Can a Pregnant Woman Get a Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractor adjusting woman's spine
Chiropractor adjusting woman’s spine

Chiropractic care is the health maintenance of the neuromusculoskeletal system without the use of drugs or surgery. It focuses on correcting abnormalities in the the spinal column and disks and related nerves through manipulative adjustments in these structures.

The chiropractic profession holds that general health and well being is a function of a healthy nervous system and chiropractic care can help in many areas of human health care, including in women pregnancy.

Not only chiropractic professionals promote chiropractic care for pregnant women. Even the American Pregnancy Society, a non-profit organization that promotes pregnancy wellness and increases the awareness of pregnancy needs, is a proponent of chiropractic care for pregnant women.

Chiropractic Care for Pregnant Women

Chiropractic care can be applied to pregnant women throughout their pregnancy and there are no known contraindications to it. The Doctors of Chiropractic are well trained in the care of pregnant women. One of their major interests is fertility and pregnancy wellness of women and some take advanced training in prenatal and postnatal care.

Chiropractors who are trained to work with pregnant women may have special tables suited for the pregnant woman’s body.  They also apply special techniques to avoid unnecessary stress on her abdomen.

Additionally, chiropractors who are trained in the needs of pregnant women may provide appropriate exercises for her, depending on the stage of her pregnancy period. Chiropractors may also advise her on proper nutrition, another focus area of chiropractic practitioners.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care

Physiological and endocrinological changes happen to a woman’s body to prepare it for creating an environment for developing baby. This includes pelvic changes, protruding abdomen, increased back curve, and postural adaptations.  With these changes are the increased risks of misaligned spine or joints and decreased pelvic balance or misaligned pelvis.

A misaligned pelvis can bring serious implications. It may restrict the amount of room available for the developing baby and may cause the mother’s inability to have normal delivery.

Chiropractic professionals will use a special method to bring about balance in the pelvis of the expectant mother. This method, called Webster technique, developed by the late Larry Webster, D.C., founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA), has been proven to provide balanced state in the pelvis and facilitate optimal fetal positioning.

Fifty percent of all pregnant women are most likely to suffer from back pain at some point during their pregnancies. Chiropractic adjustments have been proven safe and effective in providing pregnant women relief from low back pain. No drugs and surgical procedures are introduced in the course of the chiropractic treatment.

Chiropractic care is helpful even during the post-natal period. It can treat joint problems that result from the loosening up of the ligaments during the pregnancy period.  Joint problem should ideally be treated before the ligaments tighten up back again to the pre-pregnancy state.

With more and more people being educated on the benefits of chiropractic care, it is gradually being adopted and embraced by patients with different healthcare needs, including pregnant women.

 

Tips for a Healthy Spine

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Eighty to ninety percent of the population will have an episode of spinal pain at some point in their life. Most prone to spinal pain are obese and overweight people, those whose work entails carrying heavy loads, smokers, and people who had suffered from back pain in the past.

People who suffer from back pain, especially long-term, are generally less healthy compared to those who have healthy spine. Aside from the pain they undergo, they are also generally less productive. They have to take time-off from work every now and then especially when the pain becomes unbearable and during treatment time. They also have to spend substantial amount on medical expenses such as on doctor’s fees and medications.

It is important for you to keep your spine healthy and in the best condition to avoid spinal pain. Care for your spine could be taken through proper posture and observing some pointers with regards to some body movements such as lifting and carrying weights, bending and lying in bed and other health precautions.

Posture – Standing

  • Take the pressure off your back by keeping one foot slightly in front of the other and your knees slightly bent when you stand.
  • Avoid bending from your waist for prolonged periods as the muscles in your low back may be deconditioned and pain may ensue.

Posture – Sitting

  • Be conscious about trying to maintain the natural spine curvature in your low back.
  • In the sitting position, it is best that your knees are slightly higher than your hips, while your head is up and your back straight.
  • Avoid slouching.

Lifting

  • Never twist when lifting. Many cases of slipped disk are caused by twisting especially when lifting.
  • Pushing a heavy load is easier on your back than lifting. When doing this, try to use your legs, not your back.
  • Get help when you cannot avoid lifting a heavy item.

