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Pregnancy & Chronic Back Pain - Is it Safe to Get Pregnant?

Pregnancy & Chronic Back Pain – Is it Safe to Get Pregnant?

I have chronic back pain, can I carry a baby with this back pain?

The answer is Yes.

Patient:  “I have really bad back pain, I am afraid of getting pregnant because I’m not sure I can manage the pain.”

Clinician: This can be very scary for couples who are ready to start their families, or who are on baby 2, 3 or 4 and have not been able to manage back pain while being pregnant.

We can help.

Low back pain can be managed before and during pregnancy with the use of acupuncture and other modalities.  My clinical experience has shown that women who have a history of low back pain can manage their pregnancies very well with acupuncture, massage and chiropractic care.

“Acupuncture for low back pain in pregnancy–a prospective, quasi-randomised, controlled study”

Starting acupuncture before getting pregnant can help the patient prepare to become pregnant hormone-wise, but can also address musculo-skeletal pain, stiffness and soreness prior to conception.

The hormone relaxin, which is released during pregnancy, can magnify low back pain. It causes your pelvis and low back ligaments to become more flexible (in preparation for delivery), which can lead to low back pain. Acupuncture has been shown to have a regulatory effect on hormones in general, including relaxin.

Once pregnant, acupuncture seems to moderate the relaxin which might indirectly help manage the pain.


Acupuncture has been know to affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis (HPO) which governs hormones.  In the reproductive world, we work with many individuals to help them achieve pregnancies by moderating the HPO axis, which can include other hormones such as insulin, thyroid and even relaxin.

It is a good idea to start with a fertility acupuncturist, to help mitigate your low back pain before getting pregnant.

How many visits will I need?

You will start by having an initial consult with your acupuncturist. That is when your plan would be created. For our clinic we tend to see back pain before pregnancy 1x per week for 4 weeks then we modify visits based on an individual’s situation.  We also make recommendations for other lifestyle changes that might be helpful.

You can be pregnant with a history of back pain, it just has to be evaluated and proper recommendations will need to be made for your future success.

Get started by scheduling a free consultation with Beth Schiffman our ABORM certified Acupuncturist.

Many Lives Chinese Medicine
Acupuncturist Redwood City
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