Pregnancy is such an exciting time in life. The hopes and dreams of a beautiful baby entering this world fills the expecting family with joy. Unfortunately, it can also be a time of pain and misery for the expectant mom. Many changes occur during pregnancy in a very short time period, placing tremendous stress on the body. These include both hormonal changes as well as structural changes to the spine and pelvis.
The combination of hormones to loosen the ligaments in preparation for delivery along with the weight gain and shift in center of gravity associated with a growing baby can result in debilitating pain. A common source of this pain is the coccyx, otherwise known as the tailbone. This small bone is attached to the sacrum, the triangular bone that sits between your hips and creates the foundation of the spine. The coccyx is held to the sacrum through a variety of muscles and ligaments. As noted, these ligaments are the target of hormones that make them stretchy, resulting in pain.
As a physician that practices holistic healing, that is, allowing the body to heal itself, recommending medication or surgery are always my last resort. When it comes to pregnancy, the use of medication is even more concerning. So what is a woman to do, simply suffer through the pain? Enter acupuncture!
Over the years I have had the opportunity to help many people resolve their pain safely and effectively through acupuncture. This includes tailbone pain, also known as coccydynia. Although many of these people suffered a traumatic fall while others had no specific incident that they could blame, most responded extremely well to acupuncture. According to a study published in the British Medical Journal:
Acupuncture and stabilising exercises constitute efficient complements to standard treatment for the management of pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy. Acupuncture was superior to stabilizing exercises in this study.
Sue came to me 18 weeks pregnant. While the pregnancy itself was going very well, about three weeks prior to seeing me she began to suffer from severe tailbone pain. She noted it was a 10 on a 1-10 scale of severity. She worked as an administrative assistant, sitting for most of the day which further exacerbated her symptoms. By early afternoon, she could barely do her job as the pain became unbearable.
When she came to see me, we discussed the benefits of acupuncture. While a bit hesitant, she was willing to give it a try as desperation had set in. After a week of treatment her pain was significantly decreased. She was able to sit through the day, although still experienced some soreness by days end (I reminded her that she was still pregnant!).
In my experience, acupuncture can provide miraculous results very quickly and fortunately this was the case for Sue. What’s most exciting for me is providing my pregnant moms safe and effective relief without medication. Sue now sees me on an as needed basis and we both look forward to the delivery of her baby this coming fall!