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Introduction: Chiropractic care is one of the newer concepts and treatment modalities available to women in coping with the physical stresses of pregnancy, other than pharmacotherapy. Chiropractic care can help to increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy and can ease labour. Therefore midwives in clinical practice may find it useful to know the basic facts about chiropractic care in order to increase awareness of options in midwifery and inter-professional acceptance of chiropractors. Methods: An integrative review was conducted using a multimodal search of databases such as CINAHL, Science Direct, SCOPUS, PubMed and Cochrane. Results: Twelve studies met the inclusion criteria and findings suggest that chiropractic care is beneficial to pregnant women with back pain and mal-presentation during labour. Conclusion: Although there is still limited empirical research about chiropractic care in midwifery practice, the available studies showed that chiropractic treatment can offer women relief from musculoskeletal complaints. To this end, midwives should be educated and given opportunities to learn chiropractic skills to aid the comfort of mothers during pregnancy.
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98 AFRICAN JOURNAL OF MIDWIFERY AND WOMEN’S HEALTH, APRIL–JUNE 2012, VOL 6, NO 2
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Chiropractic care in women's health:
A midwifery perspective
By Shanthi Ramasubramaniam, Rhoda Suubi Muliira, Vidya Seshan, Judith Noronha and Savithri Raman
Chiropractic' comes from the Greek word for
'being done by hand', and is grounded in the
principle that the body can heal itself when the
skeletal system is correctly aligned and the nervous system is
functioning properly (Leach, 2004). Chiropractors use the
nervous system to channel electrical impulses of 'intelligence'
to all systems and functions of the body, thus maintaining a
state of homeostasis and balance (Ohm, 2001). Mechanical
pressure on the nervous system by the bones of the cranium
and spine may interfere with this normal transmission of
'intelligence' and result in a state of disease (Leach, 2004).
Chiropractors call this mechanical pressure on a nerve by the
spine 'vertebral subluxation'. The specific chiropractic adjust-
ment removes the pressure from the nervous system, restoring
the pathways of transmission and therefore allowing for bet-
ter overall function of the body (Ohm, 2001).
Regular chiropractic care can be an integral part of prenatal
and postpartum care during pregnancy. It helps keep women
feeling good and assists them in coping with the physical
stresses of an ever-changing body (Borggren, 2007). Statistics
shown in one study state that there was a 25% reduction in the
average labour times in those receiving chiropractic care versus
the generally accepted average labour time, and for women
who had given birth in the past, there was a 33% reduction
in average labour time (Fallon, 1994). Similarly, Ohm (2004)
reported that women who received prenatal chiropractic care
reported less morning sickness and short labours. Another study
found that women who underwent chiropractic care during
their pregnancy reported easier and less painful deliveries, with
less need for medical intervention and medication (Borggren,
2007). Berg et al (1988) identified that seven out of ten women
were helped by spinal manipulation of the sacroiliac joints of
the pelvis (frequently 'adjusted' by chiropractors), which is
responsible for the majority of low back pain cases in pregnancy.
Chiropractic care can decrease a woman’s chance of a
traumatic birth and injury to her cranium, spine and nervous
system (Bucher, 2010). It also can reduce the risk of shoulder
dystocia, a life threatening situation in which the baby’s shoul-
ders get stuck behind the mother’s cervix after the head has
delivered (Alcantara et al, 2009). Chiropractic treatment helps
with optimal fetal positioning by helping the pelvis to be sym-
metrical (Bucher, 2010). This in turn helps the uterus to be
more symmetrical and adjustments can help the baby to fit into
the brim better and engage in time to help stimulate cervical
ripening. Adjustments also make the pelvis more flexible so that
pelvic joints move more easily in labour (Bucher, 2010).
A chiropractic adjustment technique called the Webster
technique is a specific sacral adjustment to help facilitate the
mother's pelvic alignment and nerve system function (Bucher,
2010). This in turn balances pelvic muscles and ligaments,
reducing torsion on the uterus and offers a greater potential for
optimal fetal positioning (Ohm, 2001). Originally the Webster
technique was used in management of breech presentations
and posterior presentations but current research has revealed
that using the Webster technique throughout pregnancy can
prevent dystocia (Borggren, 2007). Another technique called
the Bagnell technique focuses on spinal alignment and reliev-
ing spasms (Bagnell and Gardner-Bagnell, 1999). Evidence has
shown that this technique has saved hundreds of women from a
mandatory caesarean section due to the baby's position through
safe and effective (Bagnell and Gardner-Bagnell, 1999).
