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Chiropractic in the News

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Webster Technique to Avoid C-section

icpa website (

A 41-year-old woman was recently reported to have avoided a planned cesarean section due to breech presentation through the use of the Webster technique. The Webster technique is a method used by chiropractors to release tension in the pelvis and sacrum, thereby allowing the fetus to turn into the appropriate birthing position.

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health reported that after five visits to the chiropractor using the light-force, specific-contact adjustments of the Webster technique, a fetus turned from breech position into vertex position, the normal position for birthing. Current cesarean section rates make the procedure the most common operation in America; the Webster technique is emerging as a safe, effective and non-invasive way to correct breech position.
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Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation for Low Back Pain of Pregnancy:  A Retrospective Case Series

J Midwifery Women's Health 2006 (Jan); 51 (1): e7–10

Sixteen of 17 (94.1%) cases demonstrated clinically important improvement. The average time to initial clinically important pain relief was 4.5 (range 0-13) days after initial presentation, and the average number of visits undergone up to that point was 1.8 (range 1-5). No adverse effects were reported in any of the 17 cases. The results suggest that chiropractic treatment was safe in these cases and support the hypothesis that it may be effective for reducing pain intensity.
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Chiropractic Advice for Moms-to-Be

American Chiropractic Association

During pregnancy, a woman's center of gravity almost immediately begins to shift forward to the front of her pelvis, according to Dr. Jerome McAndrews, spokesperson for the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). Although a woman's sacrum - or posterior section of her pelvis - has more depth than a man's to enable her to carry a baby, the displaced weight still increases the stress on her joints. "As the baby grows in size," Dr. McAndrews explains, "the woman's weight is projected even farther forward, and the curvature of her lower back is increased, placing extra stress on her spinal disks in that area. As a result, the spine in the upper back area must compensate - and the normal curvature of her upper spine increases as well."

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Back Pain Risk Continues After Pregnancy

Obstetrics & Gynecology 1998 (Feb); 91 (2): 182–186

Women with severe low back pain during pregnancy are at high risk for back pain for more than 10 years after the pregnancy –– and the problem is likely to recur in a subsequent pregnancy, according to a new study in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. More seriously, (19%) of the women with previous low back pain stated they had refrained from another pregnancy because of their fear of the recurrence of their low back pain.  *Don't let pain get in your way, let us help you with chiropractic call us today.
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Chiropractic and Pregnancy

Two news stories chronicled chiropractic helping pregnant women during their times of physical change. One of the stories appeared on the website of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on July 2, 2007 and followed a second time mother who was suffering from lower back pain caused by her pregnancy. The second story was from the May 22, 2007 Asheville Citizen-Times and reported on a four time mother who had been under chiropractic care regularly to help prevent problems and make the experience healthier.
The St. Louis story followed the plight of Tykita Bethley who was suffering from what she referred to as usual aches and pains during her first pregnancy four years ago. She stated, "My back hurt, and then once I had my daughter, it hurt even more, especially on the right side." Then during her second pregnancy she added, "My back hurt like crazy then, too, but I had accepted my back pain for the longest time."
Tykita went to the Pregnancy Clinic at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, a facility that is set up to help study the effect of chiropractic care and exercise on pregnant women. She started care at week 27 and continued throughout the remainder of her pregnancy. She received stretching exercises and chiropractic adjustments. The result was that she became nearly pain free. I can't tell you," Tykita stated, "I feel so much better.
In the second story out of Asheville, NC, Wendi Lonabaugh is an ongoing chiropractic patient who was under care to prevent the problems she had with previous pregnancies. She noted that chiropractic made a difference and unlike her previous pregnancies, she did not have any sciatic pain this time, she commented, "It makes sense when you think about it.
The Asheville Citizen-Times also reported that according to the N.C. Chiropractic Association, more than 25 million people visited chiropractors last year. They noted that the number of people receiving chiropractic services has doubled in the past 20 years, and they estimate that the number will double again by 2010.
The article also reported on cyclist Patricia Pinner, who uses chiropractic to help improve her performance. The article reports that Pinner estimates that 90 percent of the women on the Asheville Women's Cycling team see a chiropractor. "The whole keeping your spine in alignment is necessary for total health," she said. "When you are trying to compete, total health needs to be as good as it can be."

Chiropractic and Pregnancy

Because of the additional weight and stress on the framework of the body in pregnant women, chiropractic adjustments can help lower the incidence of pain in the low back and legs, and between the shoulder blades. In some cases, fewer headaches and problems with nausea and elimination may also result. Many chiropractors care for expectant mothers in the regular course of their daily practices.
Most importantly is that chiropractic helps the expecting mother by improving nerve system function. Chiropractic has been based for over 100 years on correcting interference to the nervous system known as subluxations. With a properly functioning nerve system free of subluxations it is easy to see how many aspects of this important time for an expectant mother will be made easier. Many women rely on chiropractic care as a regular part of their pre-natal routine.

