Pain During Pregnancy


Many of us find ourselves in pain and discomfort as our pregnancy progresses. This is especially so in the third trimester but can even happen early on.  Sometimes these problems are new to us or they can be an exaggeration of our old problems. The body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy, growing a human being is amazing and rewarding but very hard work!  The three main stressors to the spine and pelvis during pregnancy are:

  1. A dramatic change in size and position of the uterus
  2. Large amounts of the relaxin hormone are secreted
  3. Ligaments stretch

As your baby and uterus grow, your belly protrudes forwards.  In order to stay upright, your centre of gravity shifts greatly, causing an increase in your low back curve, rounding of the shoulders and even forward head carriage.  This can cause pain in all of these areas as the joints, ligaments and muscles all try to cope with the change in posture.  Joints can tighten and inflame, muscles can spasm or even switch off and ligaments stretch.

Hormone Relaxin

Your ovaries, uterus and placenta all secrete the hormone relaxin during pregnancy.  Like it sounds, this hormone is designed to relax and soften the ligaments of the pelvis to allow maximum space for your baby to grow and be birthed. Although this is a wonderful thing, it can also cause a lot of instability as the joints of the pelvis become slack and can cause pain, particularly back, tailbone, pubic, groin or sciatic pain.  Relaxin isn’t isolated to the pelvis but goes through the whole body and can cause similar issues in any joints in the body.

Ligaments stretch

Ligaments of the pelvis and uterus stretch a lot during pregnancy as the relaxin hormone kicks into action and the uterus and baby grow.  Uterine ligaments are like the poles and ropes for your tent.  They hold the uterus stable within the abdomen and pelvis.  If one ligament is tighter on one side, or the pelvis twists it can cause pain for the mother but it can also affect how much room your baby has to move and position itself.  The round ligament, for example, stretches from a few centimetres in length before pregnancy up to thirty centimetres in length in the last trimester.  That’s a big change!

 Pain during pregnancy

Pain, even in pregnancy is often a sign that something isn’t working as well as it should be.  Mums are tough and often just think pregnancy and pain go together but that is sometimes not the case.  If you wish to be assessed to see if your particular problem is something that may be helped with gentle chiropractic care, like the Webster technique, then please contact the clinic for more details.

Webster Technique

The Webster Technique is an analysis and treatment protocol which is used for treating injuries to the tailbone (coccyx) and pelvis, as well as pain in pregnancy.  It involves very gentle ligament and muscle releases to improve function of the sacroiliac joints and promote balance of the ligaments and muscles of the tailbone, pelvis and hips.  It can be used for children or adults, male or female, although the technique does change slightly in pregnant mothers due to the change in position of the round ligaments as the uterus grows.

Our office is fully equipped for mums-to-be with height adjustable table and pregnancy support pillows to accommodate and protect your growing belly.  Your comfort is our priority! Technique styles used will vary depending on the problem, your health history, your body’s sensitivity and even just your own personal preferences.  Treatment during pregnancy is very gentle as the body is undergoing a lot of change at this time.  If you decide to go ahead with treatment, you will be informed of everything that will happen, before it happens.  If the pressure is too strong for you, or you would like to change something then Dr Tressa is always open and ready to adapt the style as we work with you.  We can discuss and reassess this together at any time throughout your care.  You know your body better than anyone and listening to it is extremely important.

Habits you have, how you sit, stand and sleep also have an effect on the body and how well it works as it prepared for your birth.  Our chiropractor can also give you postural, positional and ergonomic advice for every stage of pregnancy to help you during this special time.

For more information please contact us.