The Importance of Chiropractic Care Throughout Pregnancy
● By Digital Media Director
By: Dr. Christine
Duncan, Lanpher Chiropractic
For many, the changes that the female body goes through during a pregnancy is pretty difficult to comprehend. The rate of speed in which a mother goes through emotional and physical change can be quite overwhelming. Why not do everything to keep your body prepared for those changes?
Chiropractic care is considered to be a safe means for treating the common aches and pains brought on by one’s pregnancy. Adjustments are gentle, noninvasive and are very appropriate for all of the structural changes that occur to a woman’s body in such a short period of time. Chiropractic tables even accommodate pregnant bellies and allow mamas-to-be to lie on their stomachs for some much-needed pressure relief, relaxation and stretching.
Simply put, the added weight brought on by pregnancy is a direct contributing factor to low back pain, spinal dysfunction, sciatic nerve pain, hip and pelvic pain. When considering the amount of times in a day in which an expectant mother changes her distribution of weight, there’s no denying the increased stressors on many of her joints. So, of course, it makes sense to restore proper alignment on a regular basis throughout the pregnancy. Additionally, a doctor of chiropractic can also help with proper posture and strengthening stretches.
A case study illustrating the need, treatment and outcome of typical pain associated with pregnancy treated with chiropractic care:
“A diagnosis of pregnancy-related low back pain and pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain was made. The patient was treated with chiropractic spinal manipulation, soft tissue therapy, exercises, and ergonomic advice in 13 visits over 6 weeks. She consulted her obstetrician for her weekly obstetric visits. At the end of treatment, her low back pain reduced from 7 to 2 on a 0-10 numeric pain scale rating. Functional activities reported such as walking, sitting, and traveling comfortably in a car had improved.
Conclusion: This patient with pregnancy-related lumbopelvic pain improved in pain and function after chiropractic treatment and usual obstetric management.” (1)
Besides the obvious structural benefits of chiropractic adjustments during pregnancy, there is also a technique call The Webster Technique that is used to help babies flip to the correct orientation in-utero if they are breech in presentation in the 8th month. Most chiropractors are able to perform this technique but it is always beneficial to contact a provider firstly to be sure. According to an NCBI study:
“The surveyed doctors reported a high rate of success (82%) in relieving the musculoskeletal causes of intrauterine constraint using the Webster Technique. Although the sample size was small, the results suggest that it may be beneficial to perform the Webster Technique in month 8 of pregnancy, when breech presentation is unlikely to spontaneously convert to cephalic presentation and when external cephalic version is not an effective technique. When successful, the Webster Technique avoids the costs and/or risks of external cephalic version, cesarean section, or vaginal trial of breech. In view of these findings, the Webster Technique deserves serious consideration in the health care management of expectant mothers exhibiting adverse fetal presentation.” (2)
Preventative care is important during such a beautiful time in a woman’s life. Why go through this period of time in pain? It is important to remember that, though every chiropractor has been taught to treat a woman during pregnancy, not all practice the manipulation on a regular basis. Be sure to openly discuss that fact with a chosen provider before beginning treatment. Visiting a chiropractor is safe and effective and will help the journey progress with more ease.