Chiropractic Care for Pregnancy

"Pregnancy Today" magazine describes themselves as "the journal for parents to be". On June 13, 2004 they ran a story written by Patti Larson a mother and author, about her experiences while being pregnant and the help she received with Chiropractic care. She began the story by explaining the emotions she and her husband experienced when she found out for sure she was pregnant.
As a woman in her mid-30s having her first baby, she described her concerns and questions by asking, "When will morning sickness start? How long will I be able to work? Will I make it through delivery with little pain and swearing?" She also noted that her diet and sleep habits were good, but although she had great intentions, her exercise regime was less than desirable.
She did however, mention the one thing she saw as a big factor in helping her. "What ultimately saved me from suffering undue tiredness, aches and stress from my ballooning body shape and shifting hormones was chiropractic care." She continued, "I already made regular visits to my chiropractor prior to pregnancy, so it seemed natural to continue. My chiropractor recommended I continue with weekly visits, adding that I should come in more often if I felt I needed it."
Dr. Jeff Ptak, her chiropractor in Santa Monica, Calif., explained why chiropractic care made such a positive difference, during her pregnancy. "Chiropractic care addresses the functioning nervous system," he said. "When the nervous system is not unduly stressed from environmental factors – physical, emotional or chemical stress – the body will work according to its unique genetic plan. A stressful birth will stress all parties involved and remain until the nervous system stress is cleared. Chiropractic, by allowing the body to handle stress, helps expecting mothers, new mothers and their newborn children handle life with greater ease."
Leslie Stewart, a certified nurse-midwife also agrees. "Chiropractic care can actually help with labor. Some women who run past their due date have used treatment to help start labor, rather than having a hospital induce them."
The article author, Patti Larson, noted that she not only continued care through her pregnancy, but also after the birth of her daughter Madeline. She concluded the article by saying, "Madeline received regular adjustments her second week after entering the world. She never had colic, ear infections, colds or any symptoms of sickness throughout her first 12 months of life when children are often most susceptible. Some people cringe when I tell them she sees a chiropractor, yet everyone agrees that she is one of the most alert, active babies they have ever seen. Some say I'm lucky, but I tell them it's really very simple – just stay well adjusted!"

Pregnancy and Chiropractic

In the October 8, 2002 issue of the online magazine "The Beacon Journal" at, appears a story with the simple headline, "Adjusting baby". The story talks about pregnant women's success in going to chiropractors as part of their care. The article states that many women who go to chiropractors during pregnancy do so for back pain related issues. The misconception is that we treat pain,' says Dr. Joseph Medina, an Ohio chiropractor. "My job in health care is to find pressure that's in the spinal column and take it off. When I do that, back pain tends to clear up."

Additionally, the article highlights that more women are going to chiropractors for a procedure known as the Webster technique. This technique is specifically intended to help women who have a breech pregnancy when the baby should be positioned with the head downward. Dr. Jeanne Ohm, a chiropractor from Philadelphia and executive coordinator and instructor for the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, described the Webster technique this way: "It's a specific chiropractic adjustment that removes interferences of the nervous system, balances out pelvic muscles and ligaments, which in turn removes constraint to the woman's uterus and allows the baby to get into the best possible position for birth."

The article ended with a response from the patient who originally went to the chiropractor for the pain she was experiencing. Her comments about her results were, "In the morning, my back would hurt so bad it would be hard to walk," she stated. "Now it's not bad at all. I really think it's helping."

Pregnancy and Chiropractic 2

Numerous articles and reports have been in the press recently on chiropractic care for pregnant women. One such news story appeared April 16, 2003 on the NBC TV affiliate from Providence, Rhode Island. The news report by Health Check 10 Reporter Barbara Morse, started by featuring one woman Lee Ann, who recalled having severe pain during her pregnancy by saying, "Pelvic pain, mostly the bone. It felt like something was digging in to my bone. The doctors told me there was nothing they could do."

Lee Ann then learned that chiropractic care was available at the medical facility, Women and Infants' Hospital. At this facility, she sought the services of Dr. Ron Tyszkowski, a chiropractor at Women and Infants' Hospital. "Chiropractic is an option for them and the doctors that are on staff at Women and Infants' use specific safe techniques for pregnant women that are gentle, natural and do a really effective job of controlling those symptoms," Dr. Tyszkowski said.

