Less Back Pain During Pregnancy in Women Receiving Chiropractic and Massage
Patients & Friends,
Pregnancy is one of the most exciting and beautiful seasons of life, and having an enjoyable pregnancy is priceless.
Unfortunately, perhaps 35% of pregnancies are accompanied by unwelcome moderate to severe back pain that can be disabling. The good news is that studies of chiropractic care for pregnancy suggest it is a promising and safe treatment.
There are compelling reasons to consider specialist chiropractic care for moderate to severe back pain during pregnancy. Not the lease of which is that two thirds of women who have this condition develop recurring back pain that affects their health years later.
Women with back pain tend not to walk or exercise, leaving them prone to developing osteoporosis, Type II Diabetes, heart disease, stroke or breast cancer. Hence, lack of activity may be the most devastating side effect of back pain during pregnancy, and it most often extends into later life.
In contrast, gravid women who receive chiropractic care have less pain and disability and are more likely to be satisfied with their treatment, than patients who receive usual medical care. Further, half of gravid patients are better or much better after just a week of chiropractic, and by a month three quarters feel that much improvement. The improvement continues even 3, 6 and 12-months later for 9 in 10 women. There is evidence chiropractor treated patients have better sleep quality, and perhaps even faster labor and delivery times, than patients not receiving chiropractic.
Despite good modern research suggesting chiropractic is both effective and safe for pregnancy related back pain, only 1 in 4 women use alternative medicine, massage or chiropractic for their pain.
Tell your friends and loved ones about the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy. Women are unable to take most medications during pregnancy, and other invasive treatments for back pain can be harmful to both the mother and fetus. In contrast, chiropractic offers a safe approach to care, that may have lasting consequences.
Robert A. Leach, DC, MS, FICC(h), CHES
In a sample of 4400 randomly selected South Australian households personally interviewed, 1,531 women (70% response rate) completed the interview. 35% of women reported moderately severe back pain during their pregnancy. Bed rest, medications, physiotherapy and chiropractic were most often used to treat their pain, while half the subjects used no treatment. Of those who experienced pain, 67% continued to report recurring low back pain that they indicated reduced their health, suggesting an impact on long-term morbidity: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12495090
In a prospective cohort of 115 pregnancies published in 2014, patient’s impression of change, pain ratings, and Oswestry ratings of disability revealed 52% were better or much better after just one week of chiropractic. After 1 month 70% of patients were improved, and by 3 months 85% continued better or much better; improvement that was maintained at 6 months (90%) and at one year (88%) in a study by chiropractic scientists Peterson, Muhlemann and Humphreys at the Department of Chiropractic Medicine, Orthopaedic University Hospital, Balgrist, University of Zurich, Switzerland: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24690125
A review published in the August 2014 issue of the Journal of Advances in Nursing, scientists reported that international research demonstrates that between 25-30% of women use complementary and alternative medicine, including chiropractic, to manage low back and pelvic pain in pregnancy, and that there is robust evidence demonstrating its effectiveness: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24605910
A review in the September 2013 issue of the Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association found that exercise, massage and acupuncture were associated with improved sleep quality during pregnancy. However, the authors said quality of the research was low, and they said further high quality research was indicated: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23997252
A pilot study of 57 pregnant patients in 2012 found that subjects randomized to exercise or chiropractic had better improvement in both function and decreasing pain, compared with patients randomized to Neuro-Emotional Technique, but further research is needed to verify the results: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22694756
During childbirth, women who had an epidural for analgesia were 2-4 times less satisfied with the birth experience, compared with women who used nitrous oxide, bathing, breathing techniques, and massage: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25998874
A study of 1,835 women reported in the April 2015 issue of Midwifery, reported that women who used massage and breathing technique for pain control during delivery increased the likelihood of women continuing breastfeeding, while use of epidural as well as instrumental childbirth increased the likelihood of their baby being admitted to special care nursery: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25649472
In a review of literature from 1978 through 2009, there was no evidence of significant harms to pregnant patients treated for low back pain by chiropractic or spinal manipulation, while only a few cases of serious harms were reported after neck treatment, despite use of chiropractic by perhaps many millions of women in various countries through those same years: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22455720