Chiropractic & Pregnancy

At least 50% of pregnant women will experience back pain, with many suffering from severe discomfort that impacts their activities of daily living. Pregnancy-related back pain can be multi-factorial and rarely only has one cause. Back pain, wrist pain and leg cramps are the most common complaints reported.

The average healthy weight gain is approximately 11.5 to 16 kg, most of which is around the abdomen adding a significant frontal load. The added weight puts stress on the back, hips, knees and feet/ankles. Additional weight can lead to altered posture and biomechanics as we change the way we sleep, stand, and move during pregnancy. As the baby grows and the uterus expands, the abdominal muscles also stretch and lose their ability to support as they did. The change in posture, shifting forward, may cause pain and discomfort specifically in the lower back.

During the third trimester, levels of the hormone “relaxin” increase and contribute to the loosening of joints in order for the pelvis to accommodate for the enlarged uterus, the baby and later birth. However, the loosening of joints can decrease joint stability and further alter posture. Other structures including musculature may be taxed, resulting in a predisposition to pain and injury. This may result in back pain.

Chiropractors provide conservative care including spinal manipulation, mobilization of joints and soft tissue therapy which relieve back and pelvic pain and may improve function during pregnancy and after birth. Chiropractors can also recommend exercises to help rehabilitate postural changes and stretches to help prepare your body for the baby’s delivery. As part of a comprehensive plan of management, chiropractic treatment can help manage quicker recovery and address post-natal biomechanical complaints and rehabilitation.

Who Are Chiropractors?

Chiropractors in Australia are nationally registered and regulated healthcare professionals. Chiropractic is a drug and surgery free modality of treatment concerned with the diagnosis, management and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system; this includes the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health. It is based on the teachings of Galen and Hippocrates and the premise that the body can respond appropriately to its environment provided that the nervous system is free of interference. This was further developed by Palmer which led to a focus on the spinal column and its functioning. In summary, chiropractors focus on the detection and correction of aberrant spinal function and its subsequent effect on how the nervous system controls and coordinates the body.

Australian chiropractors are highly qualified healthcare professionals who study at university for a minimum of five years, and there is growing research and evidence base not only in Australia but through international federations. As with other healthcare professions, there are internationally and nationally recognised standards of qualification to enable practice in Australia and this is part of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme.

The chiropractic techniques used in our centre to optimize your health will vary depending on which approach we feel will best suit each individual. The methods incorporated may include low force (no sound), instrument assisted (activator, blocks, drop table) and manual adjustment techniques.

Chiropractic and children

Chiropractors provide patient-centred care and work in partnership with the consumers of chiropractic services. This includes using shared decision making through the informed consent process and using communication strategies that are tailored to the needs and preferences of the patient. Good clinical decision making takes account of patients’ preferences and values, clinicians values and experiences to provide treatment that maximises benefit with minimum risk of harm. This includes referral to other healthcare providers when indicated to ensure the best and most appropriate treatment and health outcome.

The typical chiropractic care of infants and young children involves the use of low-force low-amplitude techniques in contrast to those used on the adult population that typically involve more high velocity, low-amplitude thrust in combination with a variety of low-force low-amplitude treatment procedures.

Published studies and reports through the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme show that chiropractic is a low risk health modality. While chiropractic treatment is generally considered safe, occasionally it may cause adverse reactions in some people. Similar techniques by other practitioner groups who have the ability to practise restricted acts as defined by law, also demonstrate low risk and harm.

Evolve Chiropractic and Wellbeing uses The Well Kids Program; a premium paediatric chiropractic program which implements detailed age specific examinations, monitors and measures health improvements, and provides parents with comprehensive and specific health reports for their children.

Chiropractors are educated to modify spinal manual therapy to suit the age and presenting condition of a patient.