Grice Chiropractic, Physiotherapy and Massage located in Newmarket

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Chiropractic: Pregnancy & Your Body

If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, you will be inundated with information, and at times it can be quite overwhelming, here is a chart that sums up the most common symptoms and changes through the different trimesters, as well as postnatally.

First Trimester
• breast tenderness
• bloating, flatulence
• fatigue, lack of energy
• nausea and/or vomiting
• increased mood swings, anxiety
• increased frequency of urination
• constipation
• heartburn, indigestion
• occasional headaches
• mild to moderate weight gain or loss
• starting to show, belly rounding

Second Trimester
• breast enlargement
• mild swelling of feet/ankles, and/or hands
• trouble concentrating
• weight gain
• more belly rounding, anterior weight carriage
• mild breathlessness
• round ligament pain
• backache and/or pelvic pain
• leg cramps
• dizziness
• occasional headaches
• ligament laxity
• trouble sleeping
• carpal tunnel

Third Trimester
• weight gain
• round ligament pain, abdominal achiness
• constipation
• heartburn, indigestion
• leg cramps
• backache with or without sciatica
• pelvic pain, pressure, and/or achiness
• occasional headaches, dizziness
• moderate swelling of ankles/feet, hands, face
• Braxton Hicks contractions
• difficulty sleeping
• further breast enlargement
• clumsiness
• shortness of breath
fatigue

Postnatal/Recovery
• whole body aches from delivery
• constipation
• fatigue
• cramping, bleeding
• joint pain
• urinary and/or fecal incontinence
• tender/engorged breasts
• healing tears/incisions
• swelling of the vagina and/or perineum

Challenges During Recovery:
• learning to breastfeed
• carrying your baby in your arms
• carrying all your baby’s accessories
• sleep deprivation

As you can see, your body is in for quite the physically demanding journey. In order for you to best prepare yourself for said journey, you should have your spine checked by a chiropractor, and your pelvic floor checked by a pelvic floor physiotherapist.

By starting your pregnancy off with chiropractic, your body will get a head start on the changes to come. Chiropractic treatments will align your joints and release tight muscles; this will help you handle the stress to your changing body. As you grow, your posture will be continuing to change, and your ligaments will become more lax, often leading to discomfort. Continuing chiropractic care throughout your pregnancy will help combat those discomforts. The ultimate goal of pregnancy is to deliver a healthy, happy baby; if your spine, pelvis, and muscles are moving well, this will help your baby to be in the proper position for delivery, which makes for a happier Mom!

Having your pelvic floor assessed will indicate any areas you may need to work on during your pregnancy. There is a difference between tight pelvic floor muscles, and strong pelvic floor muscles. If your muscles are tight, it will be very difficult to push a baby through them, however if they are strong, they will aid in delivery. It is important to assess this early on so that you can stretch/train these muscles during your pregnancy, so you will be prepared by the time your baby is ready to arrive.

50 percent of pregnant women experience back pain, with 10 percent reporting severe discomfort that prevents them from carrying out their daily routines.
— Ontario Chiropractic Association

Just when you got used to your pregnant body, everything changes on you! Keeping up with your chiropractic and pelvic floor treatments will help your body change back to its pre-pregnancy state. The pregnancy hormones can linger for a few months, allowing the joint laxity to continue, so spinal adjustments and muscle release will help combat the new postures you have to adapt whilst carrying your baby and breast and/or bottle feeding.


Urinary Incontinence

  • 21.8% of Canadians suffer from bladder problems
  • Hypertonicity or weakness of pelvic floor muscles are common causes of urinary incontinence
  • Pelvic floor muscles help control urination and have a significant role in supporting lower abdominal organs such as bladder, uterus, and prostate

Risk Factors:

  • Female gender (85%)
  • Over 40 yrs of age (1 in 3)
  • Obesity
  • Obstetric Trauma
  • Pregnancy & Child birth
  • Hysterectomy
  • Post menopause
  • Prostatectomy/Enlarged Prostate

Information on Pelvic Floor Therapy
• This treatment involves retraining pelvic floor muscles through a specific exercise program for and physiotherapy to the pelvic floor muscles, and is performed by a physiotherapist who has special training in this area
• It is a non-invasive, drug free therapy for symptoms of incontinence, prolapse (pelvic organ drop), pelvic pain, urinary urgency and frequency, and a variety of other pelvic dysfunctions in females and males
• The pelvic floor should be assessed at the beginning of pregnancy, and can be reintroduced 6 weeks post


RESEARCH FINDINGS

Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

Stuber KJ, Wynd S & Weis CA. Adverse events from spinal manipulation in the pregnant and postpartum periods: A critical review of the literature. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies 2012; 20: 8.
• Musculoskeletal pain during pregnancy is common, with low back pain reported in 50-85% of women
• Of these women, 8-20% report persistent symptoms two to three years postpartum
• The increased anterior weight carriage, which increases the lumbar lordosis, results in increased stress on sacroiliac joints, intervertebral discs, and facet joints often leading to low back pain

Murphy, DR, Hurwitz, EL, & McGovern EE. Outcome of pregnancy-related lumbopelvic pain treated according to a diagnosis-based decision rule: a prospective observational cohort study. Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapy. 2009; 32(8): 616-624.
• 51% of patients with pregnancy related lumbopelvic pain treated by a health team including chiropractors, physicians, and physical therapists showed clinically significant improvements in disability, while 67% showed clinically significant improvements in pain

Park J, Sohn Y, White AR, & Lee H. The safety of acupuncture during pregnancy: a systematic review. Acupuncture Medicine 2014 Feb 19. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2013-010480
• Acupuncture is a safe modality to use during pregnancy, the incidence of adverse events associated with acupuncture during pregnancy was found to be 131 per 10,000 treatments (1.3%), this is comparable to, or lower than, the risk of adverse events with acupuncture treatment in the general population
• The most commonly treated conditions in the studies were low back pain and/or pelvic pain, followed by fetal malposition, nausea and vomiting, tension-type headaches, depression, dyspepsia, insomnia, emotional complaints, lateral epicondylitis, back pain, sciatica, rib flare, and symphysis pubis dysfunction

Chiropractic Care During Infancy & Childhood

Miller JE, Benfield K. Adverse effects of spinal manipulative therapy in children younger than 3 years: A retrospective study in a chiropractic teaching clinic. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2008; 31: 419-423.
• Most infants presented for treatment of colic or irritability because of biomechanical disorder, often attributed to birth trauma
• 697 patients (59% male) underwent 5242 treatments
• The majority of patients (73%) were 12 weeks of age or younger
• 85% reported an improvement in presenting symptoms, 14% reporting no change
• There were no serious complications

Miller JE, Newell D, Bolton JE. Efficacy of Chiropractic Manual Therapy on Infant Colic: A Pragmatic Single-Blind, Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2012; 35(8): 600-607.
• Infantile colic, or excessive crying, affects between 10% and 30% of young children and can consume a great deal of resources in health care, and date, no clear cause of infant colic has been identified, and roughly 50% of infants affected recover in 6 months
• 104 infants were included in the study – 33 in the non-blinded treatment group, 35 in the blinded treatment group, and 34 in the blinded, non-treatment group
• All treatments were individualized, based on patient examination, and included chiropractic manual therapy in the form of tactile pressure of approximately 2N applied to spinal joints and paraspinal muscles without rotation
• No adverse effects of treatment were reported
• Overall, greater differences in crying time were found in infants receiving chiropractic treatment, regardless of whether the parents were blinded or not, and the greatest reduction in crying was reported within 2-3 days of beginning treatment, suggesting that the benefits of treatment are likely to be apparent early on