Reducing Back Pain During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a joyous time. But as the baby growing inside you changes your center of gravity, you become more prone to back pain or injury. If you have a previous history of back problems, your back pain may get even worse during pregnancy. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to stay in shape, minimize stress on your back, and prevent unnecessary back problems.

Managing Weight

Although reports show that about 50 percent of all pregnant women experience some level of back pain, being overweight (extra pounds not pregnancy related) puts you at higher risk for back problems. If you were overweight before becoming pregnant, now isn’t the time to try to shed pounds. Instead, focus on gaining fewer pounds (no more than 15 to 20 pounds) throughout your pregnancy.

Moderate exercise is key to burning calories and easing back pain. It’s important to keep moving as not getting enough physical activity can lead to loss of flexibility and strength, which can mean an increase in pain. However, talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program to make sure the exercise you choose is safe for you.

Getting Treatment for a Misaligned Spine

A misaligned spine due to changes in posture, increased back curve, or your protruding belly can cause back pain. While it’s normal for your back to curve forward to accommodate the extra weight you have in front, the change can bring on lower back pain. When looking for relief, some women find chiropractic care during pregnancy helpful.

Spinal and pelvic misalignment during pregnancy also can lead to intrauterine constraint, which limits the amount of space in the uterus your developing baby has for movement. This may prevent your baby from moving into a head-down position for birth.

Chiropractic treatment can reduce stress on the pelvis, relaxing the uterus. A relaxed uterus makes it easier for a baby in the breech position to turn.

Reducing Stress

Whether the discomfort you feel is a dull ache or a sharp pain, strained muscles that surround the spine often are the cause. The other kind of stress (the anxiety kind) can cause back pain as well.

When you’re stressed, you may tense your back muscles. Tense muscles can trigger low back pain or make pain you already have worse. It isn’t easy, but you need to try to avoid situations you find stressful or find ways to lessen the negative impact stress has on you. Deep breathing, listening to music, and meditation can have a calming effect on frayed nerves.

Strengthening Weak Muscles

Existing wear and tear on the spine can increase your risk of back pain during pregnancy; therefore, you need to exercise to strengthen the muscles of your back. Since abdominal muscles that support the spine stretch and weaken when you’re pregnant, exercises to strengthen your abdominal and back muscles can help alleviate persistent back pain. Along with the chiropractic therapies you receive, your chiropractor may teach you exercises you can do on your own at home.

Even though you carry your baby in the front of your body when you are pregnant, your back muscles help support the added weight. Strength training exercise while you are pregnant should focus on stretching the calf muscles and muscles of the lower back.

The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy also make the ligaments and joints in the pelvic region looser. What’s worse is loose ligaments can lead to nagging low back pain. A doctor or chiropractor (such as one from Fish Creek Chiropractic) may recommend wearing a support belt under your abdomen.

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Three Ways Chiropractic Care Can Help Treat Depression

If you suffer from chronic pain, you understand that long-lasting physical pain cannot be separated from psychological problems. In addition to feeling some level of constant pain, many chronic pain sufferers also suffer from depression. According to the American Chiropractic Association, depression is 3–4 times more common for those who suffer from chronic pain compared to the general population, and 30–80% will experience some level of depression throughout their lives. Because of the strong connection between chronic pain and depression, it is important to treat both problems. Chiropractic care can be great for managing depression caused by chronic pain. Listed below are three ways that it can help: 

1. No Medication:

While anti-depressants can be helpful for treating depression, it is often a long process to figure out which drug works best for you. Being treated with the wrong anti-depressant can even make your symptoms worse! Prescription pain killers for chronic pain can also be habit forming and simply mask your symptoms rather than treating their cause. Chiropractic care is a great alternative because it is drug free. Visiting a chiropractor will help get to the bottom of your pain, which in turn can help ease your depression symptoms. Additionally, adjustments from a chiropractor can naturally balance hormone levels, improving your mood.   

2. Improved Mind/Body Connection:

Chiropractic care is all about re-aligning the spine and making sure that there is no unneeded pressure there. Your spinal cord is the main path to your brain, and if there is excessive pressure on the spinal cord, your brain can get mixed signals telling it that something is wrong. When your spine is re-aligned, the spinal cord and nervous system can send signals without being misinterpreted. 

3. Indirect Methods:

There are more ways for a chiropractor to help you with your depression besides re-aligning your spine. Chiropractors are aware that depression cannot be fixed with medication alone, and many are trained to recognize symptoms–sometimes even before the patient does. Many chiropractors support talk therapy and can recommend therapists who can help you work through your depression. Chiropractors also encourage changes in diet and exercise, as well as herbal remedies, so that you can improve your entire quality of life and help ease your pain and depression symptoms. 

Suffering from pain is unpleasant, to say the least, and can often lead to depression. Visiting a chiropractor can help ease your physical pain, which in turn can improve depression symptoms. Additionally, chiropractic care can help prevent misinterpreted signals being sent to the brain, and chiropractors like Battlefield Chiropractic & Physiotherapy can suggest other non-invasive forms of treatment. So make an appointment with a chiropractor, stop living with pain, and watch your physical and mental health improve! 

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While I love the holidays, I’m sometimes relieved when they’re over with. As soon as Christmas Day has passed, I start taking down decorations. Once my Christmas tree and other decorations have been packed in boxes, I move them to the attic. This year, I injured my back while moving a particularly heavy box to the attic. Thankfully, I knew who to call for help, my chiropractor. I immediately called this individual and made an appointment to see him. After he made a few adjustments to my back, I started to feel like my old self again. If you hurt your back during the holidays, you may still be in pain. On this blog, you will discover the ways a chiropractor can treat back pain.

October 2015
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