Chiropractic care and Pregnancy
How the body adjusts and prepares itself for the adventure of pregnancy and birth is pretty amazing. New hormones are secreted, allowing your ligaments to become more pliable and stretch. Postural changes accommodate your shifting center of gravity as the baby grows. Spiked nutritional needs increase your resting metabolic rate, influencing when and what you want to eat. As these, and many other physiologic changes occur, it’s common for soon-to-be mom’s to experience some discomfort. Low back pain, round ligament pain, sciatica, headaches, plantar fascitis, and carpal tunnel are a few of the common “aches and pains” of pregnancy. While most over-the-counter methods of pain relief are not recommended during pregnancy due to potential harm to the fetus, chiropractic care is a proven safe and effective approach to making those nine months more comfortable (particularly the third trimester, when the baby's growth rate is full-steam ahead!).
Goals of chiropractic care during pregnancy
Goals of chiropractic treatment during pregnancy usually include ensuring your joints are moving smoothly through their normal range of motion, decreasing muscle spasms, releasing tight ligaments, and decreasing inflammation. While every case is different, most of the time seeing a chiropractor once every 2-4 weeks can help to alleviate some of these common aches and pains. Dr. Nolan has taken additional coursework to specialize in working with women during and after their pregnancy. She is certified in Webster Technique and has taken several courses in the McKenzie Method.
The Webster Technique
The well-known Webster Technique is a system of chiropractic adjustments that focuses on ensuring the three bones creating the pelvis are moving normally, and that the ligaments attaching to the pelvis and uterus (some of which contain muscle fibers) are not holding too much tension. While the Webster system of adjusting can be utilized to normalize joint mechanics through all pregnancies, Webster Technique is often credited with “turning” breached babies. While there is no physical baby-turning performed, the chiropractic adjustments, muscle work, and ligament releases involved are designed to normalize motion of the bones and soft tissue surrounding the pelvis. It’s theorized that by normalizing joint mechanics and soft tissue tone, room then becomes available for the baby to turn by his/herself into the optimal birthing position.
The McKenzie Method
The McKenzie method often plays a role after the baby is born. Postural changes that occur over the nine months of pregnancy, such as an increased lordosis (a.k.a. sway-back), are suddenly no longer needed following birth. Using a combination of chiropractic adjustments, soft tissue work, and a few simple exercises to be done at home, Dr. Nolan can help ease your spine’s transition back into that of a non-pregnant body.