Chiropractors often see women throughout all stages of pregnancy. Chiropractic care during pregnancy is primarily to assure the patient has a comfortable pregnancy and to help facilitate an uncomplicated labour and delivery.
One study showed that 76% of women experienced pregnancy related pain – whether it be low back pain, pelvic girdle pain or a combination of the two and 50-70% of women experience back pain during labour.
During pregnancy, especially through the final few months, a woman’s posture undergoes dramatic change. The weight of the baby is projected forward and the lumbar lordosis is increased, placing extra stress on intervertebral discs and facet joints of the spine. This can lead to spinal dysfunction, or chiropractic subluxation as a result of the changing load distributions within the vertebral segments of the low back (lumbar spine, pelvis and sacrum). It’s not just the weight of the baby that can place stress on the mother’s body but also some of the hormonal changes happening. During pregnancy, hormonal changes are significant. Increases in circulating progesterone, oestrogen and relaxin, especially in the third trimester can often cause pelvic hyper-mobility, decreasing overall spinal stability.
“The impact for the pregnant patient is usually profound, as being able to reduce pain and increase function and getting them back into exercise, which is all important for the outcomes of the pregnancy”.
As for the techniques used, it mostly depends on what stage of gestation the mother is at and what symptoms she is experiencing. As the mother’s belly increased in size, there is a greater need to address any uterine ligament tightness and pelvic distortion and stress.
As chiropractors, we do not focus solely on low back pain when adjusting pregnant women. We look at the whole body, holistically, to ensure you have the best pregnancy possible.
An important way to help reduce symptoms you may be experiencing during pregnancy is to maintain good spinal function before and during your pregnancy. This can be done through gentle and specific chiropractic adjustments, as well as gentle exercise and stretching.
Our chiropractors can also offer advice on nutrition and ergonomics and can provide literature and resources to help you have a happier, healthier and more comfortable pregnancy.
Borggren. C, Pregnancy and chiropractic: a narrative review of the literature. J Chiropr Med. 2007;6(2): 70-74
Sadr. S, Pourkiani-Allah-Abad. N, Stuber. K. The treatment experience of patients with low back pain during pregnancy and their chiropractors: a qualitative study. Chiropractic and Manual Therapies. 2012. Vol 20; 32
Weis et. al. Prevalence of Low Back Pain, Pelvic Girdle Pain, and Combination Pain in a Pregnancy Ontario Population. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2018. Vol 40(8): 1038-1043
Fallon. J. The Effect of Chiropractic Treatment on Pregnancy and Labour: A Comprehensive Study. Proceedings of the World Federation of Chiropractic. 1991. p24-31