Pregnancy is an incredibly joyful time, filled with the anticipation of bringing new life into the world. However, it doesn’t come without a few “growing pains.”
In addition to morning sickness, swollen feet, and food cravings, new aches and pains can make a pregnancy a bit more difficult. Additionally, many pregnant women may be filled with questions and concerns about labor and delivery.
During this time, major changes in your body should be expected. However, pregnancy pains and discomfort can be relieved through a simple chiropractic treatment called the Webster Technique.
What Is the Webster Technique?
Developed by Dr. Larry Webster, the Webster technique is a safe, gentle chiropractic technique that helps bring a pregnant woman’s pelvic bones back into alignment. After witnessing his daughter’s difficulty in delivering his granddaughter, Webster was inspired to find ways that chiropractic care could make labor and delivery easier.
The Webster technique involves adjusting the alignment of the pelvic bones as well as stretching and massage of the surrounding ligaments and soft tissues to prepare the body for birth.
How Does The Webster Technique Work?
To understand the effectiveness of this technique, let’s take a closer look at the uterus.
The uterus is nestled inside the pelvic basin, between the hip bones. A set of ligaments attach the uterus to the abdominal wall as well as the sacrum (also known as the tailbone).
If the sacrum and pelvic bones are out of alignment, they will pull on those ligaments, creating what Dr. Webster called “intrauterine constraint”. This tension within the uterus creates a more cramped environment, preventing the baby from being able to move freely.
Using the Webster Technique, chiropractors can remove this tension by re-aligning the joints and treating tightness in the muscles and ligaments. Once the intrauterine constraint is relieved, the mother’s body can function optimally, allowing the baby the space to move or turn as needed.
Common Pregnancy Aches & Pains
It doesn’t take long for pregnant women to begin experiencing some of the aches, pains, and general discomfort typical to pregnancy. Fortunately, chiropractic care can help relieve many of them.
As your baby grows, your body must grow and shift to accommodate them. Organs move out of the way, ligaments and muscles stretch, and your center of gravity shifts.
And because much of the extra weight is concentrated in one area of your body, your spine is under a lot more strain than usual.
But by keeping your spine in alignment through regular chiropractic adjustments, a chiropractor can make sure your body is operating exactly as it’s supposed to, preventing you from experiencing unnecessary pain.
From even the very early months of pregnancy, the growing uterus can put pressure on the sciatic nerve. Known as sciatica, this condition causes sharp shooting pains in the hip, buttocks, and leg and is very common to pregnancy.
Realigning the vertebrae can help relieve these debilitating symptoms.
Round Ligament Pain
Round ligament pain is typically felt as a sharp pain in the lower abdomen or groin area. It is caused as your uterus grows, stretching out the ligament that attaches it to the abdominal wall.
Using the Webster Technique, a chiropractor can help to loosen and relax this muscle, relieving pressure and giving your uterus the necessary room to grow.
Swollen Feet & Ankles
Extra blood volume, hormones, and even temperature can cause many women to develop swollen feet and ankles during pregnancy. So it might come as a surprise to hear that chiropractic care can help!
Most chiropractic offices also offer medical massage, which can help drain excess fluid by stimulating the lymphatic system. It’s also a great excuse to relax!
Old wives’ tales aside, heartburn and pregnancy just seem to go hand-in-hand. But you probably don’t expect chiropractic care to be the answer.
There is some evidence to suggest that chiropractic adjustments can help relieve symptoms of heartburn.
Some say that pregnancy-related insomnia is the body’s way of preparing for those sleepless nights ahead. Others—like us—say that you deserve quality sleep!
Coping with backaches, heartburn, sciatica, and Charley horses is enough to keep even the most exhausted person awake. Fortunately, chiropractic adjustments can alleviate many of these symptoms, allowing you to get a good night’s rest.
When To Seek Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy
Many pregnant women choose to see a Webster certified chiropractor starting with the first trimester.
Studies have shown that chiropractic care is safe throughout pregnancy and can be effective at reducing aches and pains as well as preparing your baby (and you) for birth. There is even evidence to suggest that women who regularly visit a pregnancy chiropractor may have 25% shorter labor.
And unlike over-the-counter medications, chiropractic adjustments do not cause uncomfortable side effects and pose no harm to your unborn baby.
Find a Webster Technique Chiropractor
At Oviedo Chiropractic, we are committed to helping our pregnant patients achieve a happy, healthy pregnancy and birth.
No matter how far along you are in your pregnancy, we encourage you to come see the difference that chiropractic treatment can make. Dr. Erin Chu is Webster certified and well-versed in techniques to make gestation, labor, and delivery easier.