Lower back pain or pelvic girdle pain happens very often in women during pregnancy and postpartum. In fact, up to 90% of pregnant women experience back pain regardless if they have had back pain previously.(1) Researchers have been investigating the reasons behind pregnancy related back pain and its favourable management. Recently a high quality systematic review of chiropractic care for adults with pregnancy related back pain was published and the results may surprise you or your family and friends!
Pregnancy related back pain can hinder daily activities and can be debilitating. Sadly, this type of back pain is often believed to be normal as part of the pregnancy. The cause of back pain during pregnancy is likely to be multifactorial. For example maternal weight gain, biomechanical changes and changes in hormonal levels that promotes ligament flexibility.(1) Although pregnancy related back pain or pelvic girdle pain generally resolves shortly after giving birth, the pain may continue after delivery.
Safety of the mother and child is always the first priority for clinicians. Paracetamol and opioid use have been the first solution that a lot of people pick. Yet, newer epidemiological study have found that the use of paracetamol during pregnancy has an impact on immature rodent animals and opioid use can increase the risk of the child developing ADHD/ASD in the future.(2, 3)
The systematic review indicates physical therapy provides favourable outcomes that may be effective in pregnant women with variable results. More specifically, spinal manipulation therapy and mobilisations have shown improvements in pain intensity or disability. Increasing numbers of literature studies in this category are emerging, and it’s suggested a clinician(e.g. medical doctor) should consider this approach if the pregnant patient agrees.(1)
At Sprouting Health Chiropractic, our first principle is do no harm. We use a variety of techniques, provide advice and modify the treatment for pregnant women. If you or your loved ones are suffering from pregnancy related back pain, talk to one of our chiropractors and see whether we can help manage your concerns.
1. Weis CA, Pohlman K, Draper C, Stuber K, Hawk C. Chiropractic Care for Adults With Pregnancy-Related Low Back, Pelvic Girdle Pain, or Combination Pain: A Systematic Review. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics. 2020.
2. Bührer C, Endesfelder S, Scheuer T, Schmitz T. Paracetamol (Acetaminophen) and the Developing Brain. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021;22(20):11156.
3. Trønnes JN, Lupattelli A, Handal M, Skurtveit S, Ystrom E, Nordeng H. Association of Timing and Duration of Prenatal Analgesic Opioid Exposure With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children. JAMA Network Open. 2021;4(9):e2124324-e.
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