Chiropractic and Pregnancy

9 Dec

Chiropractic techniques are applied to MANY patient types, from infants and children to 80, 90, and even 100 year-olds! Obviously, gender is not a factor as both men and women seek chiropractic care and receive similar positive benefits. But, what about chiropractic care for the pregnant female patient? Are there reasons chiropractic should be avoided? What are some special concerns or reasons for considering chiropractic treatment? Let’s take a look!

The American Pregnancy Association defines chiropractic as follows: “Chiropractic care is health maintenance of the spinal column, disks, related nerves and bone geometry without drugs or surgery. It involves the art and science of adjusting misaligned joints of the body, especially of the spine, which reduces spinal nerve stress and therefore promotes health throughout the body.” Regarding safety, they state, “There are no known contraindications to chiropractic care throughout pregnancy. All chiropractors are trained to work with women who are pregnant. Investing in the fertility and pregnancy wellness of women who are pregnant or trying to conceive is a routine care for most chiropractors.”

You may ask, “Why should I consider chiropractic care when I’m pregnant?” During pregnancy, there are biological changes that occur in preparation for bringing a newborn into the world. During this nine-month process, the stresses and stain on the spinal column (as well as the feet, ankles, knees, and hips) occur at such a fast pace that the body cannot always physically adapt and compensate quickly enough and problems in muscles and joints can occur. When this happens, the body compensates movements instinctively, and walking differently and/or moving in a compromised, altered manner, can lead to other issues that may be more challenging to address, especially during pregnancy. Spinal joint dysfunction can include misalignment, movement dysfunction (either too much or too little), and more. Due to the growing fetus, the protruding abdomen increases the curve in the low back, which changes the mid-back and neck curve as well. Changes in the pelvis, especially during the third trimester (last 3 months) of pregnancy in preparation for delivery can affect pelvic alignment and sacroiliac joint function. These postural adaptations often require management that no other profession addresses as directly as chiropractic! Sometimes, pelvic misalignment may reduce the room or amount of space available for the developing baby (called “intrauterine constraint”). This may make it more challenging for the baby to achieve the best position for delivery and possibly affect the birthing process for both the baby and mother. There may also be benefits from simply keeping the spine well aligned and functioning by reducing stress or strain on the nervous system since the spinal cord and associated nerve roots are housed by the spine, and autonomic functions are affected as well. Other potential benefits of receiving chiropractic care during pregnancy include (but are not limited to) maintaining a healthier pregnancy, controlling symptoms of nausea, reducing the time of labor and delivery, relieving back, neck or joint pain, and possibly preventing a potential C-section.

The types of treatments you can expect when you visit us include many of the usual chiropractic treatment approaches that you are used to receiving. These include (but are limited to) spinal adjustments, soft tissue technique, massage therapy, exercise considerations, nutritional counciling and more. Special considerations include a method called the Webster Technique, that according to a July/August 2002 JMPT published study, reported an 82% success rate in moving a breach presenting baby to vertex (normal).

 

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