Chiropractic & Pregnancy

Musculoskeletal Changes Associated with Pregnancy

The biomechanical changes associated with pregnancy begin at conception and continue through delivery. For many women, these changes create a significant amount of discomfort and strain within the pelvis. An expectant mother has many considerations in her goal of maintaining balance within the body and achieving optimal health both during the pregnancy and during delivery. Dr. Eaton is experienced in the treatment of pregnant females. She has devoted several hours of continuing education to seminars centered around the care of pregnant women, Webster technique, and post-partum rehabilitation. Dr. Eaton has had the privilege of learning from some of the best prenatal instructors in the chiropractic profession including Jeanne Ohm of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. Dr. Eaton receives referrals from a number of local ob-gyn physicians along with several local doulas, midwives, and prenatal yoga instructors.

The benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy are numerous. In order to understand these benefits, it is necessary to understand the changes that take place within the body during pregnancy. At the point of conception, a hormone called Relaxin is released from the ovary. During pregnancy, relaxin is present in 10 times its normal concentration in the female body. Relaxin is beneficial in the sense that its function is to cause laxity in the joints that comprise the pelvic ring. This process is essential for the infant to have safe passage through the pelvic inlet and birth canal. However, relaxin also affects other tissues throughout the body, and the added laxity within the pelvis leaves the sacroiliac joint and the pubic symphysis prone to dysfunctional movement patterns which can lead to inflammation and pain.

Common Complaints Associated with Pregnancy

pregnant belly

Every woman's pregnancy is different. Below is a list of common ailments associated with pregnancy. Each of these complaints can be helped with chiropractic care.

  • Pelvic pain
  • Low Back pain
  • Headache
  • Pubic pain/groin pain
  • Rib pain (Costochondritis)
  • Round ligament pain
  • Sciatica


Chiropractic Treatment for the Pregnant Woman

Special considerations are necessary when treating a pregnant woman. Dr. Eaton will begin with a thorough history and physical exam. Pregnancy and childbirth are very personal experiences for a woman and Dr. Eaton feels honored to be a part of each woman's journey. In keeping with this consideration, Dr. Eaton will make every effort to understand each woman's wishes regarding her pregnancy and delivery. As goals are established between doctor and patient, a treatment plan will be agreed upon and treatment will be administered on the first visit.

It is important to understand that a pregnant woman's joints are more lax than a non-pregnant person's joints. Consideration must be taken when developing a treatment approach. Dr. Eaton uses gentle mobilizations and adjustive techniques specifically designed for pregnancy. Ligament work will also be incorporated into the therapy plan to ensure that intrauterine constraint does not occur. In certain cases, Dr. Eaton will ask the partner of the pregnant woman to come to an appointment so that home care techniques can be demonstrated.

Check out our other pregnancy service like the Webster Technique and Post Partum Rehabilitation.