Chiropractic and Pregnancy
Dr. Michelle Zhou
Did you know that over 50% of women experience back pain during pregnancy, with the sacroiliac joints of the pelvis most commonly affected? Studies have shown that chiropractic care during pregnancy decreases the need for pain relief during delivery by up to 50% and can significantly reduce labour time by up to 24% in first-time mums and 39% in subsequent birth(s). Pretty exciting news if you have a bun in the oven!
During pregnancy, hormones relax the joints in your pelvis in order to allow room for your growing baby and eventually, for the delivery itself. This normal and natural adaptation by our body allows pregnancy to take place; however, this relaxation also causes extra strain on the ligaments of the pelvis’ joints, also known as the sacroiliac joints.
One of the most common conditions that I see in pregnant women and new mums is sacroiliac joint sprain; this is when one or both of the sacroiliac joints is overstretched, causing instability, an inability to activate your core muscles and, worst of all, a tremendous amount of pain. Alignment issues in the pelvis and lower back are also extremely common during pregnancy and delivery.
Chiropractic adjustments are not only safe and effective for the treatment of lower back and pelvis issues during and after pregnancy, they are also very gentle. Depending on the patient’s individual needs and personal preference, adjustments can be adapted to suit you. During pregnancy, special techniques are utilised to ensure your any adjustment is as safe and comfortable as possible.
Bearing in mind that medication during pregnancy and breast feeding is generally best avoided, another benefit of chiropractic is that it manages and treats musculoskeletal disorders without the use of drugs or surgery.
According to a 2002 survey conducted in the US, chiropractic is the largest, most regulated, and best recognised of all the Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) professions. It’s worth knowing that, here in Hong Kong, all chiropractors are regulated by the government, ensuring that you – and your baby – are in safe hands.
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- Frietag P. Expert testimony of P Freitag MD PhD., comparing the results of two neighbouring hospitals, US District Court Northern Illinois Eastern Division, No.76C 3777. May 1987
- 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
- Meeker, Haldeman. Chiropractic: a Profession at the Crossroads of Mainstream and Alternative Medicine. Ann Intern Med. 2002;136:216-217