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Is Chiropractic safe and effective for pregnant women?

Is Chiropractic safe and effective for pregnant women?
The short answer: Yes, if performed by a trained pregnancy chiropractor.

Our team here at Compass Family Chiropractic has done a lot of research into this field.  Here is a brief glimpse of some of the evidence based research on chiropractic care and pregnancy. Pistolese cites a study conducted of 112 ICPA members and their experience regarding the Webster Technique in resolving intrauterine constraint and breech fetal positions. 102 of the 112 surveys (92%) that were returned for the study reported a resolution of breeched fetal position. This study suggests that the Webster Technique can contribute to the overall health care of pregnant patients.

Alcantara, Ohm and Kunz cite a study composed of 24 chiropractors and 81 pregnant women under chiropractic care. The average age of the patients was 32.4 years. 70% of the patients with abnormal fetal pregnancies reported a correction to the vertex position suggesting that women with abnormal fetal positions may derive benefits from chiropractic care using the Webster Technique.

Alcantara and colleagues report on a case series of five females with pregnancy related musculoskeletal complaints and breech fetal positions. Each patient was adjusted using the Webster Technique, and each patient reported favorable changes in fetal position while undergoing chiropractic care during their pregnancies.

Chiropractic care is a safe and effective way of removing subluxations and consequently allowing pregnant women and their babies a happier and healthier pregnancy and delivery.

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Learn about Breech Presentations and Dystocia

Learn about Breech Presentations and Dystocia

The goal of chiropractic is to optimize health and function by removing interference of the nervous system, and chiropractic has shown to be safe and effective for even the pregnant population to enhance function and remove intrauterine constraint

Many breech presentations result in cesarean deliveries to prevent dystocia.  Dystocia is defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as slow or difficult labor or delivery.  Williams Obstetrics outlines three distinct reasons for dystocia.

The three physiological/ biomechanical causes for dystocia as defined by Williams Obstetrics are as follows: 1. Abnormalities of the expulsive forces (Power) 2. Abnormalities of the maternal bony pelvis (Passage) 3.  Abnormalities of presentation, position, or development of the fetus (Passenger).

Let’s take a closer look at each one of these individually, and my goal is to  help explain how chiropractic can help with each one of these facets of dystocia.

The first reason for dystocia as defined by Williams Obstetrics is abnormalities of the expulsive forces (Power) which can be further dissected – Uterine forces can be too weak or inappropriately coordinated to efface and dilate the cervix (this can also be defined as uterine dysfunction) or there may be inadequate voluntary muscle effort during the second stage of labor.    This first reason for dystocia is a functional condition which chiropractic may improve.

The uterus is a muscle, and every muscle needs a nerve supply to be able to contract and function in harmony with the body.  If there is not adequate nerve supply to a muscle, it could potentially not fire at all or it could fire out of sequence.  Correction of sacral subluxation may positively effect this causes of difficult labor by removing uterine nerve interference, keeping the pelvis in proper alignment, and reducing tightening and torsion of specific pelvic muscles and ligaments.

The second reason for dystocia, as defined by Williams Obstetrics, is the abnormalities of the the maternal bony pelvis, also defined as pelvic contraction (Passage).  Williams Obstetrics states that “any contraction of the pelvic diameters that diminish the capacity of the pelvis can create dystocia (difficulty) during labor.”  They also make note that the diameter of the woman’s pelvis is decreased when the sacrum is displaced.  With Webster’s technique, the sacrum misalignment which causes the pelvic misalignment/ distortion is corrected, thereby reducing the pelvic contraction.

The third reason for dystocia, defined by Williams Obstetrics, includes the abnormalities of presentation, position, or development of the fetus (Passenger).  A sacral subluxation/ misalignment can result in an imbalance in the muscles and torsion in the ligaments leading to uneven pulling of the uterus and restricted fetal space for movement.

It is proposed that as the sacrum rotates; the utero-sacral ligament and opposite round ligament becomes taught which in turn puts additional tension on the uterus.  In the female patient the efficacy of the Webster Technique sacral adjustment is supported by doing a light effleurage trigger point therapy on the corresponding taught round ligament.  Trigger point therapy is well supported by the medical literature, and there has been peer reviewed research showing a correlation between correcting sacral subluxations with Webster Technique and proper fetal positioning from breech to vertex.

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What is the Webster Technique?

What is the Webster Technique?

Dr. Campbell is certified in Webster Technique.

The Webster Technique is a technique that  involves specific sacral analysis, a light force contact specific adjustment and related soft tissue release.  This technique can be used on all weight baring individuals including the pregnant population to improve neuro-biomechanics, reduce sacral subluxations, and alleviate SI joint pain.  With the assessment and correction of a sacral subluxation, the sacrum can move freely and the associated nervous system tension and interference can be reduced, allowing the nerve supply to the uterus and surrounding muscles to have the sufficient strength and appropriate coordination  to efface and dilate the cervix.  In addition, the voluntary muscles needed for the second stage of labor can have proper nerve supply restored , so that their effort will be fully sufficient and coordinated.

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Chiropractic and Infertility

Chiropractic and Infertility

If fertility doctors have told you that nothing is wrong, chiropractic is a viable, natural choice.  If there are spinal subluxations, or spinal misalignments that are causing an aberrant neurological signal, these areas can be detected and corrected by a chiropractor.  By correcting spinal subluxations there is an improvement in spinal-neural function which can positively impact the neurological function to the reproductive system in both women and men.

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Sciatica and Pregnancy

Sciatica and Pregnancy

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the human body and travels from your low back, pelvis, buttock, thigh, and calf all the way down to the foot and toes.  Sciatica is often an intense shooting pain, numbness, or tingling that can stay in your low back and buttocks or run all the way down the course of the nerve down the leg.

There are a number of causes of sciatica.  It is not uncommon for sciatica pain during pregnancy and is most common in the third trimester.  The sciatic pain can be the result of the expanding uterus and/or weight of the fetus putting pressure directly on the sciatic nerve.  The shift of the center of gravity pregnant women experience can lead to altered biomechanics of the spine which can also result in sciatica.  Many people who have suffered from sciatica have found relief through specific chiropractic care.

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