Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy: Safety, Benefits And Precautions

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Chiropractors during pregnancy focus on their patient’s bone structure, linked nerves, and spinal health. Their treatment involves the science and technique of correcting misaligned joints in the body, particularly the spine, to lessen spinal nerve stress and improve overall health (1).

Pregnancy-related musculoskeletal symptoms include lower-extremity issues of the hip, knee, foot, and leg spasms. It also includes low back and sacroiliac joint pain (2). Studies indicate chiropractic care during pregnancy may significantly relieve symptoms and support an uncomplicated and comfortable pregnancy (3).

Read through the post to understand the importance of chiropractic care in pregnancy, safety, and precautions.

In This Article

What Is Prenatal Chiropractic Care?

Prenatal chiropractic care involves specialists educated to work with expecting women. Chiropractic care during pregnancy is gentle, utilizing low-force techniques such as stretching, trigger point therapy, myofascial release, and joint mobilization to enhance joint and muscle motion and function (4).

Chiropractors have postdoctoral training in treating pregnancy-related symptoms and employ procedures that prevent undue pressure on the abdomen. Supportive and adaptive tables allow chiropractors to alter their equipment to meet their patients’ needs.
The Webster Technique is one method chiropractors use most frequently when treating pregnant women. This procedure aims to alleviate the stress in the uterus and the surrounding ligaments. It also promotes balance in the pelvis, thus, supporting the ideal fetal positioning for birth (1).

Chiropractors may also advise you about safe exercises and stretches while pregnant.

Although chiropractic care is widely used during pregnancy, it is always advisable to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for safety (1).

What Are The Benefits Of Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy?

Chiropractic care reduces pregnancy discomforts.

Image: Shutterstock

Chiropractic care is safe and effective during pregnancy. Women undergo several physiological and endocrinological changes throughout pregnancy to prepare the environment for the growing fetus. In pregnant women, joint and lower back discomfort results from changes in the body, including a larger back curve, pressure on the spine, higher hormone levels, adjustments to posture, and intrauterine constraint (1) (3).

Pregnant women may benefit from chiropractic care in several ways. Some of these are:

  • Improves sleep quality: Sleep disturbances are relatively common during pregnancy and peak in the second trimester. According to a study by researchers from multiple institutions, the overall prevalence of insomnia symptoms during pregnancy was about 38.2%. Evidence suggests that chiropractic care may enhance sleep quality (5).
  • Eases labor and childbirth: Prenatal chiropractic care focuses on maintaining pelvic alignment and treating back pain during pregnancy, This approach can potentially expedite labor and childbirth while providing back pain relief (6).
  • Reduces probability of C-section: The Webster technique in chiropractic care balances the mother’s pelvis and releases pressure on the uterus, thus reducing the likelihood of a C-section (6).
  • Alleviates sciatica: Chiropractic therapy may also help with sciatica, shooting pain are the lower back and legs that is common during pregnancy (7).
  • Reduces headaches: Chiropractic care can help alleviate pregnancy-related symptoms such as headaches by using spinal adjustments and other complementary therapies, including spinal manipulative treatment (SMT). (8).
  • Releases muscle tension: Chiropractic care may alleviate the strain on the muscles and joints and the increased pressure on the lumbar spine caused by pregnancy (6).
  • Eases nausea and vomiting: Chiropractic adjustment may aid in reducing nausea and vomiting due to musculoskeletal and nervous system issues and stress (9).
  • Promotes pelvic balance: Prenatal chiropractic therapy supports healthy pelvic balance, allowing the baby to move head-first into the ideal delivery position (9). Such therapy can prove beneficial as an adjunct to labor preparation.

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Studies suggest that chiropractic care might reduce pregnancy-related ptyalismiXA condition in which excessive saliva is produced during early pregnancy (5).

How Is Chiropractic Care Beneficial For The Unborn Baby?

Chiropractic treatment helps create pelvic balance.

Image: Shutterstock

Receiving prenatal chiropractic care can aid in restoring and maintaining lumbar and pelvic mobility. A restricted pelvis may provide less space for the developing baby, which could cause intrauterine constraints and make it difficult for the baby to position itself for birth (1). Intrauterine constraints may also lead to neonatal birth abnormalities, such as plagiocephaly (asymmetrical head), congenital hip dislocation, and micrognathia (smaller lower jaw) (10).

protip_icon Point to consider
Some of the temporary side effects of chiropractic care include stiffness, fatigue, and aches, which subside after a few days (11).

Is Chiropractic Care Recommended In Breech Delivery?

Breech presentationsiXIt is when the baby's feet, buttocks, or both are positioned to appear first during delivery are typically not a concern until a patient is 37 weeks pregnant. A breech presentation occurs in about 4% of pregnancies (1).

