Aug 192005

Chiropractic care during pregnancy can help to minimize the typical discomforts associated with this time of transformation as well as facilitating an optimal labor and delivery. Chiropractic care during pregnancy is gentle, safe and effective, and is endorsed by a prominent medical doctor: “It is our personal theory that chiropractic care in pregnancy can help to avoid or relieve back pain and also prepare your back and pelvic structures for the stresses of labor and birth.” (Martha Sears and William Sears, MD, 1997).

Normal, physiological changes of pregnancy contribute to spinal stress in the mother-to-be. Hormonal changes include increased progesterone, estrogen, relaxin, prolactin, HCG, HCS, cortisol and aldosterone. Some of these hormones lead to ligamentous laxity and increased joint mobility which make the pregnant woman’s spine more unstable and prone to discomfort and injury. There are also important biomechanical changes that occur during pregnancy, including weight gain, increased breast size, change in the center of gravity, increased lumbar lordosis, and an increased load on the spine.

Chiropractors who understand these changes can help pregnant women in many ways. Positive effects of chiropractic care during pregnancy include:

  • Relief of typical discomforts of pregnancy
  • Turning breech babies
  • Decreased length of labor
  • Reduced likelihood of back labor
  • Coordination of uterine contractions
  • Optimization of the nervous system
  • Increased likelihood of vaginal delivery
  • Facilitation of post-partum recovery with decreased discomforts

Common conditions of pregnancy that may respond to chiropractic care include:

  • Low back pain
    • Studies show about 50% of pregnant women experience LBP
  • Sacroiliac pain
  • Mid and upper back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Groin, thigh, and sciatic pain
  • Headaches
  • Some neurological conditions
    • Bell’s Palsy, meralgia paresthetica, carpal tunnel, intercostal and brachial neuralgia
  • Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD)
  • Post-partum pain and discomfort

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