Many nurse-midwives who are aware of chiropractic care
have recommended women to go for chiropractic care to
address complaints such as neuro-musculoskeletal complaints,
sciatica pains and fetal malposition (Allaire et al, 2000; Mullin
et al, 2011). A survey conducted of midwives and nurse-mid-
wives on their use of complementary and alternative medicine
(CAM) therapies by Bayles (2007) found that chiropractic
treatment was the most popular CAM therapy to address mus-
Shanthi Ramasubramaniam is Lecturer, Rhoda Suubi Muliira is
Lecturer, Vidya Seshan is Lecturer, Judith Noronha is Head of
Department and Savithri Raman is Lecturer, College of Nursing,
Sultan Qaboos University, Sultanate of Oman
Abstract
Introduction: Chiropractic care is one of the newer concepts
and treatment modalities available to women in coping with the
physical stresses of pregnancy, other than pharmacotherapy.
Chiropractic care can help to increase the chances of a healthy
pregnancy and can ease labour. Therefore midwives in clinical
practice may find it useful to know the basic facts about
chiropractic care in order to increase awareness of options in
midwifery and inter-professional acceptance of chiropractors.
Methods: An integrative review was conducted using a multimodal
search of databases such as CINAHL, Science Direct, SCOPUS,
PubMed and Cochrane. Results: Twelve studies met the inclusion
criteria and findings suggest that chiropractic care is beneficial
to pregnant women with back pain and mal-presentation during
labour. Conclusion: Although there is still limited empirical
research about chiropractic care in midwifery practice, the
available studies showed that chiropractic treatment can offer
women relief from musculoskeletal complaints. To this end,
midwives should be educated and given opportunities to learn
chiropractic skills to aid the comfort of mothers during pregnancy.
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AFRICAN JOURNAL OF MIDWIFERY AND WOMEN’S HEALTH, APRIL–JUNE 2012, VOL 6, NO 2 99
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Table 1. Summary of literature focusing on chiropractice care during pregnancy
Study Participants Setting Interventions Outcome
Allaire
et al (2000)
Licensed certified
nurse-midwives
in North Carolina
(n = 120)
North Carolina,
USA
Certified nurse-midwives were sur-
veyed concerning recommendations
for use of CAM for pregnant and
postpartum patients
Certified nurse-midwives reported pre-
scribing CAM therapies including
chiropractic care in 57.3%, of cases
and especially herbal therapy for
pregnant women in North Carolina
Pistolese
(2002)
International
Chiropractic
Pediatric Association
chiropractors
(n = 187)
Throughout USA
and Canada
Chiropractors were surveyed regard-
ing the use of the Webster technique
for managing the musculoskeletal
causes of intrauterine constraints
Surveyed chiropractors reported a high
rate of success (82%) using Webster
technique in relieving musculoskeletal
causes of intrauterine constraints
Wang et al
(2005)
Pregnant women
and prenatal health
providers (nurse
educators, nurse-
midwives and obste-
tricians) (n = 950)
New Haven,
Connecticut, USA
To identify common treatments used
for low back pain during pregnancy
The survey study found that both
providers of prenatal health care and
pregnant women are likely to use CAM
therapy treatments for pregnancy-
induced low back pain
Ducar and
Skaggs
(2005)
A pregnant woman
with groin pain in
pregnancy
Musculoskeletal
pain in pregnancy
clinic (MSPP),
St. Louis, Missouri,
USA
Active release technique (ART) to left
hamstring, left dorsal sacral ligament
and right adductors for relief of groin
pain in pregnancy and to continue
cat/camel home exercise
The soft tissue manipulation, ART,
seemed effective at resolving the pain
and quickening the woman's ability to
perform exercise and return to normal
activities
Lisi (2006) Pregnant women
with low back pain
(n = 17)
San Francisco,
California, USA
Chiropractic treatment including
spinal manipulation and home
exercises
Results suggest that chiropractic treat-
ment was safe and support the
hypothesis that it may be effective for
reducing pain intensity
Skaggs
et al (2006)
A pregnant woman
with meralgia
paraesthetica in
pregnancy
Musculoskeletal
pain in pregnancy
clinic (MSPP),
St. Louis, Missouri,
USA
ART, post-isometric exercises (PIR)
and targeted home exercise were
administered to treat neurologic leg
symptoms, such as meralgia
paraesthetica
Manual therapy and exercise may be
beneficial for patients suffering from