Carrying

  • Keep object to be carried, especially if it is heavy, as close to your body as possible.
  • Halving the load into two smaller items and carrying them – one in each hand – is easier to manage than a single large item.

Bending and Reaching

  • Use a stool when reaching for an object above shoulder level.
  • When picking items up from the floor, do not bend over at the waist.
  • The proper way to do this is to kneel down on one knee, and with the other foot flat on the floor, pick up the item.
  • The other proper way to pick an item up from the floor is bend at the knees, and lift with your legs, not with your back.

Sleeping

  • Avoid sleeping on your back as it puts substantial pressure – about 50 pounds – on your spine.
  • If you must sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees.
  • Lying on your side with a pillow between you knees is an acceptable position.
  • Find the best position your body will tell you.

Diet and Health

  • Maintain your weight at the ideal level. Extra body weight puts undue strain on your spine.
  • Belly fat puts unwanted pressure on your back’s muscles, tendons and ligaments.
  • Eat a healthy diet and do regular exercise to reduce weight.
  • Quit smoking. Smokers feel more spine pain than non-smokers. Chemicals in tobacco smoke impede the flow of blood to the tissues around your spine.

These are simple and mostly common-sense advice we should strive to follow to help us keep our spine in the best shape, prevent spine pain from coming and ultimately enjoy a healthier life.

What is a Whiplash?

 

Driver Suffering From Whiplash After Traffic Collision

Whiplash is injuries of the neck caused by a sudden and violent jolting of the neck in one direction to the other. The action is similar to that of a whip, hence the generic term whiplash. An example happens in a vehicular accident. Upon impact of the vehicle to another vehicle or object, the passenger’s neck will have a sudden backward-then-forward movement, resulting in whiplash. Although motor vehicle accidents are the most common causes of whiplash, it may also come from falls, work injuries, sports injuries and other similar incidents.

Effects of Whiplash

Whiplash usually results in the sprain of the neck. The ligaments surrounding the vertebrae are torn or sprained. These ligaments are what protect, support and prevent excessive movement of the vertebrae beyond their normal limits. Facet joints, the joints at the back of the spine, are particularly prone to whiplash injury. In a whiplash, the muscles and tendons are likewise strained. The disks between the vertebrae may be torn also, potentially resulting to herniation. Additionally, the nerve roots between vertebral bones maybe strained and become inflamed. Extreme cases of vertebral bones fracturing also do occur in a whiplash.

Treatment of Whiplash

It may sound strange but staying active is one of the important aspects in the management of whiplash. The only exception to this is when the patient’s injuries render him immobile.  The patient should not be worried that his condition will aggravate with more movements, provided he exercises normal caution and follows the doctor’s advice on the limits of physical exercises and stretching he can do. It is important to adhere to the program that the doctor will prescribe to achieve the best results towards healing.

Application of ice or heat, or both is commonly done to help alleviate pain and reduce spasm that result from the injury. Other techniques used in physical therapy may help but they should not be relied upon to completely replace a program of physical activity, exercise and stretching.

Chiropractic treatment employing spinal manipulations and mobilization has been found to be effective in providing relief from pain for the patient in many cases.

Prevention

Whiplash, being a result or effect of an accident that we do not have control over, cannot be prevented.

We can, however, do a few actions that may help mitigate or minimize the effects of whiplash. In a motor vehicle, always wear body-restraining lap or shoulder belts and adjust headrest to the appropriate position. Wear necessary personal protective equipment or gears at work and in contact and extreme sports.

Knowledge of injuries is helpful to guide us in coping with them when we encounter them personally ourselves, or in our family. It is important to seek professional help in these instances for the most effective treatment program and let you go through the trauma positively.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Your Health

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Chiropractic care adheres to its philosophy that maintaining nerve health can boost the body’s natural healing ability and that most illnesses and body disorders may be linked to abnormality in the nerve system.  The millions of health cases worldwide successfully treated through chiropractic care are testimonials to the effectiveness of chiropractic care. And if you analyze the data from the documented records of successful chiropractic care cases, it will be very easy to agree that chiropractic care encompasses the whole realm of health care.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care has been proven effective in pain management, foremost of which, is in back pain, the most prevalent of all types of body pains. Chiropractic has also helped in the successful treatment of neck pain, shoulder pain, muscle and joint pain, and pain in the connective tissues like tendon, ligaments and cartilages.

