Chiropractic and Pregnancy
Often, pregnant individuals will suffer from some low back pain during the end of pregnancy. In many cases it will resolve after the birth, but cases that don’t or pain that starts after the birth are indicative of a problem that chiropractic could help. However, even without pain, it can be extremely beneficial for pregnant mothers to get adjusted. It’s almost like adjusting two people at once.
In spring of 2007, an article titled “Pregnancy and Chiropractic: A Narrative Review of the Literature” was published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. It reviewed 33 studies and scientific articles relating to chiropractic and pregnancy. Regarding pain, it was found that 72% of pregnant patients presenting with low back pain found chiropractic care to be ‘very helpful’ while only 31% of pregnant patients with pain sought any alternative care and of that only 6% sought chiropractic. That means that only 2% of women in pain sought chiropractic care while between 72% and 85% could have seen significant improvement in pain if only they would have gone. Unfortunately, many pregnant women think pain is just a normal part of pregnancy or don’t seem to realize that adjustments are modified to the patient and that it’s still safe to be adjusted even if pregnant.
Even more stressful than pain during a pregnancy is the worry of complications, long labor, or the baby ending up in the breech position and thinking you might not be able to have a natural birth. In about 9% of breech cases, the baby will go back to a normal position on their own. In contrast a chiropractic technique called the Webster Technique has been shown to have a 92% success rate at turning a breech baby. What this technique entails is essentially a traditional, but modified, adjustment of the pelvis as well as treatment similar to light massage to relax the ligaments which support the uterus and return it to a relaxed and normal position which lets the baby get to a relaxed and normal position as well.
Another chiropractic benefit for the mother is reduced time spent in labor. When under regular chiropractic care, studies have shown that mothers have 25% shorter labor times than mothers not under care, for first time mothers. When it comes to children after the first, the reduction increases to 31% shorter labor times.
Pregnant women can have a variety of benefits from chiropractic care just like anybody else. Thanks to their special circumstances, however, they can also have additional benefits making it all the more important for mothers-to-be to get under chiropractic care.
--Joshua J. J. Jorde D.C.
Read the abstract of the original study here