A Pain in the Butt
Happy Mother’s Day! Many of you have children, grandchildren, and -if you don’t then- likely younger siblings. I have 3 young boys and while they’re a joy to play in the yard with, cute to read books with, and great hiking companions, they can really be a pain in the butt sometimes. Just yesterday, the middle one (3) and the youngest (1) were fighting over a Hot-wheels car from my childhood while 15 others sat unclaimed nearby.
Worse than their ridiculous arguments though, was the pain they caused my wife during pregnancy and the pain many of my patients have suffered during pregnancy. It’s important for women to understand that this is very common so they’re not alone, but it does not have to be their experience.
Let’s understand why this happens:
- During pregnancy the weight a woman’s center of gravity and the amount of weight she carries in the front of her abdomen changes quite a bit. This causes the lower back to extend more, placing stress on some of the joints (called facet joints) down there.
- One of the primary hormones that maintains pregnancy is progesterone. In addition to helping mom carry baby to term, this hormone softens joints and loosens ligaments. This allows mom to carry more weight around and baby to make her/his way out of the pelvis and into the world. Unfortunately, this also allows a varying degree of instability in the sacroiliac joint which is not used to a large degree of movement.
- Previous pregnancies without proper core strengthening before, during, and afterward may have contributed to diastasis recti. Even if a woman isn’t suffering from clinically diagnosable D.R., she may still be dealing with a seriously weak core worsening the affect of the previous two causes.
- These issues can persist after pregnancy if they go untreated.
So what can a momma do?
- Get adjusted! Adjustments help to balance the joint mobility in the pelvis and lower back, take stress off the facet joints, and treatments may also include manual therapy helping decrease ligament and muscle pain.
- Practice core strengthening and pelvic stabilizing exercises like the dead bug, bird dog, and hip bridge! If there’s pain during any of these, you need to see your chiropractor to help you through the movement or find you another one.
- Rocktaping methods have helped many of our patients stabilize and decrease symptoms by coaching their bodies to move better naturally. The pliable nature of the tape can even provide some lift to a baby bump making mom feel less like she’s smuggling a bowling ball as she gets into the third trimester (my wife and patients really appreciate this one).
This Mother’s Day, we want to thank every mom out there, especially our own moms. Remember that being a mom is a super-power; and sometimes superheroes need to recharge. We’re here for you as a part of your recharging team.
Stay Healthy Friends,
Dr. Bob Griesse