Thursday, February 2, 2017

Why I Started Going to the Chiropractor

Earlier this week, I went to the chiropractor. I was long overdue for an adjustment.  So I thought I'd share a little bit about why I initially starting going to the chiropractor.

During my first pregnancy, I had absolutely terrible headaches. Absolutely nothing would help. I'd try taking Tylenol coupled with a small glass of Coke as recommended by my midwife, but it DID NOT help. I was completely miserable and honestly was tired of taking Tylenol. I was looking for more natural options to help me get through my pregnancy and feeling better. I also had headaches during my second pregnancy; however, they were not near as bad, but I give that credit to seeing a chiropractor regularly from the very beginning of my pregnancy and staying proactive about keeping my spine in alignment.

If you've never been to the chiropractor, this is what a chiropractic table looks like. The amazing thing about going to the chiropractor when you are pregnant is you get to lay on your belly! The middle piece of the table moves down.

My midwife had been telling me visit after visit to go see the chiropractor. And I continued to complain of my headaches. But I wrote it off because I initially thought going to the chiropractor was silly and was not going to solve my problem. Back when I was getting certified to teach Pilates, I was having rib pain. It felt like the upper left side of my rib cage was grinding together and was just really uncomfortable. My Pilates teacher trainer recommended that I go to the chiropractor, but I did not make the time to do it. So this wasn't the first time I was told to go see a chiropractor.

Cue my 3398509485408th visit to the midwife for a prenatal checkup and I'm still complaining of my headache and now of course coupled with low back pain (sciatic nerve pain, which is very common in pregnancy). I'm pretty sure the midwife was probably over me talking about my headache (as I'm sure my husband was) because she glared at me and said "Have you still not gone to the chiropractor?"

I should also add that headaches during pregnancy as well as high blood pressure can be a sign of preeclampsia (read about that here.) So it is important to communicate with your doctor or midwife about this; however, in my case my blood pressure was great and there were no other signs of concern.

So needless to say the next day, I picked up the phone and scheduled an appointment with a chiropractor. The chiropractor adjusted my neck and I instantly felt some relief from my headache. However (I'll skip the why for now so I don't bore you to death), I just felt like this chiropractor was not a good fit for me. While I didn't necessarily love this chiropractor, I did learn something cool about alignment. Did you know that if you put your feet together and one leg is longer than the other, then your spine and pelvis are out of alignment?

Lesson learned. I had just looked online and scheduled an appointment with a chiropractor without learning about the provider's background, training, and approaches to chiropractor care. So if you decide to go see a chiropractor, which I would definitely recommend, do yourself a favor and go by word of mouth. Ask around. I'm sure someone you know has seen a chiropractor before. Your massage therapist, dentist, Yoga teacher or in my case my former hair stylist.

My new chiropractor was a perfect fit. She really took her time to understand my concerns and helped me understand how chiropractic care would not only help alleviate my pain, but would make my pregnancy and labor/delivery easier. Basically my spine was out of alignment especially my cervical spine (neck). This was all related to the baby changing how weight was distributed in my body- yes, a big protruding belly is going to affect your neck and back. So without getting too detailed this was the root of my headaches.

I saw my chiropractor at least 2 times a week from week 26 of my pregnancy to the very end. I went this frequently because if I waited too long to get adjusted again, my headache would come back in full force. It also made it manageable for me to get around without shooting pain down my right leg.

Side note- I mean who doesn't want to do anything possible to make labor easier? Did you know that if your pelvis is in correct alignment, it helps baby get into the best position for delivery? I'm by no means a medical expert, but from my understanding, this helps you have natural birth without medical interventions and a decreased need for a C-Section. AND my favorite- decrease the amount of time you are in labor.

I'll be sharing some more later about why I love going to the chiropractor including how chiropractic care helped me during my pregnancy and even now.

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