Any kind of bodily pain, including back pain, pelvic pain and headaches, can be debilitating for anyone. But pain symptoms are undoubtedly more complicated during pregnancy. Your pregnant body is suddenly very different and the treatment options you’re even allowed to consider are far more limited.
Pregnancy pain is most common in the first and third trimesters, although every pregnancy is unique. The most likely culprits are the sudden changes in estrogen levels and other hormonal fluctuations. For instance, to prepare for birth, your body releases hormones during pregnancy that allow pelvic ligaments and joints to loosen. This major change affects your posture and can make your back feel very unsupported, resulting in considerable pain.
What kinds of pain are common during pregnancy, and what are some natural ways to provide effective relief for your pregnancy-related pain? We’ll share what you need to keep on eye on throughout the day, and when you most likely need to call in a medical professional.
Pain During Pregnancy
Pregnancy pain is most common in the first and third trimesters, although every pregnancy is unique.
For example, lumbar pain can be common during pregnancy, with pain at or above the waist in the center of the back. This lower back pain in pregnancy may also come with pain that radiates into the leg or foot.
Also common is pain in the back of the pelvis, known as posterior pelvic pain. This intense pain emerges below and sometimes to the side of the waistline, or below the waistline on either side across the tailbone. Posterior pelvic pain in pregnancy can reach down into the buttock and the upper portion of the posterior (in back of) thighs, and does not usually radiate below the knees.
Meanwhile, headaches can strike during pregnancy, too. From the one-sided throbbing headaches of migraines, to tension headaches that show up as a dull, achy sensation all over your head, you may have more considerably more headaches in your life than before.
What Causes Pain During Pregnancy?
The most likely culprits are the sudden changes in estrogen levels and other hormonal fluctuations. For instance, to prepare for birth, your body releases hormones during pregnancy that allow pelvic ligaments and joints to loosen. This major change affects your posture and can make your back feel very unsupported, resulting in considerable pain.
Additional causes of frequent headaches, back pain during pregnancy, and other pregnancy-related pain include:
- Spikes in blood volume and circulation.
- Fatigue and disrupted sleep.
- Low blood sugar and dehydration.
- Common ailments. Even something as routine as sinus congestion can’t be treated with medications during pregnancy.
- Withdrawals from caffeine.
- Added weight. As your baby grows your center of gravity will shift forward, causing your posture to change as you negotiate this added weight.
Treating Pain During Pregnancy
During pregnancy you should absolutely avoid any pain medications. In fact, whether or not you’re pregnant, treating headaches and back pain with medications is mostly ineffective and brings along a host of unwanted side effects.
What can you do to help relieve aches and pains during pregnancy?
- Get a massage. This will ease the strained muscles, particularly in the neck and upper spine.
- Eat a balanced diet. Whenever possible, fight off any junk food cravings and stick to nutritious foods.
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day.
- Stay hydrated. You’ll feel better in general and be able to more easily tolerate any pain you encounter. Plus you’ll be more like to avoid pregnancy complications including neural tube defects, low amniotic fluid, inadequate breast milk production, and even premature labor.
- Give yourself a break. Lying down in a dark room, even for a short amount of time, can leave you feeling refreshed.
You may reach a point where these at-home remedies aren’t providing the pain relief you need during one of the most physically-stressful times of your life. Chiropractic care can bring you on-the-spot relief coupled with an extended plan to minimize your pain throughout your pregnancy and beyond.
Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy – Is It Safe?
Chiropractic care provides a safe and natural pain solution that eliminates the root cause of headaches and back pain during pregnancy, rather than temporarily getting rid of symptoms.
During pregnancy, the spine can often move out of alignment because of the sizable increase in weight, the resulting poor posture, and pelvic changes. A spine that’s out of alignment is an often-cited cause of back pain, headaches, and related pain (even for patients who aren’t pregnant).
In addition, untreated pelvic misalignments during pregnancy can ultimately reduce the amount of room available for the developing baby, making it harder for the baby to move into the optimal birth position.
Many patients also report that during their pregnancies, chiropractic care results in less nausea, greatly-reduced back and neck pain, less time spent in labor and delivery, and even a reduced likelihood of needing a cesarean section at birth.
No two pregnancies are alike.