Recent research reported in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic on a pregnant woman reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in helping pregnant women deliver normally.
“Research is revealing that chiropractic care can play a crucial role during pregnancy, labor and delivery” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study.
Despite widespread education and efforts to curb dangerous birthing interventions such as cesarean sections, their use remains high and concerns amongst health care advocates is growing. The concern centers around the use of high-risk interventions for “convenience” of the doctor or mother without taking into consideration the long-term effects of a traumatic birth on the child.
“It makes a lot of sense when you think about it” stated Dr. McCoy. “We see this shocking increase in the number of interventional procedures during birth when there are alternatives such as the use of chiropractic to allow the mother and child to have a normal birth. We need to take advantage of these advances.”
As pointed out in the paper, chiropractic can play a beneficial role during pregnancy and the birth process in cases where the mother is experiencing some type of obstruction of her pelvis and related musculature that is interfering with the baby’s position or the delivery process.
“The goal is for the mother to be checked prior to the time of delivery so that these problems can be corrected beforehand” remarked Dr. McCoy adding “While this is a single case study, coupled with numerous other case studies and some larger clinical studies that have shown similar outcomes, it’s time that health care providers started taking it seriously.”
According to researchers the nervous system controls and coordinates all functions of the body and structural shifts in the spine can occur that obstruct the nerves and interfere with their function. By removing the structural shifts, chiropractic improves nerve supply and function.
The 40-year-old woman reported on in this study was 33 weeks pregnant with her fourth child. She had pain localized to the sacrum, pelvis, and hips. She had one miscarriage and two previous cesarean sections. The pain was present with all her movements and she could not find any relief. In addition to coping with various stress, she is a stay-at-home mother, and also worked many hours a week.
The chiropractor examined her and found structural shifts in her neck, mid back, and sacrum. Restrictions, pain, and tenderness were also noted throughout her spine. These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.
Following chiropractic care, she experienced improvement in overall function. Her pain and muscle spasms decreased. She went into spontaneous labor and was able to have a successful vaginal birth, avoiding another cesarean section.
The study’s author called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in this population.
To learn more about this study and chiropractic research visit, Vertebral Subluxation Research.