Pregnancy wellness. Welcome to the last post of this three-part blog series on chiropractic care during pregnancy and the year to follow. So far we have covered the Webster technique, which is a series of adjustments made to get your baby into the proper position for delivery. The week before that we discussed the structural science behind body changes during pregnancy and using chiropractic care as a proactive tool. To conclude the series, this week I want to share the other benefits of prenatal care and pregnancy wellness. Especially in regards to pain relief and mood improvement.
Pregnancy Wellness Through Massage and Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care and massage therapy are overall, wonderful additions to your wellness routine. They reduce stress and promote the body to function the way it’s supposed to. They can boost your immune system and relieve some of the discomforts of everyday life. This still reigns true when a woman becomes pregnant. Not only will she receive the previously mentioned benefits, but will also find many more throughout her pregnancy.
Off the bat, let’s briefly discuss prenatal care and pregnancy wellness. This includes chiropractic adjustments, proper nutrition and sleep, and prenatal massage therapy. Regular chiropractic care can relieve pregnancy-related discomforts such as back pain, stiff neck, leg cramps, joint pain, muscle tension, and headaches. It can improve blood and lymph circulation throughout the body and reduce edema (aka swelling). Prenatal massage therapy can lower stress, anxiety, depression, and even promote better sleep. If that doesn’t convince you, keep reading as we discuss three more amazing benefits of prenatal massage and chiropractic care.
Prenatal Massage Benefit: Hormone Regulation
The most obvious benefit of massage therapy is a reduction in stress. I say “obvious” because massage therapy does a number of things. It gets the knots out of sore muscles. Massage therapy reduces discomfort. Combine those with the tactile sense of touch and you have a recipe for relaxation. But have you ever thought about the science behind it all?
Most of the time we associate hormones with a negative connotation – think of hormonal acne and a heightened emotional state at that time of the month for example. But in reality, hormones are necessary for all life functions. Hormones regulate growth, metabolism, and other activities of the body’s cells and organs. They should be considered a positive attribute. And we should use those negative symptoms as clues and tools to realize something in our body isn’t quite right.
As massage therapy continues to grow in popularity, studies have been done to show how our hormones can be significantly altered with the addition of massage therapy into a person’s wellness routine. These studies have also shown how massage therapy can assist in mood regulation and improve cardiovascular health in expectant mothers.
Prenatal massage therapy can add to your pregnancy wellness routine. It will regulate the normal hormone culprits associated with stress and depression such as cortisol, norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. The wild thing is that while chiropractic care helps improve a pregnant woman’s mood, these hormone level changes can also lead to fewer complications during the birth itself!
Chiropractic Care Benefit: Improvement of Nerve Pain
The nervous system is extremely impressive as it relays a tremendous amount of information throughout the entire body. Extreme pain can be caused when this system becomes even slightly damaged, so it is crucial to take care of the nervous system as much as possible.
By definition, Sciatica is sciatic nerve pain (numbness or tingling) that is produced by an irritation of the nerve roots leading to the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is formed by the nerve roots coming out of the spinal cord into the lower back. This kind of pain can be experienced by many women late in their pregnancy. This is when the uterus begins to rest on the muscles of the pelvic floor and lower back. This pressure can spread tension and discomfort to the muscles of the upper and lower legs, in turn causing them to swell and spread unnecessary pressure even further down the body.
Prenatal chiropractic care helps release this tension and addresses the inflamed nerves. Sciatic nerve pain can be greatly reduced by regular massage therapy sessions. Click here for 6 stretches you can do to relieve sciatica pain between sessions.
Combination Benefit: Relief of Every Day Symptoms
Although expectant mothers have a certain glow about them as they are creating new life, some days that feels far from the truth. Along with that glow, pregnant women also experience fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, morning sickness, and swelling. Prenatal massages and chiropractic care can help decrease these everyday symptoms and make an easier pregnancy:
Fatigue, back pain, leg pain, and swelling can all be reduced through various types of prenatal massages and adjustments. These normal aches and discomforts can be countered by the release of serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine. It also provides relief from knots and tension.
Headaches can be addressed through massages that focus on the head, neck, and shoulders, as well as adjustments to relieve tension along the upper spine. As an expectant mother continues to regularly get chiropractic care, her chances of migraines and tension headaches are reduced greatly by continually relaxing trigger points and muscle spasms.
Your muscles are going to feel extremely tight and tense. This is because the extra weight of your baby puts extra pressure on your body. This can be addressed and relieved through both massage and chiropractic adjustments. They provide relief by increasing blood flow and reducing inflammation. This process also provides more nutrient-dense oxygen. This increases the flow of lymphatic fluid – sweeping away toxins and other metabolic waste.
The same roughly goes for swelling and edema during pregnancy. This swelling is often caused by reduced circulation and increased pressure on major blood vessels. As we just stated, massage and chiropractic techniques increase the blood flow to those areas. This allows for easier removal of tissue waste. Prenatal massage also stimulates tissues to reduce their collection of fluids in swollen joints.
At Zock Family Chiropractic We specialize in treating pregnancy
Dr. Kerstin Zock has her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh. She also has a doctorate in chiropractic (DC). And is also certified in the Webster Technique. She has worked with countless expectant mothers throughout their pregnancies. Contact her today to set up a completely free assessment of your pregnancy thus far. She will be able to add to your pregnancy wellness routine. And can help you have a safer and easier delivery!
* This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please contact a medical professional for advice.