How are Pregnant Women Adjusted?
posted: Nov. 08, 2022.
If you are reading this blog, you’re probably experiencing some pregnancy related back pain. Maybe your OB-GYN, midwife or friend recommended you visit a Chiropractor to alleviate some of your discomfort and you have some questions. How do Prenatal adjustments work? What does the Chiropractor do to adjust pregnant patients? Those are all great questions, and some that we hear often in the clinic. This blog will explain the ins and outs of getting adjusted during your pregnancy.
Pregnancy Related Low Back Pain
It’s not uncommon to notice new or increased back pain during your pregnancy. As your baby is developing and growing, your body is undergoing changes from the inside aned outside! Your body is affected by many things such as the weight of your growing baby and the development of support tissues (like your placenta!). All these factors, and more, can alter the way you walk, the way you stand and how you sleep. Your body is undergoing ligamentous changes to accommodate a growing baby and these along with other new pressures can lead to pregnancy-related back pain.
Many moms that I treat at the clinic say that they notice an increase in back pain in the evenings, after a long day, after running errands or just due to “momming”. Why does that happen? Because your body is changing as baby grows and develops. Your ligaments are becoming looser to help accommodate the changes, while your muscles are tightening to stabilize the joints - it’s an ongoing battle! Thankfully, there are options for you that can help alleviate or even eliminate your back pain. Chiropractic adjustments during your pregnancy will allow you to continue doing the things that you love (or need to do) so that you can enjoy your pregnancy! As an added bonus, many moms experience a quicker and less painful labor after receiving regular adjustments during the pregnancy.
A Chiropractic Adjustment - What is it?
A Chiropractic adjustment, or manipulation, is when a quick and precise force is applied to a joint that is not functioning properly. It is conducted by a trained specialist, like the Chiropractors in our office. Once the misalignment is corrected, movement and balance are restored and the release in pressure leads to improved mobility or range of motion. The ensuing proper joint alignment then leads to decreased low back pain and a happy mama :) Chiropractic adjustments are especially great at restoring movement to the sacrum - or tailbone- which often becomes “stuck” during pregnancy. This pain is often the leading cause of altered gait (any “duck-walking” mamas out there?) and low back pain.
How Does a Chiropractor Adjust a Pregnant Patient?
There are two common ways that a Chiropractor can adjust a pregnant patient: Drop-Table Technique and Side Posture (AKA “Pretzel Twist”). Here at GVC, Dr. Rachel is a Webster certified Prenatal Chiropractor. As her training dictates, she typically uses the drop-table technique since it focuses on restoring proper alignment to the sacrum (tail bone) and reduces tension on the uterus. However, both adjustment methods are gentle, effective and safe during pregnancy. The Side Posture and Drop Table Technique also both help reduce low back pain and sciatica-like pain
Side Posture Technique
In the Diversified Chiropractic world, this technique come standard and can be referred to as the “pretzel twist”. The patient begins by laying on their side, crossing their arms and keeping the top leg bent. The dysfunctional joint is then isolated and the manipulation is applied to the area to restore proper balance and function. In most cases during pregnancy, the focus is on the sacrum and pelvis.
Drop Table Technique
The Drop Table Technique is a preferred method for adjusting pregnant patients and is utilized when performing the Webster Technique (a specific Chiropractic procedure during pregnancy). The patient begins by laying face down - using a table that modifies to allow space for the growing belly - and the manipulation focuses on the sacrum and pelvis. A panel in the table is elevated an extra 1-2” above the heightened resting position and will drop down the same 1-2” with an applied force to help restore balance to the joint. The Chiropractic table is tented the entirety of the visit to allow maximal space for the baby and to take pressure off the abdomen.
What is the Webster Technique?
The Webster Technique is referred to several times in the text above - but what does it mean? The Webster Technique is a gentle, yet effective, Chiropractic adjustment that restores proper balance to the pelvis. The second part of the treatment involves some specific work on the the associated pelvis ligaments and soft tissues to help:
Reduce torsion on the uterus
Maximize uterine space to help baby grow and develop property
The baby get in the best birthing position
Decrease or eliminate low back pain
As you’ve just read, there are so many great benefits to getting adjusted when you are pregnant. Chiropractic manipulations are gentle, safe and a very effective way of reducing or even eliminating your pregnancy-related back pain. You might even notice some additional positive effects also! Things like better sleep, more energy, better focus and more. And what mama wouldn’t love a potentially quicker and less painful labor? Have questions - don’t hesitate to call our office for more information on how getting adjusted during your pregnancy can help!