In our office we view pregnancy and birth as the most athletic event of your life. It's truly a marathon not a sprint, and just how a marathon runner prepares their body for the stressors of their race, so should you when it comes to your pregnancy. While pregnancy can be a time filled with excitement and hope, it can also be a challenging experience for many pregnant people due to pain or dysfunction. Chiropractic care is a gentle and safe option for pregnant people to help relieve the discomforts of pregnancy. Studies have shown that care beginning early in your pregnancy can lead to less pain, less laboring time, and faster recovery postpartum.
Common issues we see in pregnant patients include:
- Numbness & Tingling: This can be referred to as sciatica (involving the legs) or carpal tunnel syndrome (involving the arms/wrists). As you progress through your pregnancy your body's center of gravity shifts and in turn the surrounding muscles, nerves, and ligaments shift to accommodate these changes. Chiropractic care can help to restore balance to these areas, relieving numbness/tingling and pain.
- Difficulty Sleeping: Ever roll over in the middle of the night and wake up to a sharp pain? This may be due to round ligament tension. We're able to gently release these areas of tension and teach you how to massage these areas on your own.
- Headaches or Migraines
- Baby's position: Sometimes a breech or transverse position can be due to a lack of balance in the pelvis. While we don't perform maneuvers to physically turn the baby, we're able to assess and identify this imbalance, and through treatment can restore balance to the pelvis and surrounding tissues. As a result, the body has created more space for the baby to move into an optimal position for birth.
The Webster Technique is a chiropractic technique specifically for pregnant people that uses specilized tables and pillows to accommodate your changing body. It's a safe and gentle way to adjust pelvic structures, muscles and ligaments that become tight and painful as your body changes during various stages of pregnancy. Treating these areas decreases back and hip pain associated with pregnancy and reduces tension, which in turn gives the baby more wiggle room to get into the best possible position for birth. Maintaining optimal movement of the spine and pelvis is essential to achieving a pain free pregnancy and optimal position of baby. Dr. Schein is trained and certified in Webster Technique through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.
Postpartum can be a challenging time, but we're here to support you when you're ready for help. We can't stress enough the importance of taking the time to heal and pace yourself, especially in those first 30 days after giving birth. Chiropractic care during the postpartum period can help to improve sleep, shorten your recovery time, help to heal cesarian scar tissue, and reduce aches and pains associated with feeding or holding your baby. Additionally, we'll give you corrective exercises you can perform at home that are modified to where you're at in your postpartum journey. We're also able to help assess and treat any abdominal separation (diastasis recti) that may have occurred during your pregnancy. This is a wonderful time for us to work collaboratively with a pelvic floor therapist to help heal your pelvic floor and reduce nagging postpartum issues like prolapse and incontenence.
When Should I Bring My Child In For Care?
As a chiropractor who frequently works with the prenatal and postpartum population, I get asked all the time about what age is appropriate to bring a child in for chiropractic care, or if they should even bother since their child is hitting all their milestones. What's important to keep in mind is the earlier we are able to start assessing and potentially treating your child, the better chance we have of setting them up for greater resilience and mental, physical, and emotional wellness as they get older. Think of it as setting up a savings account for your child at an early age - as they get older, the savings grows with them - and their bank of health is richer. We can apply this same logic to your child's health!
It's a similar concept to going to the dentist once your child's teeth begin to come in, and attending the appropriate wellness follow up appointments thereafter. You wouldn't wait until a child has a toothache to take them to the dentist for the first time. Think of chiropractic care in a similar fashion, but from a musculoskeletal standpoint. If you picture your child's everyday activities, you'll likely see time on the floor playing with books and toys, or maybe a playground full of kids climbing, jumping, falling, and running. The fact of the matter is kids are tough on their bodies - and while they typically will brush a fall or bump off and go back to their regularly scheduled programming, over time these minor injuries, or 'microtraumas', can lead to an increased pain response, greater levels of inflammation, and ultimately imbalances to the muscles and joints of the body.
We can see mechanical stress being placed on the musculoskeletal system in all ages of children; notably a baby's time in the womb and eventually the birthing process can be very physically stressful for the infant. In an age where we're more sedentary than ever, we're seeing that up to 50% of children have back pain or other musculoskeletal issues every year, and up to 1/3 of these kids will have recurring pain as a result. If we don't address these issues early, they can result in difficulties playing sports or participating in social activities, and can eventually lead to chronic pain. Chronic pain can ultimately lead to mental and emotional stressors that can carry on into adulthood (Hartvigsen & Hestbaek 2009).
Common issues we see in babies and kids include:
- Issues with breastfeeding or latching
- Plagiocephaly (head flattening)
- Sports Injuries
- Poor posture
Hartvigsen J, & Hestbaek L. (2009). Children and chiropractic care: a window of opportunity . Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics, 32(8), 603–605. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmpt.2009.08.028
Hawk, C., Schneider, M. J., Vallone, S., & Hewitt, E. G. (2016). Best practices for chiropractic care of children: A consensus update. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 39(3), 158–168. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmpt.2016.02.015
DAN YAO, XINGQIANG DENG, & MINGGUANG WANG. (2016). Management of musculoskeletal dysfunction in infants (Review). Links to an external site. Experimental & Therapeutic Medicine, 11(6), 2079–2082. https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2016.3226