The physiological and anatomical changes associated with pregnancy
can contribute to any number of complications. Although
most of these problems are mild, some carry significant health
risk for the mother, child or both. Classic examples of potentially
severe complications include high blood pressure, diabetes
Musculoskeletal injuries may be another complication to consider,
according to a study that analyzed the effect of gait alterations
(basically, changes to walking patterns) during pregnancy.
During the second half of their final trimester and again
one year after birth, 15 women repeatedly walked 12 yards
with reflective markers attached to their pelvis, hips, knees,
ankles and feet. Video cameras were used as part of a motion
analysis system to gather data.
Overall, gait was remarkably unchanged, although significant
increases in hip and ankles parameters were observed. The
authors speculate that during pregnancy, there may be an increased
demand placed on hip and ankle muscles when walking, potentially
increasing the risk for any number of musculoskeletal overuse
These findings emphasize the value of chiropractic care during
pregnancy. Regular chiropractic adjustments can help prevent
musculoskeletal injuries and ease the pain of injuries if
and when they do occur.
Foti T, Davids JR, Bagley A. A biomechanical analysis of
gait during pregnancy. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery,
May 2000: Vol. 82, pp625-32.
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