Many women experience musculoskeletal problems during their pregnancy. It is common for them to have lower back pain, discomfort in the pelvic girdle and/or neck and upper back pain. This occurs as pregnancy progresses due to the increasing weight and size of the baby internally and subsequent postural changes the expectant mother undergoes. This article will discuss musculoskeletal conditions that occur during pregnancy and a potential palliative care. A specific case study by the author will also be presented as an example that the reader may find useful and helpful.
A recent research study published in BMJ Open, August 2017 noted that musculoskeletal pain is a common cause of sick leave during pregnancy. An electronic survey of 6686 new mothers from 12 European countries revealed that 8% took sick leave during their pregnancy because of pain in their neck, back or pelvic girdle. These findings reveal the need for musculoskeletal care during pregnancy to help reduce pain and sick leave.
When I first started in chiropractic practice 33 years ago I treated a patient named Donna. Donna had a desk job and found monthly chiropractic adjustments kept her free from neck and lower back pain. She became pregnant with her second child and we continued to give her regular treatments. After having the baby I asked her how the delivery went. She said: “I wish I had known about chiropractic adjustments when I had my first child.” She related that her second pregnancy had been much easier and the delivery was more comfortable and took less time than her first child. She noted during her first pregnancy she had not had chiropractic care and, while there were no complications, it hadn’t been easy.
Over the years I’ve seen many similar results. Pregnant women who receive chiropractic care have more comfortable pregnancies and easier, faster delivery times. Chiropractic research verifies these facts.
There are chiropractic postgraduate classes focused on treating pregnant women utilizing the Webster Technique. Training during the study of the Webster Technique emphasizes the anatomical study of the bones, joints, muscles and nerves of the body. Additionally, there is education regarding the physiology of pregnancy and the effects on women and the developing fetus. The Webster Technique also teaches gentle manipulative procedures that chiropractors use to keep the pelvis and lower spine of pregnant women in good alignment. This method is an alternative safe, gentle, drug-free way of assisting women during pregnancy.
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