Chiropractic care could be considered a non-medicinal way to deal with pregnancy-related pains. You may consider visiting a chiropractor in pregnancy for the manipulation of the lower back to improve alignment, reduce strain, and mitigate any pain caused by the growing fetus (1) (2).
Read this post to know when you should visit a chiropractor during pregnancy, the benefits of getting a chiropractic adjustment, and how the adjustment may affect pregnancy and childbirth.
Is Chiropractic Care Safe During Pregnancy?
Chiropractic care is done to maintain the spinal cord, discs and the nerves attached to the spinal cord. Both the American Chiropractic Association and the American Pregnancy Association (APA) consider chiropractic care during pregnancy a safe, effective, and drug-free approach to managing various musculoskeletal pains and other symptoms of pregnancy (1) (2) (3).
The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) also recommends chiropractic treatment during pregnancy to maintain the alignment of the pelvis and improve the room available for fetal development. Following massage therapy and yoga, it is the third most common alternative therapy during pregnancy (2) (4).
Other studies also reveal significant alleviation and clinical improvement of pregnancy-related pains and discomfort with chiropractic care without any notable adverse effects.
However, exercise caution because chiropractic adjustments are sometimes contraindicated in pregnancy. These contraindications may include sudden onset of pelvic pain, vaginal bleeding, cramping, premature labor, and preterm delivery.
Further, some chiropractic care-related electrical modalities, such as stimulation and ultrasound, are inappropriate for pregnancy and should be avoided (2). The APA recommends consulting chiropractors who specialize in working with pregnant women (3).
Chiropractic treatment maintain the hormone secretion are responsible for causing stress during pregnancy. The chiropractic helps to reduce stress and anxiety by stimulating the nervous system. Chiropractic care further decreases the use of various types of medications during the pregnancy. Chiropractic Care during pregnancy does not involve any type of medicine or drugs.
When Should A Pregnant Woman Start Going To The Chiropractor?
You may start seeing a chiropractor at any point during your pregnancy or immediately following your labor and delivery. A typical prenatal chiropractic treatment regimen corresponds with the frequency of your obstetric/midwifery sessions. In early pregnancy, chiropractic visits are more spaced apart but become more regular in the last four to six weeks (5).
What Is The Need For Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy?
- Weight gain that puts additional strain on the sacroiliac joints
- Anterior shift in the center of gravity (protruding abdomen)
- Increased lumbar lordosis(arched back) placing extra stress on the facet joints and intervertebral disks
- Loosened lumbopelvic ligaments
- Spinal pelvic subluxation (partial dislocation)
- Changes in the pelvic region, including pelvic hypermobility
- Decrease in spinal stabilization due to increased estrogen and progesterone levels, particularly in the third trimester
- Postural changes
- Altered gait pattern (unusual walking style)
These physical changes can cause misalignment of your spine or joints, leading to musculoskeletal pains and discomforts such as low back pain, sciatic nerve pain, sacroiliac pain, pubic symphysis pain, and round ligament pain, making pregnancy difficult.
Chiropractic care is effective in gently realigning these bones and joints so that your body can return to its natural state, alleviating these pains and other pregnancy-related discomforts and symptoms (3) (6).
What Are The Benefits Of Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy?
Chiropractic treatment helps to reduce stress and anxiety by stimulating the nervous system. It reduces the need for various medications during the pregnancy as chiropractic care does not involve any type of medicine or drugs.
- Maintaining a healthier pregnancy
- Controlling symptoms of nausea and mood swings
- Balancing the pelvis and aligning the appropriate muscles and ligaments
- Maintaining proper alignment of the cervical spine throughout pregnancy
- Relieving back, neck, or joint pain
- Reducing the need for pain killers during delivery by half (6)
- Preventing C-section delivery
- Reducing the time of labor and childbirth and promoting faster postnatal recovery
Is Prenatal Chiropractic Care Beneficial To The Unborn Child?
Chiropractic care during pregnancy or prenatal chiropractic care is not only limited to providing relief from musculoskeletal pain or other pregnancy-related symptoms. It can also be beneficial to your unborn child. Some fetal benefits of prenatal chiropractic care may include (2) (4)
- Correcting probable musculoskeletal intrauterine restrictions, particularly with the Webster Technique, a type of chiropractic adjustment
- Preventing breech presentations by optimizing the positioning of the baby at the time of birth
- Reducing the rate of fetal distress
- Inducing safer delivery for the mother and baby
Who Is A Prenatal Chiropractor?
While you may go to any licensed chiropractor during pregnancy, some chiropractors specialize in prenatal and postnatal care and receive training to deal with pregnant women. These specialists are called “prenatal chiropractors.” They may use tables suitable for the pregnant body and techniques that avoid excessive abdominal pressure. They may also recommend exercises and stretches that are safe to follow in pregnancy (3).
Chiropractic care is a safe and effective approach to correct any misaligned spines caused by physiological and endocrinological changes during pregnancy. It can offer relief from musculoskeletal pain, a healthier pregnancy, and be beneficial for the fetus by facilitating correct fetal positioning during childbirth and reducing the rate of fetal distress.
- Amy Kochersberger; (2018); 5 Conditions Chiropractic Care Can Improve During Pregnancy.
- Cara L. Borggren; (2007); Pregnancy and chiropractic: a narrative review of the literature.
- Chiropractic care during pregnancy.
- Seeing a chiropractor during and after pregnancy.
- Chiropractic during pregnancy.
- Prenatal chiropractic care.
- Breech Position and Breech Birth.