Treatment for pregnancy pain at the Physio Clinic Naas.
Pregnancy Pain. Ross Allen is Ireland’s only dual-qualified Chartered Physiotherapist & Chiropractor[/caption]

What Causes Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy?

Back or pelvic pain in very common during pregnancy & has been shown to take place in 60-70% of pregnancies. Sudden weight gain can give rise to increase stress on the back, particularly around the pelvic region. On average, the expectant mother can put on between 11-15 kg during pregnancy & this can cause alterations in posture to which the body is unaccustomed.

Changes in posture include development of an anterior tilt of the pelvis & a resultant increased arch of the low back (hyperlordosis). This increased pressure on the joints can cause significant pain.

According to Dr. Raul Artal who is a professor emeritus at Saint Louis University School of Medicine  “up to 60 percent of all pregnant women have some back pain.”  Pregnancy related back pain is more likely to occur in the second half of pregnancy & is usually worse in the evening.

Aside from changes in weight & posture, alterations in hormone levels can also predispose to pain. A hormone called relaxin is released during pregnancy in order to increase the laxity of the ligaments in preparation for childbirth. This can create instability at the spine, particularly in women with underlying weakness of the abdominal or pelvic region.

Ross has significant experience in treating pregnancy related back pain.

Is Having Chiropractic Manipulations Recommended During Pregnancy?

According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) the average woman should gain about 11 to 16kg of weight during pregnancy. The gradual increase in weight creates greater load on the spine placing more pressure on the discs, facet joints and ligaments. The weight re-distribution can lead to spinal compression and increased stress on your joints according to an article in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine.

Not only does the weight gain lead to changes in posture but also, hormones such as relaxin, cause an increase in the laxity of the ligaments which gives rise to increased mobility of the pelvic joints. This can give rise to unnecessary discomfort during both the pregnancy and the delivery of the baby.

Some women are unsure as to whether having chiropractic manipulation is safe in the latter stages of pregnancy. According to The American Pregnancy Association (APA) prenatal visits to the chiropractor is perfectly safe. A review of multiple studies in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine also reported that chiropractic care during pregnancy is deemed safe and effective.


Research for Chiropractor Care for Pregnancy Pain – Low Back Pain

A very interesting study suggests the potential benefits of chiropractic adjustments in the treatment of pregnancy related low back & pelvic pain.
The authors found that ‘spinal manipulation of pregnant women in their second trimester increased the levator hiatal area at rest and thus appears to relax the pelvic floor muscles.’ 
This may mean that chiropractic care could be of benefit to pregnant women, as it may help them have a natural delivery by opening up the birth canal and relaxing the surrounding muscles. The pelvic floor muscles have active roles in pregnancy and childbirth, as well as in spinal stabilisation.

This ties in with a study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics which suggests that seeing a chiropractor during pregnancy can make labor easier by reducing the incidence of back labor. Back labor is the intense low back pain that many women experience during contractions while giving birth. One explanation for this pain is that it occurs due to the baby’s head pushing against the low back


Potential benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy include:

  • Maintaining a healthier pregnancy
  • Controlling symptoms of nausea
  • Reducing the time of labor and delivery
  • Relieving back, neck or joint pain
  • Preventing a potential cesarean delivery

Is Chiropractic Treatment Helpful for Preventing Breach Deliveries?

The founder of the International Pediatric Association (ICPA), developed specific assessments and adjustments which allow chiropractors to improve the symmetry in a pregnant women’s pelvis thus reducing stress on the uterus and supporting ligaments.

The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported in the July/August 2002 issue an 82% success rate of babies turning vertex when doctors of chiropractic used gentle mobilisation techniques for the pelvis.


The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) recommends that women should receive chiropractic care throughout pregnancy. When pelvic alignment is optimal this creates an environment where the baby has a greater chance of moving in the correct position for birth thus reducing the worry of the mother having a breach or posterior presentation. It also helps in having a safer and more comfortable delivery for both mother and baby.…/?

To find out more regarding pregnancy related pain, contact Naas Physio Clinic on
(045) 874 682

or email us at

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