The Importance of Chiropractic Care Through 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 one of the most effective and safest ways to comfortably bring you and your baby through your pregnancy journey.
The safety of chiropractic care during pregnancy should not be a worry to those suffering from back pain or muscle spasms. According to an NCBI narrative review of literature, “Chiropractic evaluation and treatment during pregnancy may be considered a safe and effective means of treating common musculoskeletal symptoms that affect pregnant patients.” The physical action of adjusting during pregnancy is gentle and appropriate for all of the structural changes that are happening to the female body. Chiropractic tables even accommodate pregnant bellies and allow mommas-to-be to lie on their stomachs for some much needed pressure relief, relaxing, and stretching.
Structurally, pregnancy is the most stressful process that a body can go through, in such a short period of time. According to an NCBI narrative review of literature concerning the necessity of care during pregnancy, “Structural adaptation in the gravid patient is a contributory source of low back pain throughout gestation. Spinal dysfunction related to changing load distributions within the motion segments of the lumbar spine and sacroiliac joints are also a factor in back pain.” There is so much stress on the pregnant female’s low back, pelvis, and pubic bones with the excess weight gain and abnormal distribution. The only logical thing to do is to restore proper alignment on a regular basis throughout the pregnancy. Also, supporting proper posture with exercises and stretches is essential. A doctor of chiropractic can also help with these preventative measures.
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.”
Besides the obvious structural benefits of chiropractic adjustments during pregnancy, there is also a technique called ‘The Webster Technique’ that is used to help babies flip to the correct orientation in-utero if they are a breech presentation in the 8th month. According to an NCBI study:
The Webster Technique: a chiropractic technique with obstetric implications.
“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.”
Most chiropractors perform this technique, so call ahead and ask if your doctor does this on a regular basis before making your appointment.