significant increase in mobility, improved sleep quality and quantity, and enjoy shorter labor and delivery times. In short, they are able to enjoy their pregnancy and can continue to function throughout pregnancy. Let’s face it, life doesn’t slow down or get easier when you become pregnant. Our goal is to help you stay happy and healthy. When you can stay active most of the concerns that can occur during pregnancy can be resolved.
If you are experiecing back pain in early pregnancy contact our office and schedule an appointment with Dr. Reynolds to begin finding relief from your discomfort. We also have no charge consultations to help answer your questions. We have two locations in Salt lake City, Utah and Draper, Utah. Call 801-810-4144 to schedule.