Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Can Chiropractic Care Help with Pregnancy Back Pain?

During pregnancy, the soon-to-be mom's center of gravity begins to shift forward in her pelvis as the uterus grows in size and she gains an average of 25 to 35 pounds over the course of her pregnancy. This increased weight and change in disbursement can cause increased stress on the spine and low back specifically. Recent studies report that approximately half of expectant mothers will develop back pain at some point in their pregnancy.1-3 In addition, baby's head can also place pressure on nerves causing pain into the buttocks and legs. It is important to realize the normal anatomy before you can begin to understand how chiropractic can benefit pregnant mothers.

The uterus is attached to your spine and pelvis by three ligaments that help suspend the uterus in the abdomen without twisting. However due to postural imbalances or malposition of the bones of the spine or pelvis, the uterus can become tipped or twisted which can not only increase constraint on the growing babe within you but also cause back pain for the expectant mother.

As a Peoria pregnancy chiropractor, I have found that its a great idea for women to get their spine checked when they first become pregnant, throughout pregnancy, and after birth. Any imbalances within the spine and pelvis can be corrected before they can contribute to pregnancy discomfort, problems during childbirth, or chronic pain conditions. Some chiropractors, such as myself, have also undergone additional training with regard to modified adjusting procedures or specialized pregnancy techniques such as Webster Technique that can make chiropractic care safe for the mom-to-be.

Chiropractic care is safe for the mom to be and is especially useful for mother's wishing to avoid harmful medications that can injury their unborn baby. Doctors of Chiropractic can also offer advice on nutrition, exercise, and ergonomics that can aid expectant mothers in a healthy pregnancy and reduce injury.

A February 1991 study published in the Journal of Manipulative Physiologic Therapy found that 84% of pregnant mothers reported relief of back pain during pregnancy. There was also a significantly less likelihood of back labor when chiropractic adjustments were provided.4

17 cases of low back pain during pregnancy treated with chiropractic care were reviewed. Average pain scale improved from 5.9 at first visit to 1.5 at the termination of care. The average number of visits before pain relief was reported was 1.8 days with an average time of 4.5 days after the first visit. 94.1% of cases demonstrated significant improvement. No adverse events were reported.5

In one specific case, a 29 year old female presented with low back pain and history of two previous Caesarean deliveries due to failure to advance during labor and associated fetal distress. The patient underwent chiropractic care utilizing Thompson drop and Webster Technique. She reported alleviation of low back pain and successful vaginal birth.6

Want more information about how chiropractic can help your pregnancy? Call my office (309) 689-6200 to schedule a free pregnancy consultation today!

  1. Östgaard HC, et al. Prevalence of Back Pain in Pregnancy. Spine 1991;16:549-52.
  2. Berg G, et al. Low back pain during pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol 1988;71:71-5.
  3. Mantle MJ, et al. Backache in pregnancy. Rheumatology Rehabilitation 1977;16:95-101.
  4. Daikow et al. Back Pain during pregnancy and labor. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1991 Feb;12(2):116-8
  5. Lisi AJ. Chiropractic spinal manipulation for low back pain of pregnancy: a retrospective case series. J Midwifery Womens Health 2006 Jan-Feb; 51(1):e7-10
  6. Alcantara J The Chiropractic Care of a Gravid Patient with a History of Multiple Caesarean Births and Vertebral Subluxation. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Res. March 11, 2008