Chiropractic during Pregnancy and the Webster Technique
Chiropractic care during pregnancy is not only safe, it is an important part of sustaining the health of the mother and insuring a safe, healthy, and rewarding birth experience. Many women experience lower back pain and sciatic nerve impingement as a result of the increased pressure on the spine and pelvis due to the weight of the baby as well as the changes in the mother’s center of gravity. Additionally changes in gait pattern are noted. Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to result in easier pregnancies, decreased mean labor time and can assist new mothers back to pre-partum health. In one study, women receiving chiropractic care through their first pregnancy had 24% shorter labor times than the group not receiving chiropractic care.
Many chiropractors also perform the Webster Technique to help prevent breach presentations. In the United States, 86% of infants with breach presentation are delivered via Caesarian section. Breach presentation or feet first presentation of the fetus can be attributed to increased intrauterine constraint which obstructs the normal movement of the fetus.
What happens to cause breach presentation?
When the sacrum rotates it may torque the uterus out of its proper juxtaposition via the change in tension of the uterosacral ligament
The presence of a myofascial trigger point, as evidenced by a palpable nodule in the area of the round ligament is thought to further torque the uterus out of its proper juxtaposition.
This increased tension on the uterus restricts movement of the fetus
What is the Webster Technique?
First, what it is not…It is not External Cephalic Version (ECV). It is not any form of internal manipulation. It does not include any contact internally or externally with the fetus.
The Webster Technique as defined by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association is a specific chiropractic sacral analysis and adjustment that reduces interference to the nerve system and facilitates neuro-biomechanical function in pelvic structures, muscles and ligaments.
In a 2002 study, the surveyed doctors reported a high rate of success (82%) in relieving the musculoskeletal causes of intrauterine constraint using the Webster Technique. Although the sample size was small, the results suggest that it may be beneficial to perform the Webster Technique in month 8 of pregnancy, when breech presentation is unlikely to spontaneously convert to cephalic presentation and when external cephalic version is not an effective technique. When successful, the Webster Technique avoids the costs and/or risks of external cephalic version, cesarean section, or vaginal trial of breech. In view of these findings, the Webster Technique deserves serious consideration in the health care management of expectant mothers exhibiting adverse fetal presentation. (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2002;25:000)
For more information about the Webster technique, contact Dr. Dan Weber at The Joint…a chiropractic place at 3016 Lake Washington Rd, in the Publix shopping center, or call 321-254-2828. Hours are Monday- Friday 10am-6pm and Sat 9am-2pm.