Pregnancy is an exciting, precious time in a woman's life, full of new experiences. Unfortunately, the baby's development brings about bodily changes that often wreak havoc on the back and joints, and end up causing pain. These issues also frequently cause issues during delivery, and increase the time it takes for the body to recover post-pregnancy.
Expectant moms benefit from chiropractic care in a number of ways. Here are five key ways chiropractic care helps alleviate the toll pregnancy takes on a woman's body.
#1: Chiropractic keeps the spine in alignment.
Pregnancy adds significant additional weight to a woman's body in a short amount of time. This change bears on the spine, frequently pulling it out of alignment.
When this happens, the pain can be quite severe. Chiropractic care during pregnancy works to keep the spine in alignment and all supporting tendons working optimally, to be better prepared and able to adequately support the extra weight.
#2: Chiropractic reduces need for pain relievers.
Most times, individuals experiencing moderate pain pop a couple of over the counter pain relievers and think nothing of it. However, pregnant women strive to avoid medications when possible.
Chiropractic adjustments decrease the underlying issues that cause pain, so the patient relies less on medications. Experiencing less pain as well as eliminating the need for pain killers is a win-win situation for expectant mothers.
#3: Chiropractic strengthens and repairs joints.
Pregnancy really beats up an expectant mothers joints. Chiropractic care for expectant mothers is a productive way to minimize the effect the large, protruding abdomen has on her hips, legs, and ankles.
Treating the body as a whole, chiropractic treatment works to strengthen the body and promotes healing of injured or strained areas.
#4: Chiropractic helps achieve pelvic alignment.
An aligned pelvis is critical to the birthing process, and increases the chances of being able to give birth naturally. According to the American Pregnancy Association,
"When the pelvis is misaligned it may reduce the amount of room available for the developing baby. This restriction is called intrauterine constraint. A misaligned pelvis may also make it difficult for the baby to get into the best possible position for delivery. This can affect the mother's ability to have a natural, non-invasive birth."
An experienced chiropractor can effectively align the pelvis before delivery, so the mother is able to deliver with little incident.
#5: Chiropractic increases the body's ability to bounce back.
Let's face it, every pregnant woman thinks "will I ever fit in the clingy red dress again?" The healthier and stronger a woman's body is before and during pregnancy, the easier it is to get back into shape once the baby is born. Eating right and safely exercising are effective ways to accomplish this.
Chiropractic care is also a valuable component to fitness. Expectant mothers who choose chiropractic enjoy better posture, less pain, and increased mobility, especially late in the third trimester.
This allows them to maintain exercise routines and be active longer than those suffering from back pain and achy joints. After the delivery, it's easier to get back into a fitness routine, and into that red dress, if the new mother's joints, back, and hips are aligned and functioning properly.
Chiropractic care can serve to reduce pain and increase the overall heath of expectant mothers, letting her relax and focus on the more pleasant aspects of pregnancy. Expecting women who commit to chiropractic care can look forward to a stronger body, the chances of a smoother delivery, and an easier recovery after the baby comes.
While back pain is a known and widely-studied issue in adults, its prevalence in school-aged children has received comparatively little scientific attention. Elementary, middle, and high school students must often carry backpacks that weigh enough to cause chronic back pain, poor posture, and even decreased lung volume. Recently, several studies reveal the truths behind childhood back pain and ways to mitigate it.
Are Backpacks Too Heavy for Kids?
Recent research supports that children carrying backpack loads of more than ten percent of their body weight have a greater risk of developing back pain and related issues. An international study found that an alarmingly large proportion of school-aged children in Australia, France, Italy, and the United States regularly carried backpacks weighing more than the ten percent threshold.
In another study involving a sample of 1540 metropolitan school-aged children, over a third of the children surveyed reported back pain. In addition to carrying heavy backpacks, female students and those diagnosed with scoliosis had a greater association with back pain. Children with access to lockers reported less pain.
The number of straps on the backpack had little impact on the respondents' answers. Children also reported limited physical activity due to back pain, and some took medication to relieve the pain.
Girls who carried purses in addition to wearing a backpack reported significantly greater back pain. Adolescents with back pain spent more time watching television than their peers. Over 80 percent of those surveyed believed that carrying a heavy backpack caused their back pain.
Proper Backpack Carrying Techniques
The studies revealed several factors that may help reduce back pain in school-aged children. The best way to prevent back pain is to avoid carrying heavy loads.
Children should take advantage of locker breaks and only carry items necessary for a couple of classes at a time. When lifting a backpack, children should crouch down and bend their knees rather than curve the spine.
While not conclusive, research also supports that carrying the weight differently, e.g., by hand rather than by backpack, may help prevent or reduce back pain. The American Occupational Therapy Association and the American Chiropractic Association offer these additional safe backpack tips:
Chiropractic Care Can Help
If your child continues to experience back pain, contact your local chiropractor. Chiropractic care benefits many adults with spinal discomfort, and licensed practitioners can provide tailored treatments for children.
Chiropractors can also recommend safe exercises to improve back strength, and additional advice on proper nutrition to build strong bones and joints, healthy posture, and more. If your child is experiencing back pain from carrying a backpack, gives us a call. We’re here to help!
Dr. Andy Johnson