meralgia paraesthetica
Bayles
(2007)
Licensed direct
entry midwives and
certified nurse-
midwives (n = 69)
USA To document herbal and CAM
therapy used by Texas midwives
Back pain, nausea and vomiting were
the indications that CAM therapies were
most frequently practised, recommended
or referred. Chiropractic care was the
most popular treatment for back pain
Kruse et al
(2007)
Pregnant women
with lumbar
radiculopathy
Chicago, Illinois,
USA
Manual traction modified for
pregnancy
Chiropractic technique appears to be an
effective method for treating low back
pain, with radiation to leg in pregnant
mothers who cannot lie prone
Alcantara
et al (2009)
A pregnant woman
having home deliv-
ery with dystocia
Home of pregnant
woman in USA
Webster technique was applied for
dystocia followed by psoas release
The labour progressed rapidly and
woman delivered healthy baby born
vaginally at home one hour after
receiving her last spinal adjustment
Hastings-
Tolsma
and Terada
(2009)
The American
College of Nurse
Midwives (ACNM)
members (n =
500)
North East, mid-
Atlantic, South
East, North
Central, Midwest
and West, USA
To understand the extent to which
certified nurse-midwives utilize CAM
and how knowledge regarding CAM
is gained and the characteristics of
these providers
CAM therapies were widely used by US
certified nurse-midwives. Nurse mid-
wifery education programmes need to
carefully review current research and rec-
ommend use consistent with the data
Murphy
et al (2009)
Pegnant women
with low back pain
(n = 115)
Rhode Island
Spine Center, USA
Included some form of manual ther-
apy, end-range loading manoeuvres,
lumbopelvic stabilization exercise,
neutral mobilization, myofascial
therapy and education
Meaningful improvement in pain
disability at the end of the treatment
Mullin et al
(2011)
Midwife
respondents
(n = 187)
USA An anonymous online self adminis-
tered survey was conducted
Great awareness of and positive
personal and professional experience
with chiropractic care and the authors
encouraged further research
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100 AFRICAN JOURNAL OF MIDWIFERY AND WOMEN’S HEALTH, APRIL–JUNE 2012, VOL 6, NO 2
WOMEN'S HEALTH
culoskeletal back pain during pregnancy. A study conducted
by Wang et al (2004) reported that 37% of prenatal care pro-
viders recommended chiropractic care for patients with low
back pain. Another study conducted by Lisi (2006) reported
that 94% of the women who had received chiropractic care
reported reduction in pain and had not reported any adverse
effects after spinal manipulative treatment. Therefore, the aim
of this literature review is to assess the existing evidence relating
to chiropractic care in midwifery practice to raise awareness of
evidence and help midwives in recommending such treatment.
Methods
An integrative review of literature was done through a compre-
hensive search of the databases to identify studies related to the
use of chiropractic treatment in pregnancy. The databases used
for search were CINAHL, Science Direct, SCOPUS, PubMed
and Cochrane. The terms used to conduct the search were 'lower
back pain during pregnancy and use of chiropractic', 'Midwives
and chiropractic use', 'Webster and Bagnell Technique' and
'Referral practices of maternity care professionals with regard
to CAM'. The inclusion criteria required the articles to be writ-
ten in English, and report about chiropractic care in midwifery
practice including concept papers, interview and forum reports
and Chiropractic newsletters, research studies and systematic
reviews. The cut off dates for the search was 1987–2011.
There were 41 articles directly giving information on chiro-
practic use in pregnancy and delivery in all the five databases.
All 41 articles were read by all the authors and were rated on
the aim of the review and whether they specifically focused on
pregnancy-related problems. A total of 8 forum papers, 8 FAQs,
9 concept papers and 4 review papers were removed. Finally, 12
articles containing clinical studies on chiropractic use during
pregnancy and labour and studies related to attitudes and refer-
ral practices of maternity care professionals with regard to CAM
were selected for the review. A synthesis table was developed
to organize and extract findings from the articles as shown in
Table 1. The articles were reviewed for information contribut-
ing to the research topic and the data extracted for the synthesis
table included author(s) and year of publication, number of
participants, study setting, purpose, intervention and outcome.