The story also highlighted another chiropractic success story of a woman named Lucia. She recalled, "Where I was living during the pregnancy, I had two flights of stairs I had to go up all the time. It got to the point I could barely carry my son up the stairs." She described the outcome of the chiropractic care by saying, "I probably couldn't have gotten through it without it."

On their website,, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) has many articles on chiropractic care during pregnancy. The articles state that a growing number of pregnant women are turning to holistic therapies, including chiropractic. Researchers at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School pooled data on 463 women who had recently given birth. In total, 31.3% of subjects used at least one type of complementary care during their pregnancies. Specifically, 5.2% visited a chiropractor; 2.8% had acupuncture or acupressure and 2.8% took vitamin supplements. 5.8% tried alternative techniques (biofeedback, meditation, yoga, tai chi, mental healing, imagery, Reiki, therapeutic touch, dance, reflex, art and aroma therapies); 24.2% used natural therapies (teas, herbs, oils and foods used for medicinal purposes). According to another study reported on the ICPA website, 82 certified nurse-midwives in North Carolina were surveyed about chiropractic care. The results showed that 57.3% of midwives participating in this survey recommending chiropractic to their patients.

ICPA Board member, Dr. Jeanne Ohm, sums up the benefits by saying, "Chiropractic care is essential for the pregnant mother. Her systems and organs are now providing for two and their optimal function is critical for the baby's healthy development. The mother's spine and pelvis undergoes many changes and adaptations to compensate for the growing baby and the risk of interference to her nervous system is increased. Specific chiropractic care throughout pregnancy works with enhancing nervous system function providing greater health potential for both the mother and baby."

Pregnancy and Subluxations
Consider the following aspects of pregnancy that lead to subluxation;

  • Rapid increase/decrease in weight
  • Postural changes
  • Changes in sleep patterns & positions
  • Altered appetite and eating habits
  • Loosening of body ligaments to allow for growth/labor
  • Flat feet/pronation due to weight gain/loose ligaments
  • Emotional changes (hormonal shifts/new family stress)

***** (Many of these affect Dad-to-be too!!!!)
- All of the above and more can cause subluxation, and this doesn't even include any of the numerous changes Mom & Dad will both experience after the arrival of the "Little Miracle."

Remember, the subluxations you have during pregnancy don't just affect you! They affect your unborn baby too!! Your baby needs your nerve system to be fully functioning in order to develop correctly.
- Studies have shown that women who have consistent chiropractic care throughout their pregnancies have shorter and less painful labors with fewer complications and fewer interventions.

- Of course, techniques are very different for pregnant women, and we are specially trained in this office to insure you the safest and best possible care throughout your pregnancy.

Minimizing your subluxations before, during and after your pregnancy will allow you, your husband and your new babies every possible advantage!

Pregnancy Articles

In a story from the "Chiropractic News Service" it was noted that federal health officials reported the rate at which American women die from pregnancy and childbirth complications hasn't changed in 15 years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) maternal deaths occurred at a rate of seven or eight per 100,000 live births every year from 1982 to 1996. The CDC also said half of all such deaths are preventable.

Similar to infant mortality, maternal deaths are used as a measure of a country's overall health. In some developing nations, maternal death rates are as high as 1,700 per 100,000 births. In other countries, such as Norway and Switzerland, maternal deaths occur at about half the U.S. rate.

Researchers said such deaths are rare enough that many doctors may not notice the problem. The CDC identified maternal deaths by looking at death certificates. However, some researchers said such deaths are under reported and the actual rates could be three times higher.

More than half of maternal deaths are caused by bleeding, infection, pregnancy-induced high blood pressure and tubal pregnancies, complications that can be prevented or treated with early diagnosis, the CDC said.

The CDC also reported that differences in maternal deaths between black and white women indicate room for improvement. It found that maternal deaths of black women ranged from 18 to 22 per 100,000 births, compared with five to six deaths per 100,000 births for white women.

Midwife Deliveries Safer

In a related story from the Washington Post, results from a new federal study found babies delivered by certified nurse midwives were significantly less likely to die than those delivered by physicians. The study conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, and published in the Journal of Epidemiological and Community Health, was the first to compare infant mortality rate between physician attended births and those births attended by nurse midwives. After ruling our other outside factors, the study looked at 3.9 millions births in 1991. Results showed a 19% lower infant mortality rate for births attended by nurse midwives than those attended by physicians. In addition when the births were attended by nurse midwives, deaths that occur within the first 28 days of life were 33% lower, and the incidence of low birth-weight babies was 31 percent lower.

Authors of the study, and researchers, Marion F. MacDorman and Gopal K. Singh noted that part of the reason may be that the physicians care may be more "episodic" or transient, while the nurse midwives spend more time with the women in prenatal care and during labor.


Resources for a healthy pregnancy, birth and baby


Excellent local Doula



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