Did you know that not only does your uterus and abdominal area change drastically during your pregnancy, but your spine does also? That’s right! When viewing the spine from the side we typically have curves in our spine both in the neck (cervical spine) and lower back (lumbar spine), and in the opposite direction in the mid back (thoracic spine). These curves give strength and stability similar to the structural strength of arches on buildings. Pregnancy requires relatively rapid growth of the uterus over a short period of time and the spinal biomechanics have to keep up with these changes. In order to support the growth your center of gravity shifts forward, your lumbar curve increases and your spinal joints have to work overtime to support you. This, of course, can be painful. And here’s the kicker (yes, the baby is also a kicker) that pesky hormone relaxin (ya know the one that relaxes your joints to allow you to push a baby out of your pelvis) affects all your joints and makes them more vulnerable to injury.
But have no fear! Chiropractic is here! Spinal misalignments, which we call subluxations cause dysfunctional movement, muscles, postural distortions and nerve interference. By detecting subluxations we can make corrections through specific chiropractic adjustments. Pregnancy however requires even more detail in the analysis and adjusting techniques. The Webster Chiropractic technique is a system of adjusting the spine through gentle, specific and effective adjustments to clear the nervous system while adapting to the dynamic nature of a pregnant woman.
So what’s that popping sound anyway? Chiropractic adjustments don’t always require the big movements with popping or cracking noises (in fact, infant adjustments are performed with little to no force at all, but that’s a story for the next article). There are many tools and techniques to adjust you with whatever style you prefer, but if you do like the bigger adjustments you might hear a popping or cracking noise. Subluxations cause pressure to build up in the joints and the noise is the pressure being released. So technically, subluxations are not misalignments, because the adjustment is not moving the bone back into place but rather it’s releasing pressure and restoring proper joint mechanics. In addition to that, each spinal bone has up to 12 joints on it, so there are 12 opportunities for pressure to build up and 12 opportunities to make some noise! One adjustic thrust can sound like a ton of movement, but often we are localizing that adjustment to the one or two bones that are subluxated, and due to the multiple joints with built up pressure it sounds like every bone has moved! I hear this a lot when taking care of pregnant mamas. The extra relaxin (ya know, that hormone released during pregnancy that helps open your joints to push a baby out) makes the spine more vulnerable to subluxations during pregnancy so we often get a lot of movement during the adjustment.
We also work with the ligaments such as the round ligament that connects the uterus to the pubic bones. These have little muscle fibers in them so they can contract and get tight when your spine and pelvis are out of alignment. Releasing these ligaments can provide a ton of relief to the pubic joint, lower abdomen and hip joints. I often see mamas who have a very hard time walking or moving their legs in a lunge-type motion, but after a series of Webster chiro care they are in tip-top shape again and ready to take on the world.
Check out our Cafe of Life YouTube channel for more tips on stretches and mobility movements to assist you in making your pregnancy not only more comfortable but also more empowering! We look forward to seeing you during your pregnancy. It’s such an honor to be invited along the journey with you!