Pregnancy & Chiropractic
Should you have chiropractic care during your pregnancy?
Yes. Chiropractic care can help you and your baby achieve a healthier pregnancy and delivery. It is gentle and safe. The health benefits have been demonstrated in clinical studies.
In one of the studies, conducted by Irvin Hendryson, M.D., a member of the American Medical Association board of trustees, it was shown that women who received chiropractic adjustments in their third trimester of pregnancy were able to carry and deliver children with more comfort. Also, well-known orthopedist Per Freitag, M.D., conducted a hospital study that incorporated chiropractic adjustments during the patient’s pregnancy. He found that the need for pain killers during delivery was reduced by half.
What is a chiropractic adjustment?
Vertebrae (the bones in your back) fit together so that the LIFE (nerve supply) produced in your brain may filter down your spinal cord and out over your nerves. This LIFE is responsible for growth, repair, and healing in your entire body. When vertebrae are out of their natural alignment, nerves become stretched or twisted (commonly referred to as a nerve “pinch”), and this vital communication system in the body is disrupted. This neurological disturbance is called a subluxation, and it may result in the failure of one or more parts of the body, as well as health in general. Subluxations can also foster the onset of sickness and disease as the body weakens.
The Doctor of Chiropractic specializes in the detection and correction of subluxations. Instead of treating the symptoms of the disease, the chiropractor corrects the subluxation so that normal body functions may take place. This is done by laying hands on your back and gently lining up the vertebrae in their natural position. This process may take weeks or months, depending on the amount of misalignment. LIFE may then be restored throughout the body, and healing can take place. As your body heals, the symptoms begin to diminish.
Women have special needs during pregnancy.
During pregnancy many physiological and endocrinological changes take place, all for the purpose of creating an optimal environment for the developing baby.’ This complex process involves every system of the pregnant woman’s body. The musculoskeletal systems are affected by the protruding abdomen, duck-like walk, and increased lower back curve. The pelvis changes early in pregnancy due to the release of estrogen and/or relaxin. These hormones cause the ligaments to relax and soften, which together with increased synovial fluid widens the pelvic joint.
This increased mobility is not restricted to the pelvis only, but may be noticed in other joints and muscles as well.
As the uterus enlarges and expands forward, the center of gravity is displaced. Subluxations of the spine may occur, and this results in associated muscle cramps and nerve pain.’ This change in posture puts more strain on the lower back and pelvis, which may result in lower back pain. Fifty percent of all women complain of low back pain during pregnancy.
Subluxations of the neck may be caused as it compensates for the changes in the lower spine by moving forward. This results in various symptoms, including headaches, nausea, or insomnia.
When should you be checked for subluxations?
The best time to be checked for subluxations is before you would like to become pregnant. This will ensure proper pelvic and spinal alignment. If you are already pregnant, chiropractic adjustments can be given throughout your pregnancy and directly after your labor and delivery.