Chiropractic care during pregnancy
In the later stages of pregnancy, hormone changes create a loosening of the ligaments across the pelvis. While necessary to allow the pelvis to relax and open during childbirth, this loosening combined with the normal increased weight gain of pregnancy can lead to a misaligned and unstable pelvis and sacrum (base of spine).
Your body's 'defence' when your pelvis and sacrum are misaligned is controlled by your nervous system, which reacts by creating muscle tension in an attempt to protect the unstable joints of the pelvis.
You may be thinking "so my pelvic muscles contract, that doesn't sound that bad", but you have to keep in mind that everything in your body is connected, so an imbalance in one part of your body can lead to further issues elsewhere.
In this case, the muscles throughout the pelvis also directly, or indirectly via other muscle groups, attach to muscles of the shoulder and knees, so you may end up with imbalances in these areas.
Neck and shoulder alignment
If your neck or shoulder alignment changes to compensate for your pelvic muscles, then additional muscle tension can build down the arm leading to shoulder pain, headaches, neck pain, tingling in the hands, and even carpal tunnel syndrome.
Meanwhile, the muscles protecting the pelvis can pull down on your leg and lead to leg pain, leg tingling, and numbness in the legs (also known as sciatica, if the sciatic nerve becomes inflamed). In fact, if there is enough stress on your leg, your knee can be pulled out of alignment causing knee pain.
Tension on your uterus
However, none of this is as important as the fact that the tension in your pelvic area can pull on the uterus, leading to foetal positioning problems and a difficult birth. Why? Because all this tension on the uterus can essentially trap your baby in the position they are in, so they are unable to turn or drop down into position for delivery.
This gentle chiropractic adjustment works to realign your sacrum, which in turn relieves the stress caused by tension on the uterus. With a relaxed uterus your baby can have more room to move around, so they can more easily move into position for delivery. Also, reducing muscle tension by realigning the sacrum and pelvis may also reduce secondary issues such as shoulder pain, headaches, and sciatica, to name a few.
It can take a few adjustments over several weeks in order to achieve full results, so it is recommended that pregnant mothers begin treatment as early as possible in order to prevent small misalignment issues from becoming big ones. Once the sacrum and pelvic area is aligned and the uterus is fully relaxed, continuing regular treatment can help to ensure that mother and baby have a safe delivery.
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