Other common conditions where chiropractic treatments have been proven effective include:

  • Disorders in the musculoskeletal system like spinal misalignment and slipped disk
  • Osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, arthritis, spasms, numbness in arms and hands
  • Migraines and headaches – Chiropractic has the ability to help cure, prevent and ease the discomfort of people from these conditions.
  • Colic and ear infections – Chiropractic adjustments have been reported to greatly reduce colic symptoms and resolve ear infections after a few visits for treatment.
  • Sciatica – Tests reported a 72% success rate in treating this disorder. This compares with 20% and 50% success rates from physical therapy and corticosteroid injections, respectively.
  • Blood pressure – Chiropractic adjustments has resulted in bringing the blood pressures of hypertensive and hypotensive patients to normal levels.
  • Frozen shoulder – This is a debilitating condition where patients have been reported to respond to chiropractic care.
  • Whiplash and other injuries from sports and vehicle accident – In many cases, spinal manipulations and mobilization have been effective in providing pain relief for patients.
  • Scoliosis – Combined with muscular rehabilitation technique, chiropractic adjustments has been reported to have, in one case, prevented the progression of scoliosis. Reports of pain reduction capability of chiropractic adjustments are numerous.

Chiropractic can treat the gamut of health disorders and symptoms associated with spinal nerve interference such as:

  • Common ailments as colds, sore throat, hoarseness, tonsillitis, laryngitis, dizziness, chronic fatigue, and allergies
  • Vision problems
  • Respiratory conditions such as asthma, pneumonia, and bronchitis
  • Heart conditions
  • Liver conditions
  • Kidney and gall bladder conditions
  • Conditions of the digestive organs such as gas pains, gastritis, diarrhea and constipation
  • Skin conditions such as acne and pimples
  • Sterility or fertility problems

The one common theme in all these is that nerves control practically all of the body functions and any anomaly in the nerves can impact the functions of any part of the body.

Studies have also shown that chiropractic care can:

  • Improve circulation
  • Boost the immune system
  • Enhance pulmonary function and increase delivery of oxygen and nutrients
  • Relieve muscle tension and increase flexibility
  • Reduce soreness, muscle spasms, and pain
  • Reduce recovery time
  • Reduce chance of injury
  • Decrease oxidative and mental stress and help the body to relax and repair
  • Naturally increase energy level

Chiropractic care’s effectiveness in the treatment of a wide range of illnesses and health disorders cannot be overemphasized. Its benefits are not just confined to the area of the body under treatment but extend beyond, to enhance overall bodily function.

Chiropractic and Neck Pain

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Many people associate chiropractic adjustments with the treatment of just lower back pain.  They maybe convinced that chiropractic adjustment is effective in reducing or eliminating back pain, but does it work with neck pain?

The spine of your body consists of 26 vertebral bones from the base of the skull or cervix down to the rectum or tailbone area. Seven of these vertebral bones are the tiny cervical vertebrae in the neck area. They are also referred to as the cervical spine. It is amazing how the small bones in your necks can support your head, which weighs an average of 12 pounds.  The neck is flexible and can move to almost all directions. The neck’s flexibility makes it very susceptible to injuries and pain. Many activities and other factors can harm the neck, for example, repetitive movement, extended sitting, falls, blows to the head, accidents, and aging. Neck pain can bring much discomfort and can affect our work and life.

Causes of Neck Pain

The following are some of the causes of neck pain:

Repetitive movements especially of the neck and head for an extended period of time, as in some exercises, and twisted position of the neck during sleeping cause strain to the the affected muscles in the neck. Sitting for extended periods of time does not engage the vertebral muscles and bones and slows body metabolism.

