Pregnancy causes a significant strain on the spine. Not only is there an increase in weight and hence a greater load on the discs of the spine but the influx of hormones softens the body’s ligaments and causes the spine and pelvis to be more flexible and sometimes unstable. For many women, this can lead to symptoms such as back pain, neck pain, sciatica, shoulder pain, headaches and rib pain.
Chiropractic is a safe and gentle form of healthcare that can provide many benefits for pregnant women.
Is Chiropractic safe during pregnancy?
Chiropractic techniques are very safe at all stages of pregnancy. Chiropractors are highly skilled healthcare professionals and undergo a minimum of five years’ tertiary training, including studies in paediatrics and obstetrics. Chiropractic treatment during pregnancy poses no risk to the unborn child.
What about after the birth?
The mother’s pelvis and lower back are particularly vulnerable to strains from the forces involved in childbirth. After giving birth, the body not only has to recover from the changes made during the pregnancy but also from the effects of the delivery. On top of this, there is the demanding job of caring for a new baby! Activities such as breast-feeding, moving car seats, reaching over cots or bassinets, and carrying a child on one hip can all lead to spinal and pelvic problems.
Since significant trauma can occur at birth, some parents choose to have their newborns checked for spinal problems.
The most common indication that a baby may have been injured during the birthing process is poor neck movement. This may manifest as your baby having a preference to turn the head to the same side (especially when sleeping), being unable to hold the head up whilst lying on their stomach (most infants have some limited head control by 1-2 months), and in some cases your baby may feed more easily from one side. Whilst some of these birth injuries may settle without any intervention it is not uncommon especially following more severe traumas for functional problems to persist.
Other symptoms that may indicate a neck or spinal problem are general irritability or consistently disrupted sleep. Of course there are many causes for these more generalised symptoms in a baby and therefore in some cases concomitant care with a GP or paediatrician will often be recommended by your chiropractor
As children grow they have numerous knocks and falls, most of which are harmless but occasionally significant injuries occur that require care. Unfortunately many treatable childhood problems go unrecognised or are brushed off as “growing pains”. Following significant trauma it is recommended that children have a check-up even if their initial pain passes quickly.Other reasons to have your child checked
- Family history of severe scoliosis (or of a sibling)
- Unusual posture, uneven shoulder levels
- Back ache, Neck ache, Aching Legs, Headaches
- Unusual clumsiness (e.g. Walking or Running)
- Pain at night
Chiropractic Manipulation for infants and children
Chiropractic manipulation for a child is a very gentle procedure. With no more pressure applied than you would use to test the ripeness of a tomato, the manipulation is very safe.