Hands for Health
Chiropractic care during pregnancy can be a safe and effective way to relieve back pain for a pregnant women who finds herself joining the 70% of women who experience back pain during pregnancy. Most indicate a serious disruption of lifestyle including time from work or lost sleep due to back pain. Only a quarter of these women receive any recommendations from their obstetrician, rather they are told "that's normal" and nothing further.
There is relief to be found! A study in Sweden (Hammar, 1988) proved that spinal adjustments, especially the sacroiliac joint (the hips) provided pain relief in 70% of the subjects and temorary relief ( one or two days pain free) in the other 30%. This confirmed what midwives and chiropractors have long been teaching. The most common complaints treated with chiropractic care during pregnancy are low back and hip pain, headaches, upper back pain, sciatica (piriformis syndrome), pubic bone pain and rib misplacement.
Chiropractic care is modified during the pregnancy to improve the pelvic balance and ease pressure on the spine, particularly the joints and ligaments which are under the greatest load as pregnancy comes to term. This is primarily due to shift in weight and position of the baby. Interestingly, a chiropractic adjustment is often easier to accomplish during and in the few months following pregancy due to the hormone "relaxin" which acts on the pelvic ligaments to allow for widening at birth. However, it affects all ligaments in the body.
The ligaments are often stretched and the posture permanently altered following birth unless it is professionally assessed and corrected. The body often needs a little help to spring back after the birth process and Chiropractic along with exercises can often be important to realigning and restoring normal posture and healthy spine function.
It is as important to choose a chiropractor who is experienced and has been specifically trained to work with women who are pregnant. This includes Webster Technique Certification, appropriate equipment (such as adjusting pillows), and technique modifications that exclude side posture twisting and high force adjustments during pregnancy.