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Dear Dr. Caraotta:
I am pregnant and am having low back pain. I went to my medical doctor, he examined me and said that it is probably due to my pregnancy. He was not able to take x-rays or give me any pain pills, since I am pregnant. Can Chiropractic help?
Dr. Caraotta's Response
Absolutely! There are two phases when most patient's experience low back pain during pregnancy, however this could vary depending on the patient's activities, bone structure, and prior low back conditions.
As a female grows in her pregnancy, the increased weight in the abdominal region causes the pelvis to orient in the anterior or flexed position. When this occurs, there is an increase in the curvature in the low back, which adds stress to the posterior part of the spine(facets)and could cause localized pain or pain radiating into the leg. An anterior shift in the pelvis may also affect the sciatic nerve and cause pain radiating down the back of the leg, into the foot.
At a certain stage of pregnancy, a hormone called relaxin is prevalent, for the purpose of relaxing musculature, allowing musculature to expand during child birth. When relaxin is more prevalent, it is not uncommon for vertebra and joints to "slip" from their corrected position to the uncorrected position and cause pain.
Since pregnant females are usually advised to not take any analgesics during pregnancy, Chiropractic Rehabilitation is usually the safest and most common recommended treatment of choice. With the combination of chiropractic adjustments, exercise, and alteration of activities, most women respond well and go into labor pain free.