Results
The 12 studies included in this review were carried out among
pregnant women, nurse-midwives and chiropractors about the
use of chiropractic care during pregnancy and labour (Table1).
The studies that were conducted among pregnant women
indicated that chiropractic care was a good solution for preg-
nant patients with lower back pain. Women with many mus-
culoskeletal pains reported improvement, labour progressed
rapidly with chiropractic care and no study reported any
adverse effect with chiropractic care (Ducar and Skaggs, 2005;
Lisi, 2006; Skaggs et al, 2006; Murphy et al, 2009; Alcantara
et al, 2009). The study conducted by Murphy et al (2009) on
pregnant women with lower back pain reported that 73% of
the patients reported their improvement as either ‘excellent’ or
‘good’ and 82% patients had experienced clinically significant
improvement in pain. Similarly, Lisi (2006) reported that
94% of women reported clinical improvement from lower
back pain and no adverse effects were reported in any of the
cases. Another study by Skaggs et al (2006) also reported
similar findings after six treatments, with the patient reporting
complete resolution of low back pain and left lower extrem-
ity symptoms and a 90% improvement of the right thigh
symptoms. A study by Ducar and Skaggs (2005) also reported
no pain after three treatment sessions. Alcantara et al (2009)
reported rapid progress of labour with chiropractic care.
Studies that were conducted among chiropractors and
nurse-midwives reported that they referred 50% of pregnant
women with musculoskeletal complaints, nausea and vomit-
ing for chiropractic care (Allaire et al, 2000; Bayles, 2007).
The study by Bayles (2007) reported that 80% of the refer-
rals made by midwives were because of nausea, vomiting and
hyperemesis. They also reported high success rates (82%)
with using Webster technique in relieving musculoskeletal
constraints during labour (Pistolese, 2002). The study also
reported that the Webster technique resulted in resolving
92% of breech presentations (mal-positioning of the fetus).
Some of techniques used included manual traction, spinal
manipulative techniques and a set of home exercises for the
pregnant clients with musculoskeletal complaints for a series
of sessions (Ducar and Skaggs, 2005; Skaggs et al, 2006; Lisi,
2006). The study conducted by Skaggs et al (2006) reported
that manual therapy and exercises may serve as an effective
treatment protocol for pregnant patients experiencing low back
pain complicated by paraesthesia. Ducar and Skaggs (2005)
reported that after three treatment sessions when using the
active release technique, home relaxation exercise, patient edu-
cation and ergonomic training, groin pain associated with preg-
nancy was reduced. Similarly, Lisi (2006) reported that with
spinal manipulation (average time ranging from 0–13 days
with 1–5 visits) patients reported clinical improvement of pain.
Discussion
Chiropractic care in pregnancy is a relatively new technique
in prenatal and postpartum care which involves diagnosing
and treating disorders of the skeletal system of the body.
Chiropractic care in midwifery is mainly used in treatment of
disorders such as musculoskeletal pain especially back pain,
nausea and vomiting (morning sickness), it relieves spasms
and helps in conditions were there is fetal mal-positioning
or mal-presentation (breech). Literature shows that approxi-
mately 50% of all pregnant women experience back pain
during their pregnancy and 50–75% of women experience
back pain during labour (Berg et al, 1988; Diakow et al,
1991; Phillips and Meyer, 1995). In the studies reviewed, it
is apparent that most women who experienced musculoskel-
etal pain, especially back pain, got relief with chiropractic
care. Similarly, another study conducted by Shaw (2003) on
chiropractic and medical collaboration indicated that 75% of
pregnant patients who received chiropractic care during preg-
nancies stated to have found relief from pain. This finding of
pain management during pregnancy and labour is important
for midwives in clinical practice to know because it clearly
highlights the option of using chiropractic care in pregnancy
due to the contraindication of many drugs in pregnancy.
