How to Deal With New Mom Knee Pain after Baby
As a pregnancy-focused chiropractor, new-mom knee pain is a very common occurrence in my clinic. The following is the typical scenario that I encounter frequently:
A new-mom with about a 6 or 7 month old baby comes into my clinic complaining of right sided knee pain. She’s usually one of my patients that I have been seeing throughout her pregnancy. Now, after having her baby, she’s found time to exercise and she’s started running.
Now, I’m all for new-moms taking care of themselves. I wish that more moms would carve out 30 minutes a day to do something they love. Running, however, sometimes creates knee pain for new-moms, and here’s why:
Weakened Abdominal Muscles
During pregnancy, a women’s abdomen stretches and stretches to accommodate her growing baby. After birth, it takes time for the abdominal muscle fibers to tighten and strengthen. Meanwhile, as a new-mom, she is busy carrying, rocking and feeding her baby all day long. Her back muscles become very strong, much stronger than her abdominal muscles. This imbalance in muscle strength is a very significant reason why she is unable to achieve a strong core.
Additionally, there is a very large chance that our new-mom’s pelvis is torsioned from her pregnancy. Here’s what I mean by a torsioned pelvis:
If you stand and tilt your right hip forward, your tailbone will swing towards the right buttock, and the left hip will naturally tilt backwards. Your legs won’t fit symmetrically in your pelvis and the right leg will have greater range of motion than the left one does. Close your eyes and stand there a moment. You will feel pressure on the outside of the right knee.
Now imagine running with your pelvis torsioned this way. Running with a torsioned pelvis over time can result in pelvis, hip and/or knee pain.
I am a pregnancy-focused chiropractor and maintaining a level pelvis is what I do for my patients all day long. Your solution to gradually occurring knee pain that doesn’t go away, in my opinion, is to see a pregnancy-focused chiropractor who does Webster Technique. The Webster’s technique can gently bring a torsioned pelvis back into alignment, which is the key to maintaining a level pelvis. With a level pelvis, the sacrum sits properly between the two pelvic bones, and the heads of the femurs sit evenly in their sockets. A level pelvis relieves pressure on the tailbone, hips, knees and ankles.
The result? Both of your femurs sit in your pelvis evenly, and your legs and knees move symmetrically when you run. If you are a new-mom experiencing knee pain that won’t let up and running is important to you, see a pediatric-focused chiropractor who does Webster’s technique. It is an option worth trying to avoid new-mom knee pain.
Dr. Melanie Beingessner is a pregnancy and pediatric-focused chiropractor, a breastfeeding counselor, an infant massage instructor and a mom of three awesome kids.