Last Updated on August 4, 2023 by Jada Glover
If you’re pregnant and feeling tension in your back or your lower back is hurting, you may be asking the question:
Can you crack your back while pregnant?
And if you can’t crack your back during pregnancy, then how can you safely ease that pain? Before you try to crack your back to feel better, it’s important to know that some ways of doing it might not be safe during pregnancy.
Safely cracking your back while pregnant requires specialized training by a chiropractor that won’t cause any issues for you or your baby. But, don’t worry!
There are other ways to ease back pain in pregnancy that are safe. We’ll review all these techniques in this post so you can feel strong throughout your pregnancy.
This post was written with the help of my husband, Dr. Jeff Glover. Dr. Glover is a Board Licensed Chiropractic Physician, a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician (C.C.S.P.) and practices at two chiropractic clinics in Central Florida. Using a whole-body approach to care, he helps patients, including pregnant women, restore proper function in their bodies so they can feel their best.
Please note that this article contains affiliate links, and that means that I may earn a commission if you buy something (at no additional cost to you). Read my full disclosure here. I only recommend products I use and love and recommend to my clients.
Can You Crack (or Pop) Your Back While Pregnant? Is It Safe?
It is generally recommended that pregnant women avoid “cracking” or “popping” their back on their own. But, now for the good news.
There is evidence to suggest that chiropractic care, provided by a licensed chiropractor, can be safe and effective for pregnant women experiencing back pain or discomfort. When I was pregnant with both of my children my husband adjusted me weekly during the first and second trimesters, and twice a week in the third trimester.
This was okay because my husband, Dr. Jeff Glover, is a licensed Chiropractor who is trained in the Webster technique to best adjust pregnant women. And you may have also noticed at the top of this post he provided expert guidance for this article.
Can You Twist To Crack Your Back While Pregnant?
You don’t want to forcefully twist to crack your back on your own while pregnant. This is because during pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes many changes, including changes to her spine, pelvis, and back muscles.
The hormone relaxin causes the ligaments in your body to become more relaxed. The added weight and pressure from the growing baby can put extra stress on your back.
Twisting or forcefully cracking the back can potentially strain the back muscles and ligaments, causing discomfort or injury. Instead of trying to twist to crack your back, try chiropractic adjustments, gentle exercises, stretching, massage, prenatal yoga, or other treatments that are safe and appropriate during pregnancy.
Who Can Crack Your Back During Pregnancy?
If you’re pregnant and experiencing back pain or discomfort, you may be wondering who can help crack your back. While chiropractic care can be a safe and effective way to manage back pain during pregnancy, it’s important to know who you can trust to perform the procedure.
Me, Myself, and I
If you’d like to try prenatal yoga or other stretches offered by your Chiropractor or Prenatal Doctor or Midwife, you can certainly try those to stretch your back muscles. You can also try a back brace if you’re feeling pelvic, sciatica, or joint pain.
Spouse or Partner
Your spouse or partner can help you do gentle stretches and prenatal yoga. Most importantly, they can help support you during this time by doing chores, taking care of other kids, and letting you rest.
They can also help you find a Chiropractor that can help adjust your back and take you to your appointments as needed. Emotional and mental support can be just as helpful as physical support when you’re pregnant.
Chiropractic care provided by a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) specifically trained in the Webster technique can be a safe and effective way to help manage back pain and discomfort. The Webster technique is a type of chiropractic evaluation and adjustment of the sacrum and it’s alignment within the pelvis.
Other healthcare professionals, such as physical therapists, may be able to provide safe and effective treatment for back pain and discomfort during pregnancy through stretching. Be sure you consult with your prenatal medical provider and ask for personal recommendations before you jump into treatment.
Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.)
Some D.O.s are also trained to adjust pregnant women. Some of them are also familiar with the Webster technique.
If you are in a group practice for your prenatal care, there may be one on staff that can help you. This was the case with my son’s prenatal medical team.
I didn’t need her because my husband helped me stay aligned in pregnancy. But I do know of moms that were able to get adjusted by her because she was specially trained in adjusting pregnant women.
My Personal Experience Cracking My Back While Pregnant
As my weight increased during pregnancy, more pressure was put on my back and joints. This left my sacroiliac joint in a lot of pain in particular. Regular adjustments really helped me overcome that pain.
I also used a back brace to help me. I remember a few weeks in particular when the pain was so bad, I couldn’t even go to work. With the help of regular adjustments by my husband, using the Webster technique, I was feeling a lot better within a day.
Before I met my husband, I never had a chiropractic adjustment, so I wasn’t familiar with chiropractic care. So, if you’re like I was, you may not be familiar either. Not to worry – I’ll explain briefly.