Additionally, evidence from studies reviewed shows that
women who have had chiropractic care during pregnancy
experience shorter labour and reduced labour pains (Alcantara
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AFRICAN JOURNAL OF MIDWIFERY AND WOMEN’S HEALTH, APRIL–JUNE 2012, VOL 6, NO 2 101
WOMEN'S HEALTH
et al, 2009). In this study, midwives and chiropractors were
both involved in the labour process thus demonstrating the
importance of inter-professional collaboration of midwives
and chiropractors, which makes childbirth a more pleasant
experience. In addition, the studies conducted among nurse-
midwives included in this review reported referring their
patients with musculoskeletal problems to a chiropractor or
to chiropractic-certified midwives to provide treatment to
mothers. This further emphasizes that collaboration between
midwives and chiropractors leads to positive outcomes.
Following use of chiropractic care, there is less risk of
shoulder dystocia during delivery and it can help prevent
mandatory caesarean sections. These findings are significant
because the case study done by Alcantara et al (2009) high-
lighted that in 2004, the primary caesarean delivery rate had
increased to 20.6% with over 50% of these procedures as
a result of dystocia (mal-position). In addition, Curtin and
Martin (2000) highlighted that 3–4.6% of all pregnancies
result into breech position (mal-presentation) thus increasing
caesarean delivery. The increase in rates of caesarean delivery
should be of concern to those providing care to the pregnant
women, in terms of health cost implications, management of
complications and reducing infections. Therefore, chiroprac-
tic care during pregnancy and labour can help in correction of
mal-positioning and mal-presentation, thus preventing man-
datory caesarean sections and thereby reducing health care
costs, preventing complications and minimizing infection.
Implications for midwifery practice
Midwives should be given adequate training and opportunity
to learn chiropractic skills and their usage. Chiropractic care
has clear benefits and no known adverse reactions when used
during pregnancy and delivery, therefore every effort should be
made to ensure that all midwives know the benefits of using
chiropractic care such as relieving musculoskeletal pains espe-
cially lower back pain, nausea and vomiting, and correction
of mal-presentations and mal-positioning. There is a need for
inter-professional collaboration between chiropractors and mid-
wives in order to increase awareness of chiropractic options in
midwifery. However, all the studies included in this review were
done in the Western countries, so the findings cannot be gener-
alized to Non-Western countries. Additionally there was limited
research on this subject from non-Western countries, therefore
further research needs to be conducted on the use of chiroprac-
tice care during pregnancy and labour across other populations
and cultures. Further research also needs to address midwives
knowledge on chiropractic care during pregnancy and labour.
Conclusions
Although there is still limited empirical research about chi-
ropractic care in midwifery practice, findings from available
studies show that chiropractic treatment can help the women
to get relief from problems like low back pain, nausea and
vomiting, correction of mal-positioning/mal-presentation of
the baby during pregnancy and can prevent a potential caesar-
ean section. The findings are crucial for the midwives to know
so that they can help mothers if they are trained chiropractors
or they can refer mothers to trained chiropractors to relieve
discomfort. AJM
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Key Points
n Chiropractic care in midwifery is mainly used in the treatment of
musculoskeletal complaints especially back pain, nausea and
vomiting (morning sickness) and helps in conditions where there
is fetal mal-positioning or mal-presentation (breech)
n Women who have had chiropractic care during pregnancy
experience shorter labour and reduced labour pains
n Chiropractic care can help prevent shoulder dystocia during
delivery as well as mandator y caesarean sections
AJM_6_2_98_101_Chiro.indd 101 20/03/2012 14:53
... As primary contact healthcare providers, chiropractors can play a key role in women's, children's and adolescents' health [51][52][53]. Working at international, national, and community levels, chiropractors can address deficits in access to health services for musculoskeletal conditions, including health literacy education, health promotion, preventative strategies, and hands-on care. ...
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The World Federation of Chiropractic supports the involvement of chiropractors in public health initiatives, particularly as it relates to musculoskeletal health. Three topics within public health have been identified that call for a renewed professional focus. These include healthy ageing; opioid misuse; and women’s, children’s, and adolescents’ health. The World Federation of Chiropractic aims to enable chiropractors to proactively participate in health promotion and prevention activities in these areas, through information dissemination and coordinated partnerships. Importantly, this work will align the chiropractic profession with the priorities of the World Health Organization. Successful engagement will support the role of chiropractors as valued partners within the broader healthcare system and contribute to the health and wellbeing of the communities they serve.
