While all of the conditions and treatments I write about in this blog are of utmost importance to me, I must admit that this one in particular has a special place in my heart. You see, as I write this, my wife and I are expecting our first child in March!
And while pregnancy is extremely exciting, it comes with many questions about the mother’s health and appropriate treatments for her changing body and that of her developing child. So I’d like to take this opportunity to address chiropractic during pregnancy.
Is Back Pain Common in Pregnancy?
Yes, it is. But then, low back pain is common throughout our society. Studies show that up to 85% of Americans will experience an episode of low back pain at some point in their life. Now add the increase in weight and hormonal changes that come with pregnancy, and it’s fair to say that low back pain, including sciatica, is as much a part of pregnancy as morning sickness – not every woman experiences it, but odds are pretty good that you will have one or more episodes during your pregnancy.
But that doesn’t mean you have to live with the pain. It’s something of a startling statistic that roughly half of all pregnant women experience back pain during pregnancy, but less than one in four of those women will actually tell their health care providers about it.
Perhaps women have been programmed to think that discomfort and pain is just something they have to live with during pregnancy. And it’s true that when your body changes so profoundly and so rapidly, we aren’t able to remedy every single ache. But it’s a sure thing that no doctor can treat the conditions you don’t tell them about.
Can I Benefit from Chiropractic During Pregnancy?
In keeping with the trend of suffering in silence, another study shows that, in a survey of 950 pregnant women and 87 allopathic doctors, only 6% of the women within the study utilized chiropractic care or joint manipulation during their pregnancy.
This may be due to preconceived notions or past experiences of archaic, rough, or jerky treatment. Additionally, some expectant parents may have the false belief that chiropractic care may harm their pregnancy or create adverse outcomes.
In fact, though, a qualified chiropractor will provide treatment and manipulation that is calculated, gentle, and pain relieving. And there is evidence that chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation can actually reduce instances of:
- Meconium stained amniotic fluid
- Preterm delivery
- Use of forceps during delivery
- Cesarean delivery
And while there is no guarantee that these things won’t occur even after manipulation, the evidence that chiropractic treatment reduces the likelihood of them is a stark counter to the idea that manipulation can somehow be harmful.
How Often Should I See A Chiropractor During Pregnancy?
It’s not unusual for some chiropractic clinics to subject expectant mothers to complex treatment regimens that are frequent, lengthy, expensive, and in too many cases, unnecessary. Such programs are often structured as two or three visits per week for six to eight weeks. In addition, some practices require a large upfront fee of $2,000-$4,000.
This frequency is rarely necessary and has been advocated against by authorities within the chiropractic field. It is documented that within two to four appointments a significant difference is usually noted. And while there are times where more frequent care is recommended and appropriate, don’t hesitate to research, ask questions, and get a second opinion if the schedule of treatment your provider is recommending seems excessive.
Your pregnancy should be one of the most joyous times of your life. If back pain is effecting your quality of life, you don’t have to accept it. Chiropractic treatment is safe, affordable, and in most cases appropriate, for the treatment of low back pain during pregnancy.
The doctors of Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation take pride in being the Johnston chiropractic clinic that pregnant women in Central Iowa trust to help them stay as comfortable as possible during their pregnancy. We invite you to contact us with questions regarding your pregnancy and chiropractic.