We’ve had a couple of new additions to the Spinal Symmetry family recently, and we are often asked whether it is safe for women who are pregnant to have treatment with us.
The answer to that question is yes- treatment with us is a safe, gentle and effective modality to assist women throughout their entire pregnancy.
Pregnant women go through huge structural and physiological change during their pregnancy. As their bodies are performing the miraculous task of creating a human being, the structure of a woman’s skeletal frame must adapt.
The basis of our intention here at Spinal Symmetry is that in the body, structure governs function. So we are well equipped to care for the structural changes which will take place, and therefore allow the body to function optimally during pregnancy.
There are two major factors involving the structural system that will occur- a change in centre of gravity (COG) of the skeletal system, and ligament laxity. Combined, these two factors can affect skeletal stability and balance, which can lead to pain and discomfort.
The change which occurs to the COG is dynamic and changing due to the increase of the pregnant woman’s weight. Generally by late pregnancy, the pelvis will be tilted forward and there will be an increase in the curvature at the base of her spine, also known as an increase in the lumbar lordosis. This happens because the lower back needs to maintain the trunk in an upright position as the weight in the front of the body increases.
One of the main focal points in the Spinal Symmetry method is correcting the skeletal system’s COG. We do this well by diagnosing any imbalances or loss of function occurring in the hips and pelvis, which through this method, allows us to to direct the COG so that the skeletal system is able to function optimally.
So in pregnancy, we are able to gently and effectively remove any restrictions which may be causing a loss of function in the hips and/or pelvis, and therefore restore the COG to where it needs to be to adapt to the changes taking place during pregnancy.
The human body is incredible in that it has a ‘pharmacy’ within itself- it is able to provide the body with the chemicals that are required to allow a woman to carry and birth a baby.
The chemical Relaxin, which is a hormone, is released during pregnancy and causes ligament laxity to occur within the skeletal system.
Ligaments are the soft tissue structures that connect bones to create joints throughout the body.
When relaxin is released, it’s primary job is to help the ligaments of the pelvis expand during birth. However, it will affect all the ligaments throughout a woman’s entire skeletal system.
This means that the whole skeletal system is susceptible to a degree of instability or increased mobility (laxity)- especially around the hips and pelvis where these areas are ligament rich.
This can lead to pain and discomfort in the lower back, or aggravate symptoms such as sciatic type pain, especially in the last trimester.
Relaxin levels generally peak in the first trimester, but is still produced throughout the entire pregnancy and beyond- potentially up until 4 months after finishing breastfeeding. This means that even beyond pregnancy, there may still be skeletal instability occurring, which when coupled with caring for a new baby, can be tough on the body.
Keeping the skeletal system and COG in check beyond pregnancy can assist, which will help keep mum’s nervous system happy. Happy mum, happy baby.
Through the Spinal Symmetry method, we can potentially make a huge difference for women during pregnancy. By allowing the skeletal system to function well through gentle and effective methods, it can be possible to create space within the pelvis. This can help the position of the baby. All of which is good for pregnancy, good for birth, and of course great for mum and baby’s nervous system and wellbeing.