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Pregnancy and Webster Technique
by Dr. Joyce
For many women, pregnancy can be a very uncomfortable experience. Early on, it may begin with the morning sickness, mood swings, and food cravings. This can guide a newly pregnant mom up and down an emotional roller coaster. Then the physical changes begin to kick in. As the baby begins the journey of gestation, baby gradually develops and grows in mothers’ womb. As baby grows, it is inevitable that mother’s belly grows and these changes alter spinal and pelvic alignment.
Chiropractic Care helps your body to function and perform at its optimal and is a natural way to maintain a healthy spine without the use of drugs or surgery. Chiropractic care assesses the spine and looks for misalignments in the bones, joints, and surrounding tissue. Chiropractic care works to maintaining a healthy nervous system- this system is the communication pathway between the body and the brain. Misalignments in the spine can cause pressure to the surrounding nerves, muscles and ligaments and this can inhibit your body to function normally. Chiropractic care helps you and your body to be healthy in all aspects.
Chiropractors use many techniques to assist with misalignments or “subluxations” in the spinal column, disc, bones, and joints. These can range from manual adjustments to soft tissue techniques that help realign areas of concern. Adjustments are light force manual techniques that a chiropractor can use by hand or small instruments depending on each individuals needs. The adjustments work to correct and relieve imbalances in the body to restore proper and optimal function. There are numerous chiropractic techniques that can be utilized to effectively help an individuals needs. Chiropractic can safely benefit all ages and has particularly gained more popularity for expectant mothers.
Pregnant mothers and their growing babies inside go through an intricate and unique developmental process that may pose physical challenges in their nine-month journey. A pregnant mother has to adapt to hormonal changes, weight gain, and postural changes throughout her pregnancy. Often, the pregnant mother is unable to adapt to these increased changes as quickly as she is use to, and may develop pain and discomfort in the lower back and pelvic region. Obstetric research shows that proper pelvic positioning also known as proper neuro-biomechanics, facilitates a more comfortable and safer birth outcome for women. Pelvic balance is extremely important for a pregnant mom because the pelvis surrounds and protects the uterus and growing baby. The pelvis and its surrounding tissue and muscles often get tight, strained, and thrown out of balance because of the physical changes mother and baby experience throughout pregnancy.
The Webster technique was developed by Dr. Larry Webster and is a safe and effective adjustment to restore pelvic balance and function as well as relieve musculoskeletal distress. This technique examines the pelvis and sacrum and can determine misalignments and imbalances in these areas. The Webster technique analyzes the sacral iliac joint and can be assessed on all weight bearing individuals. The assessment consists of having the individual bend their knee to try to touch the heel of the foot to the buttock. The side where the knee is unable to bend as much or is ‘restricted’ in the range is the restricted side and therefore treated to restore balance.
Dr. Larry Webster discovered that this technique was found to be particularly effective on pregnant women. Not only did it help pregnant mothers restore normal physiological function, it significantly improved their comfort throughout pregnancy and facilitated an easier birth. The optimal position for a baby during the birthing process is head down and facing towards the mothers’ back which is called ‘vertex’. The fetus can often experience what is called intrauterine constraint throughout a mothers’ pregnancy. Intrauterine constraint is defined as any external force or pressure put on the growing fetus that obstructs the normal movement of the fetus. This can often occur in pregnant mothers because chemical and physical changes occur at such a faster rate during pregnancy and she is unable to adapt or keep up with the demands her body experiences. This means that intrauterine constraint can prevent a baby from achieving the optimal head down vertex positioning needed for a vaginal birth, therefore necessitating a cesarean delivery.
Dr. Larry Webster also discovered that those pregnant women who presented with a breech baby or a baby that was in malposition benefited significantly with this technique. This technique appeared to normalize the mother’s pelvic neuro-biomechanics as well as facilitate optimal fetal positioning with just a few treatments. This is particularly beneficial to mother as Obstetric research states that correct positioning of the baby in-utero affects birth outcome and decreases the potential for undue stress to the baby's developing spine and nerve system. Obstetric literature has also determined the importance of the pelvic neuro-biomechanics for the prevention of dystocia (difficult birth).
It is important to recognize that the Webster technique is a safe and effective chiropractic treatment that assesses the pelvis, sacrum and abdominal muscles to optimize balance in the body and prevent pain and discomfort throughout pregnancy. This in turn will improve a mother’s chance for a more comfortable labor and decrease the use of interventions during delivery.