Larry Webster, D.C., founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA), established a specialized chiropractic analysis and adjustment called the Webster Technique to help chiropractors balance a pregnant woman’s pelvis. (1).

Studies show that babies have a better chance of shifting into the proper position for birth with a balanced pelvis. Having the baby positioned correctly reduces the possibility of a difficult birth, making it simpler and safer for the mother and the baby. The study also suggests that performing the Webster Technique may be beneficial if a woman presents breech in the eighth month of pregnancy. ICPA also recommends that women avail chiropractic care throughout their pregnancy to have a better childbirth experience (1).

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Around week 37, doctors may use an external cephalic version, or ECV, to turn a baby from a breech to a head-down position. Doing this may increase the chances of vaginal birth (12).

Safety Precautions While Getting Chiropractic Care In Pregnancy

Talk to your doctor before going to a chiropractor.

Image: Shutterstock

Although chiropractic treatment is safe, it is typically not advised if you are experiencing cramping, sudden pelvic pain, placenta previaiXA pregnancy problem where your placenta wholly or partially obstructs the baby's exit from the vagina , placenta abruptioniXA pregnancy condition where the placenta separates early from the uterus, resulting in bleeding and abdominal pain , ectopic pregnancyiXA pregnancy in which the fertilized egg develops outside the uterus, mainly in the fallopian tubes, ovary, abdomen, or cervix , vaginal bleeding, toxemiaiXA condition in which pregnant women have elevated blood pressure, protein in the urine, swelling, blurred vision, and headaches , or any other pregnancy complications (3).

Further caution may be needed for those with blood pressure-related complications. Despite the overall safety, you must be careful. Always get your doctor’s approval before going to a chiropractor during pregnancy. Inform your chiropractor of your pregnancy, monitor your comfort level, and communicate if you experience any issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When can I start going to the chiropractor?

A woman may see a chiropractor anytime during the pregnancy after getting consent from her doctor.

2. How often should I go to a chiropractor when pregnant?

The frequency of care will depend on factors such as the symptoms’ severity and how long you have been experiencing them. Your chiropractor may be able to tell you the details of the treatment.

3. When should I stop the treatment after pregnancy?

While pregnancy discomfort can be safely and gently relieved with chiropractic treatment, you may stop the procedure once your issues have been addressed and you have spoken with your healthcare physician and chiropractor.

4. Can I lay on my stomach for chiropractic treatment when pregnant?

While lying on your stomach during pregnancy may not be comfortable, chiropractors may utilize unique tables and techniques to prevent unnecessary abdominal pressure. Hence, laying on the stomach during the treatment may not be an issue. However, consult your chiropractor to know the best position that might suit you (1).

Many women turn to a chiropractor to manage their aches and pains during pregnancy. Dealing with pregnancy discomfort is difficult, so non-invasive methods such as chiropractic care may be helpful. These treatments are safe if provided by qualified professionals. These practices aid in enhancing maternal health throughout pregnancy and promote natural childbirth through the vaginal canal. However, before you receive chiropractic treatments, ensure your doctor has given the go-ahead. Avoid these treatments if you are dealing with pregnancy complications.

Infographic: How Chiropractic Care Helps In Pregnancy

Pregnant women frequently experience aches and pains in different parts of their bodies. Some even encounter other complications. Chiropractic care is a non-invasive technique that may provide relief and comfort during this time and help women enjoy better health. Check out this infographic to learn about some benefits of this treatment.

benefits of chiropractic care helps in pregnancy (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • Chiropractic treatment during pregnancy is safe and effective in treating aches and pains.
  • It may help improve sleep quality and relieve joint, neck, and back pain.
  • Chiropractic care should be avoided in cases of vaginal bleeding, cramps, or other pregnancy complications.
  • Pregnant women should always see their healthcare physician before starting a chiropractic treatment during pregnancy.

Find out why seeking chiropractic care during pregnancy is crucial for your well-being as well as your baby’s.


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy.
  2. Serdar Kseikburun et al; (2018) ; Musculoskeletal Pain And Symptoms In Pregnancy: A Descriptive Study.
  3. Cara L. Borggren; (2007); Pregnancy and Chiropractic: A Narrative Review Of The Literature.
  4. Chiropractic: In Depth.
  5. Boris Skanica; (2018); Effectiveness Of Manual Treatment On Pregnancy Symptoms:Usefulness of Manual Treatment in Treating Pregnancy Symptoms.
  6. Benefits of Chiropractic During Pregnancy.
  7. How to Handle Your Sciatica During Pregnancy.
  8. Joel Alcantara and Martine Cossette; (2009) ; Intractable Migraine Headaches During Pregnancy Under Chiropractic Care.
  9. Pregnancy and Chiropractic.
  10. M C Higginbottom et al; (1980) ; Intrauterine Constraints and Craniosynostosis.
  11. Chiropractic.
  12. External Cephalic Version (ECV).
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