Most women will experience low back pain during pregnancy. 

This is caused by a combination of factors. 

* The changes in hormones cause our bodies to respond differently to stimulus. 
* Ligaments become more lax, to allow the pelvis to widen to allow the baby through the birth canal.  This causes instability of the joints, increasing pain. 
* Also, the center of gravity shifts forward as the baby grows, putting more strain on the low back, especially if the hips are uneven.
* The growth of the baby also causes the abdominal muscles to be less effective in protecting the low back. 

What can you do to eliminate or relieve the pain?

* Limit your lifting, making sure to bend with your knees and carry the object close to your body.
* Wear comfortable shoes – no high heels.
* Stretch at least once daily.  Pelvic tilts: flexion/extension stretching of your back on your hands and knees on the floor, also known as “cat-cow” stretching.
* Maintain good posture. The best way to do that is to see an upper cervical chiropractor to improve posture and balance, and to improve range of motion.  This will enable you to protect your spine and your low back as best as possible. This will balance the pelvis and allow the forces to be distributed evenly, reducing pain and discomfort. This also reduces the pressure on the nerves, eliminating sciatica.
* NUCCA stabilizes the spines of pregnant women very well, despite laxity in the ligaments.
* Use a heating pack – no more than 20 minutes at a time – on the low back to relax the muscles.
* Get a massage.

If you have any other questions about how to deal with low back pain or sciatica during pregnancy, call Dr. Pritchett at (925) 829-7900.