Are you pregnant and get short, sudden jabs of pain or spasms in your lower belly or on either side of your belly/groin area? This is described as round ligament pain, and is often felt in the second and third trimesters. Women have two round ligaments, one on either side of the abdominal area. These ligaments start at the bottom of the groin, fan outward, and connect at the hip area to support the abdominals; thus serving a very important role during pregnancy. In fact, these ligaments can rarely even be felt unless a woman is pregnant.
So what causes this pain? Throughout pregnancy, your body is undergoing many changes, growing and stretching to make room for baby. As the uterus grows during pregnancy the round ligaments stretch, becoming tighter and thinner, like a rubber band. The stretching that occurs can result in tension and pain in the abdominal area. If the baby is in a non-ideal position, leaning against one or even both of the round ligaments, shooting pain can result. Another way pain in the round ligaments can occur is when mom’s pelvis is misaligned. Many pregnant women commonly feel round ligament pain, and the good news is there are ways to ease the pain!
Due to the biomechanical make up of the sacrum and pelvis, if one of your hip bones rocks back into misalignment and the opposite hip bone rocks forward, the sacrum, which connects the hip bones can tilt back one way or the other. This puts torsion on the round ligaments due to its attachment sites. Through chiropractic care and utilization of the Webster Technique (which puts focus on the sacrum as well as the round ligaments) proper alignment can occur, leading to balance of the pelvic muscles and ligaments.
Other helpful tips in addition to seeing your chiropractor:
Pregnancy is an exciting time for mom and dad, with approximately four million births in the United States each year, according to the CDC. Ensuring a healthy birth and delivery is a most important goal. Key components of this include proper nutrition, adequate movement and exercise, and chiropractic care. During pregnancy, hormonal changes along with increased weight to the abdominal area often result in changes to the spine, causing a variety of new challenges to mom. Chiropractic care addresses this by looking to areas of nervous system interference caused by these spinal misalignments. In addition, paying close attention to the mom’s pelvis as baby is growing and developing rapidly inside this small space helps to ensure that both mom and baby are comfortable.
In the United States, approximately four percent of pregnancies involve the baby in a breech presentation and 13 percent of these result in cesarean section delivery. There are three types of breech, all involving the baby in an abnormal position in the uterus. The most optimal position for delivery of the baby is head down. This ideal positioning allows for a potentially safer delivery and is beneficial for the baby’s neurological development.
The Webster technique is utilized in pregnant moms to ensure proper alignment of the pelvis, thus allowing for increased space for the baby to grow and move. The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association describes this as, “a specific chiropractic sacral analysis,” with the goal of the adjustment being, “to reduce the effects of sacral subluxation/SI joint dysfunction, in doing so, neuro-biomechanical function in the pelvis is facilitated.”
We have patients describe that their best pregnancies and most ideal births came when they were under chiropractic care in addition to their prenatal providers. If you haven’t tried chiropractic during pregnancy, you may be missing out on an improved experience. Dr. Rubin is a board certified pediatric and pregnancy chiropractor and has had 30+ years experience taking care of kids and pregnant moms.
1. Pistolese RA. The Webster technique: a chiropractic technique with obstetric implications. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2002;25(6):1-9.
2. About the webster technique [Internet]. International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. 2018 [cited 3 October 2018]. Available from: http://icpa4kids.com/training/webster-certification/webster-technique/
3. Births and natality [Internet]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2017 [cited 3 October 2018]. Available from: https//www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/births.htm