Published in Expectant Mother’s Guide, Summer Edition, 2009
Pre-Conception Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic prior to conception promotes a more regular menstrual cycle and optimal uterine function rendering the body as strong and balanced as possible to carry and manage the pregnancy. Restoring optimal nerve supply to reproductive organs has helped many couples who had previously believed they were incapable of conceiving.
Early Pregnancy Chiropractic Care
After conception, the body goes through a series of significant changes. One easy to spot change is extra weight gain, primarily in the abdomen, that results in a change in posture, gait, as well as center of gravity for the expecting mother. As the baby continues to develop, hormones called prolactin and relaxin are released in the mother allowing for increased breast size and weight preparing for lactation as well as a loosening of mom’s ligaments to prepare for safe passage of the baby through the pelvis. These weight carriage changes along with an overall loosening of supportive structures creates ample opportunity for pain-causing, function-altering spinal subluxations to develop.
Changes that may be more difficult to recognize are the millions of different hormonal changes and chemical reactions occurring in both mother and developing baby, all of which are coordinated and controlled through the nervous system. A well maintained spine and nervous system through regular chiropractic adjustments promotes a nervous system that responds immediately and accurately to the changing requirements in all parts of the body.
Advancing Pregnancy Chiropractic Care
As a woman’s pregnancy advances, some chiropractic techniques will need to be modified for your comfort. Your ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association) chiropractor is aware of this and will make the necessary changes. The passage of the baby through the mothers pelvis occurs through a process called nutation and then counter-nutation as the pelvis undergoes extreme changes in tilt of the pelvic bones to allow ample room for safe passage of the baby. Pre-existing relatively unnoticed or unidentified imbalances (subluxations) in the spine and pelvis along with those created in the course of pregnancy not only affect the comfort of mom but also have the potential to significantly lengthen labor and complicate delivery.
The Webster Technique
ICPA chiropractors are trained in the “Webster Technique”. This technique addresses intrauterine constraint or mal-presentations, misalignment of the pelvic bones, misalignment of the sacrum and vertebrae, and relative tension imbalance of the ligaments that support the pelvis. In expectant mothers presenting breech there has been a high reported success rate of the baby turning to normal vertex position. This technique has also been successfully applied in mothers whose baby’s present transverse or posterior as well. Any position of the baby other than ROA may indicate the presence of sacral subluxation and therefore intrauterine constraint. At NO time should this technique be interpreted as an obstetric, “breech turning” technique.
Can Chiropractic Make Pregnancy Easier?
According to recent studies, chiropractic care may result in easier pregnancy including increased comfort during the third trimester and delivery and reduced need for pain medication. In one study, women receiving chiropractic care through their first pregnancy had 24% reduction in labor time and subjects giving birth for the second or third time reported 39% reduction in labor times. In another study, the need for analgesics was reduced by 50% in the patients who received chiropractic adjustments. In addition, 84% of women report relief of back pain during pregnancy with chiropractic care. Chiropractic care has helped new mothers become more comfortable breastfeeding as well as to enhance milk production. Chiropractic care has also been shown to reduce the likelihood of post-partum depression.
Now that the baby is here, when should I have her checked for subluxations?
Babies should be checked right after birth because of the potential damaging effects of the birth process. Even the most natural birthing experience is somewhat traumatic to the baby and may have unidentified damage. Studies show that many children that experience symptoms of colic, asthma, and ear infections have spinal subluxations impairing their nerves normal function. Early detection and correction can help preserve better health for you child.
Will a chiropractic adjustment hurt my child?
ICPA chiropractors use very specific gentle techniques when adjusting children. The newborn chiropractic adjustment consists of 6-8 grams of pressure specifically directed to correct spinal alignment abnormalities (subluxations). This amount of pressure can be comfortably applied to your eyeball with the eyelid closed. ICPA chiropractors are well trained in evaluation and treatment of all stages of childhood development through adulthood.
Each stage of development has specific commonalities, treatment needs, and delivery styles that are more appropriate. Most ICPA chiropractors offer complimentary consultations, giving families the opportunity to meet with them and ask questions. All children function better with 100% nerve function. All children deserve the right to express their fullest potential. Chiropractic care for children is safe, gentle and effective. It enhances the body’s inborn potential for well-being.
Although many people think chiropractic is just a treatment for sore backs, Dr. Wolff wants you to know that chiropractic can help a myriad of conditions.
For example, a 53 year old woman reported complete relief from a condition known as frozen shoulder syndrome (FSS) following a course of chiropractic treatments. The adjustments concentrated on manipulating the frozen shoulder joint and the area at the base of the neck. Chiropractic worked where other treatments had failed, including physical therapy and medications.
FSS is a painful and debilitating condition of the shoulder where arm movement is extremely limited. Even slight movements can cause a great deal of pain. Frozen shoulder syndrome affects more women than men, and can also mimic conditions such as cervical radiculitis, rotator cuff strain and bursitis or tendonitis. With FSS, there will be inflammation and scar tissue formation of the joint capsule.
The cause of FSS is not clear. The onset of shoulder pain is usually without any obvious physical cause. The pain related to this stage gets worse over time, creating progressive limitation to the shoulder’s range of motion. The shoulder can be classified as frozen once it has reached its maximum restricted movement pattern. Constant pain may have subsided. Yet pain may be felt whenever movement is attempted past the restricted range of motion. Typically, a person experiencing FSS will be unable to reach behind his/her back and will be unable to bring the arm above the height of the shoulder.
The Role of Chiropractic for FSS
Since nerves supplying the shoulder joint and surrounding tissues originate in the neck, it is always advisable to have your chiropractor assess your neck for vertebral subluxations if you are suffering from this, or any other painful shoulder condition. Restoring proper movement in the spine can help assist proper nerve function in the shoulder area.
Dr. Wolff can also show you recommended forms of exercise and stretching to complement chiropractic adjustments. FSS may take a long time to heal, but any improvement represents a significant enhancement to the person’s quality of life. If you or anyone you know may be suffering from frozen shoulder syndrome or any other shoulder pain, please call our office at 281-587-0334.