With all these biochemical changes there will be physical changes to the whole body during pregnancy. There will be increased pressure on the body when standing, moving and even sitting. These demands will cause changes in joints and can result in aches and pains through the lower back, pelvis and legs and result in joint dysfunction of the spine and related joints.
A misalignment of the lower body can cause a twist in the pelvis with a distortion of the abdomen and internal ligaments of the pelvis, such as the round ligament. This twist in the body can cause pressure and torsion internally through the uterus. We want the baby to be able to move more freely in utero in order for the best possible positioning. Changes in a pregnant woman, such as a protruding abdomen, an increased back curve, pelvic ligament stretching and changes in gravity all cause changes in the body. The body has to adapt to these changes. As this occurs, pain and stiffness can follow. Spinal dysfunction is greatest during the second and third trimester, when posture and the body distortion of pregnancy is at its greatest. In fact, it is likely that the state of ‘Pregnancy’ is one of the most stressful periods of a woman’s life. The period of nine months brings physical, emotional and biochemical pressures that the human body never experiences otherwise.
Chiropractic care works well with pregnancy as it keeps the body working well and in optimal postural balance for the nine months. A regular whole body pregnancy session will re-set the balance of the pelvis and unwind any twist or misaligned joints caused by day–to-day activity. The chiropractic goal is to have one functioning optimally during their pregnancy and towards the day that labour commences! Chiropractic care is a safe and is a proven form of treatment for pregnant women with back, pelvis or hip pain.
What does the research show?
Results of research by Dr Joan Fallon DC, shows that in first-time mothers receiving chiropractic care during pregnancy, average labour time was reduced by 24%. For second or third births the reduction in labour time, if under chiropractic care, was 39%.(1)
Another study by Dr Irvin Henderson MD, concluded that pregnant women receiving chiropractic care in the third trimester were “able to carry and deliver with more comfort.”(2)
Per Freitag MD conducted research that showed analgesics (pain medication) during delivery was reduced by half in patients under regular chiropractic care. (3)
Adapted from article by Dr Sue-Ellen McKelvey , PhD
(1) Fallon, J. DC. The Effect of Chiropractic Treatment on Pregnancy and Labour: A Comprehensive Study. Proceedings of the World Federation of Chiropractic, 1991:24-31. Fallon, J. DC. Chiropractic and Pregnancy; A Partnership of the Future. ICA Review Nov/Dec 1990.
(2) Henderson, I. MD. American Medical Association records released in 1987 during trial in U.S. District Court, Northern Illinois, Eastern Division, No. 76C 3777. May 1987.