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To present a case of a pregnant patient with meralgia paresthetica who improved using manual therapy and exercise procedures. A 22-year-old patient in the sixteenth week of pregnancy had low back pain, bilateral anterolateral thigh paresthesia and groin pain for a duration of 1 month. She had no motor deficits in either lower extremity and her reflexes were intact. As a standard clinic procedure, a battery of functional tests were performed including: active straight leg raise, long dorsal ligament test, and the pelvic pain provocation procedure. Based on her clinical history and physical responses to the aforementioned functional tests, the diagnosis of meralgia paresthetica was deduced. Treatment was provided at 6 visits over a 6-week period where the patient underwent evaluation, manual intervention, and exercise prescription. Active Release Technique (ART) was performed to the restricted right sacroiliac (SIJ) complex and quadratus lumborum muscles. ART and post-isometric relaxation were applied to the illiopsoas muscles. The home exercise program consisted of pelvic/low back mobility, stabilization and relaxation exercises. After 6 treatments, the patient reported complete resolution of low back pain and left lower extremity symptoms and a 90% improvement in the right thigh symptoms. At her one-year follow-up, the patient reported no further complications and the absence of pain. Manual therapy and exercises may serve as an effective treatment protocol for pregnant patients experiencing low back pain complicated by paresthesia. Because these conservative procedures offer a low-risk intervention, additional clinical studies are warranted to further study this treatment.
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The purpose of this prospective descriptive study was to understand 1) the extent to which certified nurse midwives (CNMs) utilize complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), 2) how knowledge regarding CAM is gained, and 3) characteristics of these providers. A survey was designed to determine use of CAM treatment modalities: herbal preparations, pharmacologic/biologic treatments, manual healing/bioelectromagnetic applications, mind-body interventions, and diet and lifestyle. Random sampling was used to select participants (n=500) who were members of the American College of Nurse Midwives. Of those CNMs responding (n=227, 45%), 78% (n=178) reported use of CAM. Herbal preparations were most commonly used (85%), followed by pharmacologic/biologic treatments (82%), mind-body interventions (80%), and manual healing/bioelectromagnetic therapies (47%). Virtually all CAM user respondents utilized at least one diet and lifestyle therapy.
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The purpose of this study was to describe the clinical outcomes of patients with pregnancy-related lumbopelvic pain (PRLP) treated according to a diagnosis-based clinical decision rule. This was a prospective observational cohort of consecutive patients with PRLP. Data on 115 patients were collected at baseline and on 78 patients at the end of the active treatment. Disability was measured using the Bournemouth Disability Questionnaire (BDQ). Pain intensity was measured using the Numerical Rating Scale for pain (NRS). Patients were also asked to self-rate their improvement. Care was provided by a chiropractic physician/physical therapist team. Fifty-seven patients (73%) reported their improvement as either "excellent" or "good." The mean patient-rated improvement was 61.5%. The mean improvement in BDQ was 17.8 points. The mean percentage of improvement in BDQ was 39% and the median was 48%. Mean improvement in pain was 2.9 points. Fifty-one percent of the patients had experienced clinically significant improvement in disability and 67% patients had experienced clinically significant improvement in pain. Patients were seen an average 6.8 visits. Follow-up data for an average of 11 months after the end of treatment were collected on 61 patients. Upon follow-up, 85.5% of patients rated their improvement as either "excellent" or "good." The mean patient-rated improvement was 83.2%. The mean improvement in BDQ was 28.1 points. The mean percentage of improvement in BDQ was 68% and the median was 87.5%. Mean improvement in pain was 3.5 points. Seventy-three percent of the patients had experienced clinically significant improvement in disability and 82% patients had experienced clinically significant improvement in pain. The management strategy used in this study appeared to yield favorable outcomes in this patient population and appears to be a safe option for patients with PRLP, although because of this study's sample size, rare complications are not likely to be detected. In addition, the absence of randomization and a control group limits interpretation with regard to clinical effectiveness. Randomized, controlled trials are necessary to distinguish treatment effects from the natural history of PRLP.
