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During pregnancy, a woman’s body endures many changes such as their center of gravity shifting forward, affecting the curvature of the back and placing extra stress on the spine. Changes like this can cause pain and postural imbalances, so it is important to take care of any issues to prevent further damage.  

Pain in the lower back can be caused by a number of things including stress, hormones, weight gain and the position of the baby. During pregnancy, the pelvis can be pulled out of alignment, which can cause stress on the uterus and supporting ligaments. Alignment issues may make it more difficult for the baby to position itself for birth.  

Safe treatment options for lower back pain during pregnancy include chiropractic care and osteopathic manipulative therapy (OMT). Chiropractic care is provided by a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC), while OMT is provided by a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) who specialize in hands-on healing techniques in addition to traditional medical care. Chiropractic care and OMT can cater to the changes in a woman’s body during pregnancy and improve the experience of preparing to bring a new life into the world. 

Chiropractic treatment and osteopathic manipulative therapy can be a great pain-relief alternative for women who want to avoid taking pain medication while pregnant. Some chiropractors and osteopathic physicians even specialize in prenatal hands-on care to provide you with the best treatment and a greater ease of mind. Chiropractic and osteopathic care are generally safe for most pregnancies and do not cause high risks, but checking with your obstetrician before scheduling an appointment is always a good idea to make sure everything is going well and so your obstetrician can confirm it is safe for you and your individual pregnancy journey. 

For the best results, begin chiropractic or osteopathic care as early into your pregnancy as possible. The sooner this type of care begins, the easier the transition throughout pregnancy and post-pregnancy will be for you. If you’re still early in your first trimester, be sure to let the chiropractor or DO know you are expecting when scheduling and arriving for your appointments.  

After delivery, chiropractic and osteopathic care can help address joint problems that may have developed during pregnancy, while care during pregnancy can also help prevent problems and help ensure proper alignment before pelvic ligaments tighten to avoid longer-lasting pain. 

The potential benefits of chiropractic care and/or OMT during pregnancy include:  

  • Improved mood.  
  • Increased mobility.   
  • Increased flexibility.  
  • Increased chances of easier delivery and reduced recovery time.  
  • Pain relief.  
  • Improved sleep.  
  • An overall healthier pregnancy. 
Alongside chiropractic care and/or OMT, it may help to adjust daily activities to help ease pain and tension. Some of these adjustments include:  

  • Swapping out high heels for a low-heeled shoe with support.  
  • Increase rest and elevate feet while doing so.  
  • Sleep on left side while using support pillows under belly and between the legs.  
  • Prenatal yoga.  
  • Limit amount of weight you carry.  
  • Apply a cold compress to relieve new pains.  
  • Apply heat to aches while taking note of time and temperature to avoid burns. Go swimming to temporarily take gravity off your stomach.

Pregnancy brings many new and specific changes to a woman’s body. If you’re interested in chiropractic care or OMT during or after pregnancy, talk to your OB provider.