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Case #3 - Pregnancy and Back Pain

Case History

Janice first consulted her chiropractor about her low back pain when she was 33 years old and four months pregnant. Initially, she had a dull ache covering most of her low back.  As her pregnancy progressed, the pain moved to the sacroiliac joints and sometimes into both legs.

She used to do yoga twice a week, but stopped after becoming pregnant.  This was her first pregnancy, and she was worried about her pain getting worse as the pregnancy progressed.

Examination Findings

Upon examination, the following were noted about Janice’s condition:

Diagnosis & Analysis

Janice was diagnosed with sacroiliac sprains and strains.  This condition is common during pregnancy because the body undergoes substantial changes as it nurtures the baby and prepares for delivery.  Some of the changes that contributed to Janice’s condition include the following:

  1. Relaxin, which is a hormone that prepares the body for delivery by relaxing the ligaments and tendons, often makes joints too loose.  The ligaments holding the sacroiliac joints together are severely pulled and strained, and may lead to SI joint misalignment.
  2. Weight gain typical of pregnancy causes an increase in blood volume and fat, which increases the load and strain placed on the spinal joint.  Also, the increase in Janice’s abdominal weight shifted her body’s center of mass forward, which increased the pressure on her lumbar and thoracic spine.  Janice's back and neck muscles are also over-strained due to the increase in her breast size / weight.

Treatment & Prognosis

Janice received the following treatment protocol, which included the use of techniques and equipment specifically for pregnant patients:

  1. Restore normal joint mechanics: Janice received spinal manipulations, which are safe throughout pregnancy, to correct the misalignment of her joints.
  2. Relax muscles: Janice received soft tissue therapy that focused on releasing her trigger points, which improved the effectiveness of the spinal manipulations and relieved pain and discomfort.
  3. Re-establish proper alignment: Orthotic insoles were prescribed for Janice to correct her foot pronation problem which helps to ensure alignment of all the joints and to provide a stable base of support every step she takes.

The chiropractic care Janice received had contributed to a smooth pregnancy, enabling her to give birth by natural delivery to an 8 lb baby girl. Chiropractic care provided Janice with a natural means for relieving pain and maintaining her spinal health. She was able to enjoy her pregnancy because she was both physically and mentally relaxed.  Janice was so satisfied with her prenatal chiropractic care that she continued to receive treatment for the various aches and pains that developed from baby care during the post-natal period.

More about chiropractic care during pregnancy.

*As individual conditions vary, you are advised to consult a registered chiropractor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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