One of the places that I frequent on regular basis to stay current on the ever changing world of health is Mercola.com. I came across this great article today by Dr. Ben Lerner on the importance of getting your childrens spines checked and thought you would enjoy it. Dr. Ben Lerner, along with Dr. Greg Loman, owns Teach The World About Chiropractic, a Chiropractic training company. They have helped build the largest spinal correction clinics in the history of Chiropractic. Their new book, One Minute Wellness, shows people how to overcome their frustrations with life and health without the use of dangerous medications. It's already a dramatic, runaway bestseller.By Dr. Ben Lerner
Birth is a normal, natural process that's been around since almost the beginning of humanity. As with any other task the body was created to perform, when you support normal functioning, you have your best chance at success.
The road down the birth canal and out into the world can be a trying one, particularly in the case of medical intervention and high-tech births. (You may recall a JAMA study showing the United States ranked last in neonatal mortality, infant mortality and for the health of newborns.) As a result, there has been an ever-increasing occurrence of traumatic birth syndrome.
Traumatic birth syndrome describes the presence of trauma-induced skull and spinal damage and spinal misalignment as a result of the birth process. As tough as birth is, going through it with the woman lying on her back, working against gravity, on medications to increase the intensity of labor, numb to the delivery muscles, and often accompanied by surgical interventions, makes it exponentially more traumatic.
When you think about this, it's no surprise vertebral subluxation in infants is so common.
How the Birthing Process Injures Spines
If you are pregnant and suffering from low back pain, a neighbor or a friend has probably suggested you visit a chiropractor because a chiropractor was able to help them during their pregnancy. The discussion probably left you curious, is that good advice or just a single success story? Additionally, you may be wondering whether chiropractic is safe during pregnancy and how much low back pain improvement the average pregnant woman can expect to get.
After looking at several scientific publications on these exact topics, the appropriate conclusion seems to be that “chiropractic evaluation and treatment during pregnancy may be considered a safe and effective means of treating common musculoskeletal symptoms that affect pregnant patients. The scarcity of published literature warrants further research.” (Borggren, 2007)
So basically the answers are:
• Yes, chiropractic is safe during pregnancy.
• Yes, chiropractic helps common musculoskelatal probelms during pregnancy (including back pain).
• Your friends experience isn’t just one woman’s story. Many women are finding relief and the results are being sporadically published in medical journals too.
• More research under more controlled conditions is needed for the purposes of educating primary care physicians and obstetricians about chiropractic care during pregnancy.
Here are a few additional details about the prevalence of low back pain during pregnancy and the number of women being referred for treatment.
• 57 – 69% of women complain of low back pain during pregnancy
• Only about 32% of women report these symptoms to their primary doctor
• Only about 25% of primary doctors recommend seeking treatment for the pain.
Clearly this is a big problem with 2 in 3 having pregnancy-related back pain. Also a big problem is that they are generally not talking to their obstetricians and primary care physicians about it and that these professionals are not referring them to effective treatment options.
Chiropractic treatments can be quite effective for pregnancy-related back pain with just a few visits for the majority of women seeking help. In a small study of 17 women:
• Sixteen of 17 (94%) saw clinically important improvements in low back pain with chiropractic care.
• The average pain rating went down from 5.9 to 1.5 (on a scale of 0 to 10).
• It took an average of 1.8 visits and 4.5 days to get clinically important pain relief.
We hope this article gave you hope that many pregnant women do get significant, rapid relief from low back pain. If you are currently pregnant with low back pain, you probably have many questions not answered by this article. Perhaps you’ve never had chiropractic care before or you want to know how we adjust our techniques to work with pregnant patients. The best way to get answers to your questions is with an initial consultation. The only way for us to know whether you are a good candidate is for you to come see us, so call us today at 425-635-0495 for an initial appointment today!
Borggren, C. L. (2007, Spring). Pregnancy and chiropractic: a narrative review of the literature. J Chiropr Med, 6(2), 70-74.
Khorsan, R., Hawk, C., Lisi, A., & Kizhakkeveettil, A. (2009, Jun). Manipulative therapy for pregnancy and related conditions: a systematic review. Obstet Gynecol Surv, 64(6), 416-27.
Lisi, A. (2006, Jan-Feb). Chiropractic spinal manipulation for low back pain of pregnancy: a retrospective case series. J Midwifery Womens Health, 51(1), 7-10.
Stuber, K., & Smith, D. (2008, ul-Aug). Chiropractic treatment of pregnancy-related low back pain: a systematic review of the evidence. J Manipulative Physiol Ther., 31(6), 447-54.
Today I wanted to share a great story that a local news station in Omaha Nebraska did on Chiropractic and Infertility. It features the story of one women who became pregnant after 3 months of chiropractic care when other infertility treatments had failed her. For any couple wishing to have a child, this story represents real hope .
But it’s just one women and one situation and if you saw this segment on your evening TV, it would be easy to dismiss the story as a coincidence. The critical question is…how many other infertile women has chiropractic helped and what is the likelihood it will work for me?
The doctor in the story explains how spinal adjustments can aid fertility issues. His explanation is that adjustments ensure that the nerves which send signals to the ovaries and other reproductive organs are transmitting properly. One of the basic tenets of chiropractic care is that normal nerve function is necessary for good health – which of course includes normal hormonal functions, ovulation and menstruation.
But again, he is just one doctor in one town. Isthere any evidence that chiropractic really improves fertility among women that are struggling to conceive?
The answer is yes.
At the end of the news story the anchor makes reference to a research study (Behrendt, 2003) that showed 14 of 15 women with a history of fertility issues became pregnant after starting chiropractic care. The women’s stories are all quite different and all very personal.
One 32-year-old woman had had no menstrual cycle for the past 12 years. She had been unsuccessful with medical infertility treatments. Then after 4 months of chiropractic care her menstrual cycle resumed and after two additional months she became pregnant – unassisted.
Another great story to emerge from the study was that of a 26-year-old woman with terrible scoliosis. She had had multiple medical fertility treatments to help her conceive. She became pregnant – again unassisted – in her seventh month of chiropractic care.
Reflecting upon the findings of the study Dr. Behrendt commented that “although not conclusive, the results of the research should stimulate consideration of structure as a factor in infertility and increase awareness of the role of the central and peripheral nervous system in fertility.” We couldn’t agree more.
As a woman reading this article, do you know where in your spine the nerves that supply your reproductive organs are located? Most likely not. And if you are like most women, you’ve never thought about reproductive issues from the perspective of nerve signals.
Fortunately, this line of thinking is starting to make its way into the mainstream. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the American Pregnancy Association website makes reference to nervous system function and the benefits of chiropractic care for infertility. The American Pregnancy Association site states that “in many cases, fertility issues may be associated with improper nervous system function, poor nutrition, high stress and poor lifestyle habits.” It goes on to note that “chiropractic care can be used in conjunction with traditional approaches to fertility issues and can greatly enhance the chances of successful medical procedures such as IVF.”
Once you factor in the price and possible side-effects of IVF treatments, choosing chiropractic care first to aid conception is a very logical choice backed by solid evidence.
If someone you love is struggling with infertility and has never visited a chiropractor for an evaluation, please share this article with them. If you personally are having difficulty conceiving, please call us so we can answer your questions about chiropractic and fertility.
(n.d.). Retrieved August 11, 2011, from American Pregnancy Association: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/infertility/infertilityandchiropractic.html
Behrendt, D. (2003). Insult, Interference and Infertility:An Overview of Chiropractic Research. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, 1.