Women’s Health

Posted by on Feb 5, 2010 in Health Tips/Information | Comments Off on Women’s Health

Women have special needs, from menstruation to pregnancy to menopause. Chiropractic care may be able to help women deal with these life changes.

Menstrual cramps
During menses, women discover they not only experience cramping in the lower abdominal region but also lower back pain. Pressure on the nerves leading to the uterus can be relieved through specific spinal adjustments during this “time of the month”, often diminishing or eliminating pain in both regions. In a study performed through the National College of Chiropractic, 88% of women receiving chiropractic adjustments (treatment) reported reduced pain during their menstrual periods compared to women not receiving Chiropractic care.1 Therefore, by receiving chiropractic adjustments during the menstrual period, you can eliminate the need for many analgesics (i.e. Advil, Aleve) many of which have serious side effects.Santa Barbara Chiropractor James Neary

Pre- and Post-Natal Needs
Pregnancy – During pregnancy, a women’s body experiences a period of rapid changes (shape, hormonal and loose ligaments). As a result, the body becomes stressed. Many women develop upper back pain, lower back pain and sciatica. Chiropractors have special tables, which expand to allow pregnant women to lie on their stomach. The special tables, in conjunction with specific methods geared to the pregnant woman, will allow safe and proper chiropractic treatment up to labor. In a study by JM Daly3, 91% of pregnant women studied reported pain relief as a result of regular chiropractic care during their pregnancy. Through regular chiropractic care during pregnancy, women can benefit from proper nervous and body system function so important to fetus development. Specific chiropractic adjustments are now shown to be preventative measure and treatment for toxemia.2

Abnormal fetal positioning – Many women may discover their fetus is in an improper position, breech (feet first) or transverse lie (fetus is in an angle in the uterus). After the seventh month of gestation, if a fetus is in this type of abnormal position, it can be subject to biomechanical stress leading to vertebral subluxations. Any abnormal biomechanical stresses to the vertebra may cause abnormal development of cartilage structures (which eventually become boney). A chiropractor trained in evaluating and treating pregnant women for abnormal fetal positioning can adjust the patient with good results (97% successful).9 This is a safe method, not only for mother but for the fetus and normal positioning of the fetus usually occurs within 4 to 5 visits. When the fetus is in a normal position, it’s chances of developing properly in the uterus, greatly increase.

Labor – A 1977 Harvard Medical School study discovered association between use of epidurals to relieve pain and maternal fever during labor and/or sepsis (an infection) in newborns, requiring antibiotics.8 Is having your newborn subjected to antibiotics when their immune system is still fragile a good idea? Finding a way to decrease discomfort experienced during childbirth thereby decreasing utilization of epidurals can be not only healthier for the mother, but also healthier for her child.

Multiparous women (having two or more offspring at one birth) were shown to have a 39% shorter labor time to those receiving chiropractic care in a study by J Fallon in 1991. Other studies show that standing or squatting during delivery provides the fewest problems for both mother and baby (including few forceps delivery).5, 6 & 7 Many women under regular chiropractic care, visit their doctor on their way to the birthing center or hospital for a chiropractic treatment.

Post-Natal – Due to the abnormal stress that the mother’s body goes through during childbirth, frequently the upper back musculature becomes tight, interfering with proper nerve flow to the breasts. By adjusting the spine following delivery, can allow the breast milk to flow properly, decreasing frustration for the mother and increasing the breast milk flowing to the baby. By breastfeeding, the child has an opportunity to receive natural immunities from their mother allowing them to experience improved health. Regular chiropractic adjustments in new mothers can relieve back discomfort associated with reduced sleep and lifting the new baby.


  1. Kokjohn K; Schmid DM; Troiano JJ; Brennan PC; The effect of spinal manipulation on pain and prostaglandin levels in women with primary dysmenorrhea. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1992.
  2. Hampton, D: What is the role of osteopathic manipulative therapy in obstetric care? For normal patients? For patients with toxemia of pregnancy? J AM Osteopath Assoc. 1974; 74(3): 192-7.
  3. Daly JM, Frame PS, Rapoza PA. Sacroiliac subluxation: a common treatable cause of low back pain in pregnancy. Fam Prac Res 1991: 11(2): 149-159.
  4. Fallon, J: The effect of chiropractic treatment on pregnancy and labor: a comprehensive study. Proceedings of the World Chiropractic Association, 1991: 24-3
  5. Gardosi J, Randomized controlled trial of squatting in the second stage of labor. Lancet 1989: 2(8654) 74-7.
  6. Borgatta L; Piening SL; Cohen WR; Association of episiotomy and delivery position with deep perineal laceration during spontaneous nulliparous women. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1989; 160 (2): 294-7.
  7. Paciornik M; Commentary: arguments against episiotomy and in favor of squatting for birth. Birth 1990; 17(2): 104-5.
  8. Lieberman E, Lang JM, Frigoletto F Jr, Richardson DK, Ringer SA, Cohen A, Epidural analgesia, intrapartum fever, and neonatal evaluation. Pediatrics 1997; 99(3): 415-9.
  9. Anrig C. Chiropractic approaches to pregnancy and pediatric care. 1993:383-432
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