Chiropractic care involves using gentle adjustments to help improve spinal alignment and ease pelvic discomfort from a body that is constantly changing to accommodate your growing baby. During pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through many changes that can lead to discomfort, such as increased pressure on the spine and joints. Chiropractic care can be a safe and effective way to help manage these symptoms.
Keep in mind that not all chiropractors are trained to work with pregnant women. It is important to seek out a chiropractor who has experience and specialized training in providing chiropractic care for pregnant women. Additionally, pregnant women should always talk to their healthcare provider before beginning any new form of treatment.
Ask your family, friends, midwife, doula, or doctor for recommendations. It is likely that there will be a chiropractor in your town that is recommended specifically for pregnancy adjustments.
How To Safely Crack Your Back While Pregnant
If you’re really feeling uncomfortable due to back pain, seek the help of a licensed chiropractor who specializes in working with pregnant women. They can use gentle and safe techniques to help you manage your back pain.
If you do certain movements in your body while pregnant you could trigger early labor, which could put you and your baby in danger if you’re pre-term. Instead of trying to crack your back at home by yourself, you can try these gentle stretches.
They will help you relieve discomfort caused by back pain or sciatica. Some good stretches include child’s pose, cat-cow pose, and the seated piriformis stretch.
When Should I Not Crack My Back While Pregnant?
I know how uncomfortable back pain can be if you’re pregnant. However, there are times when you should not crack your back while pregnant.
For example, if your blood pressure is high, you should not get adjusted by a chiropractor or try to crack your back on your own. Instead, go see your primary care or OBGYN/midwife as addressing that is first priority. High blood pressure during pregnancy could indicate a bigger issue while pregnant.
Also, you should never twist your back forcefully or crack your back on your own during pregnancy. It could cause strain on your back muscles and ligaments.
Ways To Relieve Back Pain While Pregnant Besides Cracking Your Back
If you’re suffering with back pain, you can try the following ways to help relieve your pain safely. Remember to always talk to your doctor or midwife before trying any new treatments or exercises. They can help you determine the best ways to manage your back pain and ensure the safety of you and your growing baby.
Use Earthley Good Night Magnesium Lotion
Most people could use a boost of magnesium, including pregnant women. It’s used for over 300 functions in our bodies, and we burn through it faster in times of stress.
Even more importantly, it’s a co-factor for the absorption and use of other key nutrients, like vitamin D. Getting enough magnesium is critically important to health.
It supports a healthy pregnancy and aids in muscle soreness and cramping. Earthley’s Good Night Magnesium Lotion is safe for all ages. Choose the sensitive version for your skin while pregnant and for babies under 6 months.
Use a Pregnancy or SI Joint Belt
This SI Joint hip belt helps stabilize the sacroiliac joint (or “SI joint”) that is hypermobile or inflamed. It also reduces pelvic, lower back and/or leg nerve pain (symptom of sciatica) caused by SI joint dysfunction.
You can also get a pregnancy belt which can help to support your pregnant belly as it gets bigger in pregnancy. This can especially help reduce lower back pain.
Use Kinesiology Tape (RockTape)
- Utilize RockTape stretched across your lower belly and/or back to ease ligament tension and pain. Although you can find kinesiology tape and KT tape in several different brand names, they all work the same way.
- The tape should last 2-5 days. You may have an allergic reaction to the adhesive, so my personal favorite (and used by my husband) is RockTape sensitive.
- Here is a tutorial to understand how to tape during pregnancy. It is a free pdf download that has instructions for different pregnancy applications using the tape.
Practice Good Posture
- Sit up straight and avoid slouching to keep your spine in alignment.
- Use a chair with good back support. Read our full post here with reviews on The Most Comfortable Office Desk Chairs for Pregnancy (2023).
- Avoid standing for long periods of time.
Use a Pillow or Cushion For Support
- Place a small pillow behind your back while sitting to support your lower back.
- Use a pregnancy body pillow to support your whole body while sleeping.
- Walk or swim regularly to keep your back muscles strong.
- Try prenatal yoga or stretching exercises.
- Use a heating pad or warm compress on your lower back for 15-20 minutes at a time.
- Take a short warm bath or shower. You can add Epsom salt to the bath to help relax your muscles as well.
- Get regular prenatal massages from a licensed massage therapist who specializes in working with pregnant women.
- A massage can help you relax and is effective when combined with gentle stretching regularly. This is one of the methods I used to help alleviate back pain in my pregnancies.
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You can feel a little relief now that you know how you can safely crack your back while pregnant.
Remember, cracking your back is not always safe during pregnancy and should only be done by a licensed chiropractic provider. By practicing good posture, using pillows for support, engaging in gentle exercise and stretches, and seeking professional care, you can find safe and effective ways to manage your back pain during pregnancy.
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