Injury from Falls and Accidents

A sudden and violent movement of the head and neck in one direction will cause them to rebound in the opposite direction, injuring the tissues supporting them. This injury is called whiplash and can also cause muscle fatigue resulting in pain. Although whiplash affects the neck and head primarily, it can also bring injury to the surrounding joints, disks, muscles ligaments and nerve roots in the vertebrae.

Aging

Growing old causes degenerative disorders such as spinal ostenosis, osteoarthritis, and degenerative disk disease that have direct impact to the spine. Osteoarthritis, a joint disease, causes progressive deterioration of the cartilage. Spinal stenosis causes the narrowing of nerve passage in the vertebrae, resulting to pain in the neck, shoulder and arm. Degenerative disk disease, caused by the reduction of the elasticity and height of intervertebral disks may result in disk herniation leading to numbness and pain along the areas of the spine and into the arm.

Weak abdominal muscles from poor posture and obesity y upset spinal balance that will cause the neck to bend forward to compensate for it. Postural stress can result to neck pain and may even extend to the upper back and arms.

Chiropractic Care for Neck Pain

In a chiropractic visit for neck pain treatment, the chiropractor will ask you questions to help identify the factors leading to and the cause of your back pain. After that, the chiropractic doctor will perform physical and neurological examinations to observe and note the movements that cause pain. An x-ray may be conducted to diagnose conditions of your neck and spine. A few other tests, such as computerized axial tomography (CAT) or magnetic resonance imaging test (MRI) to check disk bulge or herniation may be done.

Cervical adjustments or manipulation will be performed by the chiropractor to correct abnormalities in the cervical spine or the neck. This precise manual procedure aims to improve the mobility and range of motion of the spine and the adjoining muscles.

The chiropractor’s treatment and follow up plan will prescribe a complete care program that will include the frequency and manner of treatment in your subsequent visits, as necessary.

After one or a number of chiropractic sessions, patients typically notice significant improvements in their ability to turn and tilt the head, and relief from neck pain, and conditions like stiffness and soreness.

Effective Ways to Prevent Neck Pain

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Next to back pain, neck pain is most troubling. It causes a lot of discomfort and upsets our normal work. In some cases, neck pain may go away after a few days of applying home remedy. The more severe ones are chronic and you may need professional help to reduce the pain or drive it away for good.

Your neck’s flexibility makes it susceptible to injury and pain. Neck pain is usually caused by sprains and injuries around your cervical spine – in the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Many of the activities you do can lead to having neck pain.

Causes of Neck Pain

Some of the causes of neck pain are:

  • Repetitive movements of the head and neck for a long time straining the muscles and joints
  • Twisted position of the neck during sleeping, usually when sleeping on your abdomen
  • Sitting for a long time stalling the vertebral muscles and bones and slowing body metabolism
  • Injury from car accidents and sports and falls resulting in whiplash and other injuries
  • Aging leading to the deterioration of the bones and joints
  • Poor posture and obesity causing weak abdominal muscles, upsetting spinal balance and making the head to tilt forward to compensate

Effective Tips to Prevent Neck Pain

We can prevent neck pain by observing the following tips:

  • Use cervical or orthopedic type of pillows when sleeping. These pillows are designed to provide full support to the space under your head and under the neck.
  • Sleep on your back. This is the finest position for your spine to rest. Avoid turning your neck and head and neck to just one side by using a pillow 4 to 6 inches high.
  • When working on your computer, position the computer screen directly eye-level. Additionally, sit comfortably with your back pressed against the back rest.
  • Do neck strengthening and stretching exercises to keep your neck muscles strong.
  • Use telephone headset especially when talking on the phone for a long time.
  • Drink plenty of water regularly. Water, mostly, make up the disks between your vertebrae in your spine.
  • Avoid carrying heavy weight. Also carry weight evenly on your two shoulders.
  • Maintain god posture. The advantage of proper posture cannot be overemphasized in maintaining healthy postural muscles and associated muscles and joints.
  • Avoid injuries from accident by being safety-conscious and prudent.

Through observing proper personal health care and maintenance and exercising prudence, we can have strong muscles and body and avoid the detrimental effects of physical abuse such as neck pain. It is our own personal responsibility.