Prenatal experiences differ from one another and from pregnancy to pregnancy. When seeking comfort measures during pregnancy, what one woman may prefer, another may not. Some women opt for complementary therapies to reduce stress, promote relaxation and help to prepare for the low-intervention, natural pregnancy and birth they may desire.
Common complimentary therapies may include prenatal yoga and massage that can help with relaxation and flexibility, and some patients seek chiropractic care to ease pregnancy aches and pains.
Options to Manage Three Pregnancy Challenges
From breech positioning to back pain, here are three common pregnancy challenges and their chiropractic solutions from James Murphy, DC.
With adjustments of the spine, joints and soft tissue, chiropractic care is designed to help the body function at its best, and appeals to patients who want to avoid medications and who desire a natural delivery, says Dr. Murphy.
"We stretch soft tissue muscles, tendons and ligaments, opening space and promoting conditions that make it easier for a baby to turn," says Dr. Murphy.
Balance, Flexibility and Range of Motion Issues
"There's so much change when the body is supporting a growing placenta, and patients may experience fatigued muscles. The first trimester is a good time to start mobilizing to prepare for the following two trimesters," says Dr. Murphy.
An expanding abdomen can put an expectant mother off balance. "Chiropractic treatments can help with balance and flexibility, encouraging a more comfortable pregnancy overall. The weight in the abdomen stresses the lumbar spine, so it helps to get mobility back there," he says.
Pain and Strain
"Many women come in because they are in pain and don't want to take medications during pregnancy," says Dr. Murphy. "Pain comes from a nerve, which goes to the brain, where it signals pain. Pain in the low back, neck, or other area, often comes when a structural component such as a shifted vertebra, puts pressure on the nerve.
"We use chiropractic treatment to unlock restricted joints and adjustments to get pressure off of the nerves to stop interpretation of pain by the brain," he says.
Before You Schedule Your Visit
- Check with your prenatal care provider first - Expectant mothers should obtain clearance from their OB-GYN or certified nurse midwife before seeking chiropractic treatment, especially if your practitioner has told you that you are high risk, and even if not, notes Dr. Murphy. "For example, if you are having pain, tell your prenatal care provider, get their opinion, and rule out any problems that could be unforeseen," he says.
- "Ask your midwife or OB-GYN if they have a chiropractor they are comfortable and familiar with, and select a chiropractor experienced in the treatment of pregnant patients and the soft tissue issues common in pregnancy," says Dr. Murphy.
- Let your chiropractor know you are pregnant – Chiropractors modify treatments for pregnant women and use special tables to accommodate the abdomen. Dr. Murphy obtains a medical history from each patient, and does a musculoskeletal evaluation including checking range of motion.
- "Notice how much time the chiropractor spends with you, because pregnancy is a time when patients especially benefit from a longer, more thorough visit," he says.
James Murphy, DC, works in collaboration with the certified nurse midwives at the Midwifery of Doylestown and provides a variety of alternative therapies for pregnant women at Advanced Wellness Solutions in Bucks County, PA.
By posting on the Dialogue Online blog, I understand and agree that my comments will be reviewed and may be removed if they are libelous or otherwise illegal, or contain abusive, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate material. Please do not share personal health or financial information on the blog. I also understand that my comments will be available for view by the public and may be copied, stored, reproduced or disclosed by a third party for any use. For more information, please review the Doylestown Hospital's commenting guidelines.