Prenatal massage is a gentle, non-invasive addition to prenatal care that can provide a wide range of physiological, psychological, and emotional benefits. It is also a highly effective way to help your body adjust to the changes that come with a growing baby. Normal biomechanical changes during this time often result in discomfort and pain during pregnancy and labor. These changes include weight gain, anterior shift in center of gravity, increased lumbar lordosis, and laxity of lumbopelvic ligaments, as well as postural changes and altered gait pattern.
Our therapists at Back & Body Wellness are certified and experienced in both prenatal and postnatal massage. We treat patients anywhere from the start of pregnancy all the way through to delivery. Our staff is trained to address the unique massage needs of pregnant women while preventing strain to uterine ligaments, and to spot potential symptoms of blood clots and varicose veins. Prenatal massages are performed in a side-lying position for maximum safety and comfort. Patients are evaluated during the first visit and periodically re-evaluated for the duration of the pregnancy.
Prenatal massage is considered safe through all stages of pregnancy when performed by a properly trained professional. In fact, we recommend beginning treatment sooner rather than later. It can be tempting to wait until pain or discomfort reaches a crescendo before finally seeking treatment, but starting early will benefit your health and your pregnancy. Consistent care beginning in your first trimester can prevent the onset of significant difficulty with your back and hips, as well as many of the other common complaints associated with pregnancy.
Prenatal Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care is safe and effective during pregnancy. It can help maintain pelvic balance in addition to managing pain in your back, hips, and joints. This may lead to a faster, easier labor and delivery.
Chiropractic care involves diagnosing spinal misalignments and correcting them by using the hands or specific tools to loosen or mobilize the spine and joints. At Back & Body Wellness, our chiropractor will only use gentle pressure along your back and hips. Some gentle guided movements along
specific joint lines and gentle stretches can be very effective in maintaining proper movement in your spine and hip joints.
Some of the musculoskeletal conditions that commonly occur during pregnancy that may be reduced or prevented by our therapists include:
Low Back Pain
Low back pain during pregnancy is caused by increased stress on the lumbar spine by an anterior shift in center of gravity. Compensatory muscle tightness and altered gait patterns also contribute, and this pain ranges from mild to severe depending on the patient’s activity level, daily activities, and work duties. Low back pain is also very common during the postpartum period.
Sciatic Nerve Pain
Sciatic nerve pain results in low back pain with radiation into the legs. Compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve during pregnancy can be caused by hypertonicity in the gluteal muscles and deep external rotators. Some studies suggest that the baby’s growth may also cause direct compression of the sciatic nerve.
Normal hormonal changes during pregnancy lead to a loosening of ligaments in your body. This causes traditionally stable weight-bearing sacroiliac joints to move and shift. This increased mobility puts stress on the surrounding ligaments and muscles and may cause pain.
Pubic Symphysis Pain
Similar to sacroiliac pain, the hormone Relaxin allows the ligaments stabilizing the pubic symphysis joint to loosen and separate in order to prepare the pelvis for the delivery of your child through the birth canal. Also called Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, this condition produces pain and limitation of mobility. It may also contribute to instability of the pelvic girdle.
Round Ligament Pain
The round ligaments connect the uterus to the abdominal wall. As the uterus grows, the round ligaments also stretch and can cause a sharp pain on either side of the abdomen or lower near the pubic bones or labia.
Potential benefits of receiving consistent care during your pregnancy include:
Reducing stress and anxiety
Alleviating joint and back pain
Reducing edema (swelling in arms & legs)
Relieving muscle tension and tension headaches
Reducing nerve pain
Improving muscle oxygenation
*Patients should consult with their prenatal care provider prior to receiving treatment, particularly if they’ve experienced any bleeding, preterm contractions, or have a high-risk pregnancy, PIH (pregnancy-induced hypertension), preeclampsia, or history of preterm labor.
To schedule an appointment, you can call our office at (408) 827-1435 or click here.
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