Everyone has back pain in pregnancy... right?
It certainly seems that way. Most mamas when they come in for care report they're experiencing "normal pregnancy pains." But is it normal?
Normal vs Common
First of all, there is a difference between "normal" and "common." We assume something is normal because it's prevalent - you have back pain in pregnancy, your sister did, your best friend did, etc. - but that common presentation does not necessarily mean it is normal.
Why is there pain at all? There are many factors... what you eat, how you move, even what you think about affects how you feel. What we find commonly in pregnancy is less than ideal positioning and movement of joints, and that causes stress in the nerves that is interpreted in the brain as pain. So while it is normal for you to experience pain when you have that stress in your nervous system, it is not necessarily a normal part of pregnancy.
What is Normal in Pregnancy
We don't have to tell you, your body undergoes many changes in pregnancy.
In your first trimester your body increases production of relaxin, a hormone that early on relaxes arteries which helps keep blood pressure down while the volume increases substantially, and later in pregnancy relaxes the ligaments in the pelvis to accommodate the structural changes in the pelvis and prepare for birth.
As your baby and bump grow, the ribcage widens and shifts up to make room. Your center of gravity shifts up and forward. The curve in your low back increases, which can cause additional tension in the muscles in the low back. The growing bump and shift in the center of gravity alters the biomechanics of how the pelvis moves and can even change how you walk.
Supporting Normal Physiology
One amazing way to support your body in pregnancy, even before there is ever pain, is through chiropractic adjustments with a Webster Certified chiropractor.
The Webster Technique is a specific analysis and adjustment of the pelvis, as well as the muscles and ligaments that attach to it, to promote pelvic balance. That optimal balance and movement decreases stress in the nervous system, allowing for a more comfortable and connected pregnancy.
This is one of our favorite recommendations because it doesn't require anything special to do it! Walking is an excellent way to encourage movement in the body, especially the SI joints on the back of the pelvis. We recommend 1-3 miles a day.
Slow, gentle stretches are important to support the changes that occur in pregnancy. Remember, you have the hormone relaxin in your system, so things will move easier than outside of pregnancy. Our top recommendation for the pelvis is Cat & Cow.
Be Mindful of Movement
Every position we put our bodies is either supportive or stressful on the body. This is true for everyone, but especially in pregnancy. We've compiled a list of some of the most common ways we see the body stressed, which is also some of the simplest ways to support the normal changes during pregnancy. You can find that list here.
Here's to supporting your body, and having a very normal pregnancy!