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  • Writer's pictureDr. Mary Collings

Pregnancy and Chiropractic

This post is going to touch on some of the issues women deal with during pregnancy. The reason they usually end up in my office is from referral of their OB for a complaint of lower back pain. As we discuss their complaint there is usually more aggravations they are experiencing that get discussed and I try to research and also have gathered information from just twenty five years and a few hundred patients later with similar complaints.

The ribs expand during pregnancy due to hormone shift and as they do most women have not yet purchased a maternity bra so they continue trying to wear what “kinda” fits which causes undue pressure on the middle rib area. Sports bras are especially aggravating for this. I usually recommend a bra that can expand as they do. And even better if it can be used as a nursing bra as well. Much better bang for your buck.


This is a big issue due to the fact that most physicians want their pregnant patients to sleep on their left side to aid in circulation and optimal benefit to the baby. But doing this for nine months can wreak havoc on mom’s trochanteric bursa and subacromial bursa, those areas on the shoulder and hip that get all the pressure. Not to mention as the pregnancy progresses, usually in the last 8 weeks, the belly is so heavy that when on their side it becomes very uncomfortable from pulling as well as the skin being stretched. I recommend a little wedge pillow that can snuggle under the belly for support.

To treat the bursitis I recommend applying a cold pack to the areas to help decrease the inflammation. I suggest cold, not frozen because the sensitivity to cold during pregnancy can aggravate.

Some have a terrible time during pregnancy with swelling of the lower leg and feet. A great compression sock is very helpful for this. I recommend them to be worn later in the day for 2-4 hours before bed. And those of you that know me know that I do NOT like flip-flops. So finding a shoe when your lower leg has become a “cankle” is difficult. I suggest looking for something like a sketcher that has a little wider toe box or the On Cloud shoe. This is one of my favorites for anyone but very helpful during pregnancy because they make one style that you don’t have to tie, they just slip on. Very light weight and great for travel.

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