For some women cracking their backs is a common practice that offers physical and even psychological relief, and this urge doesn’t stop when they become pregnant.
The feeling of how their body releases as soon as it cracks and that the popping sound makes them feel instantly calm.
So, can you crack your back while pregnant? The quick answer is that if it’s done correctly and no medical pre-conditions are preventing you, then yes, it’s safe.
However, it’s recommended that instead of doing it yourself, you rely on licensed chiropractors or a chiropractic center-trained practitioner for this specific type of adjusting to prevent any health complication that could lead to discomfort or spine pain.
But before you go cracking your back all the time or seek chiropractic treatment, let’s see why some people do this and how it works during pregnancy.
Is it good to pop your back?
In general, it is a safe practice, but there are a lot of misconceptions and myths about the potential side effects of cracking any bone in your body.
The cracking sound has been related to the release of tension, tightness, and even pain, and it’s a common practice that not only improves movement range but also relaxes a person.
The popping sound that your joints make is caused by the air bubbles and carbon dioxide in the synovial fluid, a thick liquid located between the joints to cushion the ends of bones and reduce friction when you move your joints.
Common myths related to cracking your back
One of the most common myths that have been used to stop people from cracking their knuckles is that they’ve been told that they could get arthritis or that their joints will swell.
And this is not only false, but if done by a chiropractor with the proper technique and care, you can actually ease arthritis symptoms and discomfort.
Another myth is that cracking your joints stunts growth; joints have nothing to do with growth or growth hormones.
Another common myth about cracking your back is that you can damage your spinal discs or even slip a disc. Such is unlikely to happen unless you have an existing vertebral condition (in which case you should exercise this with care and preferably by a licensed chiropractor).
However, although this is an uncommon occurrence, it is possible that if you crack your back with too much force, you can cause damage to your joints, resulting in strain, swelling, or soft tissue damage.
Another rare side effect is hypermobility, where your ligaments stretch beyond their normal range of motion and may cause joint instability and damage to the ligaments.
Overall, popping your back, whether by yourself or with the help of a chiropractor, shouldn’t cause injuries, but if you have any of the following conditions, it’s not advised:
- Severe osteoporosis– a condition that causes the bones to become so brittle that even a mild pressure such as bending over and stretching can cause them to brake.
- tumors or Spinal cancer
- Upper cervical spine disorder
- Facet joints syndrome
- Risk of stroke
- Signs of numbness, tingling, or strength loss on an arm or leg that may be a sign of neurological damage or stroke
Can you crack your back while pregnant?
Yes, generally speaking, it’s safe to crack your back while pregnant. As long as you don’t apply too much pressure on your belly or the doctor in charge of your prenatal care doesn’t advise against it.
Your doctor may advise against cracking your back during pregnancy because of the risks of vaginal bleeding, ectopic pregnancy (a condition where the egg implants outside of the uterus), or toxemia (a condition marked by high blood pressure and proteins in the urine).
If you have any of the conditions mentioned above, you’ll need to avoid adding pressure to your abdomen or twisting your body to pop your back.
Pregnant women often feel a lot of pressure, soreness, and pain in their back caused by the weight distribution as pregnancy progresses.
Pregnancy back pain usually occurs in your lower back, which may result from weight gain (typically, a pregnant woman gains 25-35 pounds in total), posture changes because pregnancy shifts your center of gravity, muscle separation, and stress.
Another cause may be hormonal changes, specifically the production of a hormone called relaxin that loses the pelvic area ligaments in preparation for the birth process. A side effect of relaxin release is that the ligaments that support the spine also loosen, making them unstable and causing discomfort.
Relaxin makes you more flexible as soon as the hormone increases, which is why you need to be careful before you decide to crack your back while pregnant. Even with chiropractic care, you risk overstretching and harming yourself.
During pregnancy, if you feel the urge to crack your back often, then it’s recommended that you seek chiropractic care and consult with your doctor.
Chiropractor while pregnant
Consulting with a chiropractor during pregnancy can help you release tension and pain by cracking your back. It can also be part of preventive care and ensure your body is ready and aligned for labor and delivery.
Whether you have lower back pain, sciatica (symptoms of sciatica are very common in late-stage pregnancy), or tension on your shoulders and neck, you can get them sorted with chiropractic adjustments.
Because of the stress of supporting the uterus and the baby as it grows, round ligament pain happens at the base of the belly or pubic area.
The frequency of chiropractic adjustments during pregnancy will depend on how far along you are, if you get chiropractic care before pregnancy, and your specific needs. It can be as frequent as a few times a week and as far apart as once a month.
But before you get any chiropractic adjustment, ensure your doctor approves and you get evaluated, so you play on the safe side.
There’s no evidence that a chiropractic adjustment or a chiropractor can cause miscarriage or can’t be done during the first trimester, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to take the necessary precautions first.
Other ways to relax your body during pregnancy
1. Doing Prenatal Yoga
Prenatal yoga is a great way to relax, stay fit, and prepare for birth.
Prenatal yoga exercises not only encourage stretching, mental centering, and focused breathing, which is necessary during delivery, but it also helps with the bond between mom and baby during those crucial months before the baby is born.
It’s been proven that prenatal yoga exercises improve sleep, reduce stress and anxiety, and increase strength, flexibility, and endurance of the muscles in the birth canal. But also, it’s an incredible aide to fighting against lower back pain, nausea, headaches, and shortness of breath.
But before doing any yoga pose, ensure you’re receiving instruction by someone prepared and certified to understand pregnancy needs and that you keep the correct posture without putting too much pressure on your stomach or spine.
2. Supporting Your Baby Bump
Other ways to relieve lower back pains include using belly support, such as the Medela Maternity Support Belt, which distributes the weight of your growing bump more comfortably around your lower back and pelvis.
3. Wearing the Correct Shoes
Wearing the right shoes is also essential because it will help your back and your knees.
Pregnancy doesn’t mean the end of high heels and strappy sandals, but if you decide to wear them, then be prepared to feel some pains on your soles, ankles, and back as well.
And also, since your center of gravity shifts as the baby’s weight and growth make you change your posture, you’ll need to pay extra attention to avoid falling.
4. Swimming and Stretching
Other exercises such as swimming and stretching around your house will also render many health benefits to your spine and your baby while having a minimal impact on your back, reducing the risk of hurting yourself or a miscarriage.
Popping your back when you are pregnant is perfectly fine.
If you ever experience any type of pain while doing so, make sure to consult a health care professional.
Feel free to follow the tips and tricks provided in this article to ensure the safe cracking of your back.