Postpartum Pain and Chiropractic
The postpartum period is clinically defined as the first six weeks after childbirth. There are many changes your body goes through after childbirth and as you go through the transition from pregnancy to motherhood. While it is a very exciting time in your life, it can also be strenuous on your body. Chiropractic care can help your body deal with these new strains and pains while teaching you how to prevent further aggravation to your body.
Low Back Pain:
One-third of postpartum women experience low back pain. There are many causes of low back pain in postpartum women, but one major cause is a weak core. For the past 9 months, your abdominal muscles have been over-stretched and weakened. Now, you are asking your body to lift your baby and a car seat with these weakened muscles. If your abdominal and core muscles are weak, your low back compensates, and this can cause low back pain. Another major cause of low back pain is due to the posture adopted during pregnancy. This posture presents as a forward pelvic tilt and exaggerated curve of your low back. At Spinal & Sports Care Clinic, we specialize in exercise rehabilitation. We can help re-train your core and abdominal muscles to properly activate and show you an exercise routine to begin rehabilitative strength training.
Hip and Pelvic Pain:
Another common problem postpartum women experience is hip and pelvic pain. This pain can be a symptom of pelvic misalignments that occurred during pregnancy or the birthing process. If you are carrying a child on your hip, this can also create pelvic asymmetry and pain. Misalignments of the pelvis can be addressed by your chiropractor using gentle adjustments, and a rehabilitation and strengthening program.
Neck and Upper Back Pain:
As a mom you are likely packing around a baby, car seat, full diaper bag, purse, and maybe even another toddler. The weight of these items can cause strain in your neck, upper back, and shoulders. Chiropractic care can help relieve this strain and show you more ergonomically-friendly ways to carry your car seat, your baby, and other supplies. It’s also a good idea to empty your purse and diaper bag of unnecessary items to help reduce their weight. Neck and upper back pain can also be caused by poor ergonomics when feeding your baby. Your chiropractor can help guide you on ways to hold your baby when breast and/or bottle feeding that is easier on your body to prevent further aggravation.
There are many different causes for headaches, and your Spinal & Sports Care chiropractor will perform an extensive history and examination to help narrow down the cause of your headache. A tailored treatment plan will be created for you based on your specific needs. For many postpartum women, headaches can be caused by the stress and tension on the neck and shoulders when looking down to bond with your baby during feeding as well as poor ergonomics when caring for your baby. Higher stress levels may cause jaw and upper neck tension which can cause headaches in the temples or feel like a band squeezing around the head. Lack of sleep, dehydration, and poor nutritional habits may also trigger a headache, so be sure to keep yourself well-nourished and drink plenty of water.
Postpartum Blues and Depression:
While chiropractic care does not directly treat mood disorders, we do care for women (and men) who may suffer from postpartum blues and depression. At the Spinal & Sports Care Clinic, we believe if you move better, you feel better. Chiropractic care increases pain-free movement, allowing our patients to increase their exercise levels. It is well known, and proven by research, that exercise decreases depression. We can help keep you moving, but please talk to your doctor if you, or someone you know, is having signs and symptoms of depression or anxiety during pregnancy and/or after giving birth. These mood disorders are very common, and help is available.
Here is a list of support groups in the Spokane area you can use to reach out for help:
Perinatal Support.org Rockwood Clinic