In my 37 years of chiropractic practice, I’ve heard a lot of interesting comments. Recently, my patient, Laura, who was seven months pregnant said: “I wish I had known how good chiropractic care makes me feel when I was pregnant with my first three kids.”
Let me give an explanation about that statement. Laura started coming to my office for periodic chiropractic treatment a couple months after she found out she was pregnant with her fourth child. She had been talking with a friend of hers and lamenting that, although she was happy that she was going to have another child, she dreaded the discomfort that she felt she was destined to experience. She had difficult labors with her earlier pregnancies. Her lower back had been extremely sore and her births were long and difficult. Although she had three children, the second two had been twins and that pregnancy and delivery was especially tough on her.
Fortunately, her friend had been a patient of mine and received chiropractic care through the duration of her two pregnancies and experienced very little back discomfort and had exceptionally easy, natural deliveries. This patient told Laura how well things had gone with her chiropractic care and it prompted Laura to call my office for an evaluation and to receive treatment.
To some it might come as a surprise that chiropractors treat women who are pregnant. However, chiropractors have been of help to expecting mothers for over 100 years. When one thinks about it, it makes perfect sense.
Let’s look at some basic human anatomy. Our pelvis is made of three separate bones. The two outer wing bones are called the iliac bones. The central tail bone is called the sacrum. The joints between the sacrum and the two bones are called the sacroiliac joints (SI joints). The sacroiliac joints are gliding joints. When we walk the SI joints glide slightly back-and-forth.
When a woman is pregnant most of the weight bearing of the growing child is borne by the bones of the pelvis. As she carries more and more weight, it normally should not be a problem. However, if the sacroiliac joints of the pelvis are misaligned, locked up and not moving properly it creates discomfort of the lower back.
Chiropractic care for pregnant women simply aims to keep the pelvis and its joints in good alignment and moving freely without restraint.
That’s what Laura was experiencing with chiropractic care of her pregnancy and what she did not experience with her previous pregnancies.
Some chiropractors have had extra training in the treatment of pregnant women. There is a method called the Webster Technique that chiropractors can utilize that is especially helpful when treating expecting mothers. The Webster Technique is even recommended by many obstetricians whose pregnant patients are experiencing back problems.
I fully expect Laura’s last two months of pregnancy to be very comfortable and my experience tells me that her natural delivery will be relatively easy and quick.