Article
The purpose of this report is to describe chiropractic treatment of lower back and unilateral leg pain in a pregnant patient. A 26-year-old woman in her second trimester of pregnancy had severe pain in her lower back that radiated to her hips bilaterally and to her right leg. She reported tingling down her right lower leg to the dorsum of her foot. Although no diagnostic imaging was performed, her differential diagnoses included lumbalgia with associated radiculopathy. Treatment consisted of manual traction in the side-lying position using a specialized chiropractic table and treatment technique (Cox flexion-distraction decompression) modified for pregnancy. Relief was noted after the first treatment, and complete resolution of her subjective and objective findings occurred after 8 visits. When modified, this chiropractic technique appears to be an effective method for treating lower back pain with radiation to the leg in a pregnant patient who cannot lie prone.
Article
The purpose of this article is to review the literature on the topic of chiropractic care during pregnancy. A PubMed search was performed using the terms pregnancy and chiropractic. Sources were cross-referenced to obtain further articles and research information after reviewing the articles obtained through the search. Thirty-three references were used for this review. The current literature reports favorable results on the use of chiropractic care throughout pregnancy. Chiropractic evaluation and treatment during pregnancy may be considered a safe and effective means of treating common musculoskeletal symptoms that affect pregnant patients. The scarcity of published literature warrants further research.
Article
To describe the management of groin pain occurring during pregnancy using a comprehensive conservative approach. A 32-year-old woman 20 weeks into her pregnancy experienced difficulty standing and moving due to groin pain. She also had pain with forward bending and a positive long dorsal ligament test. She had a Quebec Task and Force Disability Scale questionnaire score of 122 and rated her pain as an 8/10 on a visual analog scale. Active Release Technique, home relaxation exercises, patient education, and ergo-nomic training were provided over approximately 3 weeks (3 treatments). Her Quebec score was 62 and she had no pain after treatment. A comprehensive treatment plan of soft tissue release, patient education and home exercises appeared to help minimize this patient's groin pain associated with pregnancy.
Article
A retrospective study of 400 pregnancies and deliveries was undertaken by interview of 170 consecutive female patients presenting to five chiropractic offices in the Niagara Peninsula. Back pain was reported during 42.5% (170) of the pregnancies and 44.7% (179) of the deliveries. There was a statistically significant association between back pain during the two events (p less than .001). Of the 170 pregnancies with reported back pain, 72% (122) also reported back labor. A subsample of 170 painful pregnancies was divided into those that had received manual manipulation and those that had not. The treated group experienced less pain during labor (p less than .001).
Article
All pregnant women from a well defined area (the central district of the County of Ostergötland, Sweden) attending antenatal clinics over a period of seven months were interviewed with regard to low back pain during pregnancy. Of 862 women who answered the questionnaires, about half developed some degree of low back pain. Seventy-nine women who were unable to continue their work because of severe low back pain were referred to an orthopedic surgeon for an orthoneurologic examination. The most common reason for severe low back pain was dysfunction of the sacroiliac joints. Physically strenuous work and previous low back pain were factors associated with an increased risk of developing low back pain and sacroiliac dysfunction during pregnancy.
Article
To determine whether the addition of chiropractic care including craniosacral therapy to a regimen of standard obstetric pregnancy results in fewer obstetric interventions during labor and delivery. Retrospective, case-matched, static-group comparison. The study group was obtained from a college faculty-based clinic and received chiropractic care in addition to their routine obstetrical care. The setting for the comparison group was unkown, but the care rendered was presumed to be primary medical obstetric care only. A consecutive sample of 63 pregnant women who sought chiropractic care within the period under study. The reason for seeking care was not necessarily related to the pregnancy. The sample was primarily between 18 and 35 yr, non-Hispanic caucasian and primiparous. After selection and matching criteria, 35 patients remained in the study group. Chiropractic care and craniosacral therapy delivered during pregnancy vs. unknown care within the same county. Obstetric interventions during labor and delivery as reported by the birth attendant on the certificate of live birth. No statistical differences were detected in the rates of obstetric interventions used during labor or delivery between the two samples. Approximate large-sample 95% confidence intervals are provided. Because of the limitations in the design of the project, this study provides no evidence that the addition of chiropractic care and craniosacral therapy during pregnancy results in any observable benefit or detriment with regard to obstetric interventions used during labor and delivery and that chiropractic care for pregnancy-related neuromusculoskeletal disorders should not complicate labor or delivery.