Just because you are an expectant mother, does not mean you have to suffer with low back pain or discomfort throughout your pregnancy. The relief you seek may be found in a seemingly unlikely place… a chiropractic office. Yes! You can go to a chiropractor educated in prenatal care for pain relief or to take advantage of its other health benefits. What other health benefits? Many people are surprised to learn chiropractic care is safe and effective for more than just neck pain, back pain or headaches.
To understand why chiropractic is beneficial even when there are no symptoms, a few concepts need to be explained. The first is the idea that the human body is self-healing and self-regulating. The brain controls and coordinates the function of every system, muscle, organ, tissue and cell in the body. It sends messages down the spinal cord and out through the nerves to the various parts of the body and receives feedback through these same structures. When a bone within the spine or joint is misaligned, it can cause interference to this mind-body communication carried out by the nervous system. In the chiropractic world, we call this a “subluxation”. When the nervous system is free of interference caused by subluxation, the body is better able to perform the functions it was designed to.
How does this relate to pregnancy? While pregnant, preexisting, but unnoticed imbalances in the spine may become stressed due to the rapid growth of the baby causing the expectant mom to experience back discomfort or pain. Also, as the pregnancy progresses, the body releases a hormone called relaxin to help loosen pelvic ligaments in preparation for birth of the child. This hormone additionally causes the musculoskeletal system to loosen up to give the joints more flexibility and allow for increased curvature of the lower spine. Under these circumstances it is not a wonder why misalignments may occur.
In 1978, Dr. Larry Webster developed a technique to restore the biomechanical balance and normal function of the pelvis through a specific analysis and sacral adjustment. The Webster Technique helps to reduce or eliminate the cause of stress in the spine providing relief from discomfort. Some studies have found freeing the body from pelvic and sacral misalignments while pregnant may reduce labor time, the need for pain medication, and may help maximize birth canal diameter. Another positive side effect is the relief of intra-uterine constraint that may otherwise prevent the baby from assuming the desired vertex (head down) position.
In my practice I have been fortunate enough to work with many pregnant women. Some had sought me out for pain relief while others kept regular appointments to maintain proper alignment and function of pelvic muscles and ligaments throughout their pregnancy. A few began their care with breech presentations, but once their nervous systems were free of interference, the babies turned on their own to a vertex position. I never cease to be amazed by what our bodies can do! Providing these women with natural, safe, whole-body care has been a true honor for me.
To learn more about chiropractic and pregnancy or where to find a chiropractor certified in the Webster Technique, check out the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association’s website at www.icpa4kids.org. You are also welcome to drop by my office, Active Care Wellness Center located at 17 Watchung Avenue in Chatham, or call 973-635-2605.