A study called "The treatment experience of patients with low back pain during pregnancy and their chiropractors: a qualitative study" was published earlier this month in the journal Chiropractic & Manual Therapies. This study was a survey-based investigation into whether chiropractic is safe and effective for pregnant women.
Although the numbers of women and chiropractors contacted for this pilot study were relatively low, I was struck by how similar their experiences are to my own. Women who seek chiropractic care in my office when experiencing back pain during pregnancy often find relief. And even more importantly, each woman feels more prepared for the birth process after her chiropractic experience. The gentle chiropractic techniques that I use in the office, including the popular Webster Technique and Activator Methods, assure each woman that she and her baby will be safe during each treatment.
The authors of the study concluded that chiropractic appears to be safe and effective for women during uncomplicated pregnancies, and I wholeheartedly agree.
Excerpts from the open access article are included below, with reference footnotes omitted:
Low back pain (LBP) during pregnancy is reported by approximately 50% to 80% of pregnant women. The structural, postural, or hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, or any combination thereof, may lead to LBP during pregnancy. Treatment options include a range of therapies, such as exercise programs, massage therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic. Chiropractic care may include spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), mobilizations and soft tissue therapy, as well as exercise prescription. Previous studies and systematic reviews of the literature have indicated the relative safety and effectiveness of chiropractic treatment for LBP during pregnancy.
To date, no study has explored the treatment experience of the pregnant population seeking care for their back pain, whether that treatment is from a chiropractor or any other health care provider, nor has any study assessed the experience of chiropractors providing treatment for their pregnant patients with LBP. [snip]
All of the interviewed patients reported that they found chiropractic treatment to be effective and that it helped relieve them of their LBP and associated symptoms. Patients reported that chiropractic treatment had improved their daily living activities and their mobility, while it decreased their overall pain and discomfort:
PT01: “I can walk longer periods of time. So that's excellent. I can go standing for four to five hours. Because prior to that I'd be standing 40 minutes to do the dishes and I'd be in agony. Even the basic things, like picking things up off the floor, you'd get stuck in that position, I haven't experienced that yet [in this pregnancy]. Or just sitting for long periods of time, because I do work an office job from home, so I do sit long periods of time. I know for most people [they] have to get up and stretch for a couple minutes, even in doing that I‟ve been doing okay.”
PT02: “The pain is gone. but I do feel like I have more energy and I can do more activities. The pain doesn't prevent me anymore.”
PT05: “It really allowed me to function. I could barely walk before or stand, the pain was intense, but after I went to the chiropractor. I found I could function day to day, I could walk from the bus stop to work, I could do these things, so that was pretty significant. It's just helping me function. It's just teaching me how to pick up my daughter so I don't hurt myself. To still function, to still play with my daughter and be able to go to the grocery store and do all these things without really hurting myself. As well as it allows me to sleep at night.” [snip]
Pregnant patients present differently in terms of their LBP symptoms, its onset, location and duration. The chiropractor’s approach depended on the patient’s presentation, and most of them had a patient-centered approach: (DC03) “Some will respond differently than others and obviously not every pregnant patient with back pain has exactly the same issues as well. So, we obviously tailor those situations to patients.” [snip]
All of the patients directly stated in their interviews that they believed chiropractic treatment was safe and they had not experienced any adverse events after any treatment, which has been reported in previous studies: (PT07) “I wouldn't say I've ever had any side effects.” Patients also described their comfort levels changing with particular treatments throughout the pregnancy, while their chiropractors generally modified the treatments to make their patients feel safe and comfortable:
PT11: “I‟m always very aware of what he's doing to me and where the position of the baby is. I can't say I'm 100% comfortable, I know it works, and I've read quite a number of articles about it. I haven't experienced any problems, but it's always in the back of my mind [safety of my baby], especially in the very beginning, not so much right now, because I'm really big now and it has to be done differently. Now the reservations are there but they're very small, and I think that's the case with anything in pregnancy. You just want to make sure you're doing the right thing for your body and the baby.”
This title might not be the best question. A better question might be: "Can ANYTHING help fibromyalgia?"
Fibromyalgia (and its cousin Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) can be very difficult to cure because its cause is still unknown. Please read the Johnson Family Chiropractic Fibromyalgia page for more information.
The key to treating fibromyalgia is personal, empathetic, individual health care. One-on-one care is especially important since no one therapy has been proven more effective than any other therapy for the treatment of fibromyalgia. This means that a therapy that may work wonders for one person may not help another. Fibromyalgia demands flexibility in treatment.
Believe it or not, the best research-supported therapy for fibromyalgia relief is exercise! Although exercise may sound painful at first for a person with sore muscles and joints, clinical studies of low-impact exercise (like an exercise bicycle) have been shown to help nearly a third of fibromyalgia patients.
Since proper motion seems to be essential in the joints of fibromyalgia patients (and, indeed, with everybody), the low-force chiropractic adjustment is an excellent way to restore proper motion to spinal and extremity joints. The Activator instrument is the most popular low-force adjusting instrument in the world, and for good reason. The soft
rubber tip provides as gentle a chiropractic experience as possible.
We are as eager as you are to find a solution or cure for everyone with fibromyalgia! Until a cure is found, the personalized care you'll find at Johnson Family Chiropractic may be your best path to health. Contact your Peoria chiropractor today!
Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine curves and contorts in abnormal directions. Most people's first impressions of scoliosis comes from scoliosis screening tests in grade school. You are told to bend over while a doctor examines the curvature of your back, and then you're told whether you are likely to have scoliosis. But does scoliosis affect you?
Scoliosis can be a serious condition for three main reasons: the spinal cord can get tugged, stretched, or twisted, causing problems in the nervous system; the heart and lungs, which are encased in the ribs, can become deformed or malformed due to the pressures put on them; and pain and physical deformity can develop in severe cases.
If your scoliosis has not progressed beyond the conservative management range (generally regarded as scoliotic curves less than 40 degrees), you may benefit from chiropractic care. If you have already reached the age of skeletal maturity (which varies, but generally occurs prior to age 18), it is even possible that through chiropractic management your curves will lessen in severity. But even if you are already skeletally mature, you may find relief from your pain through chiropractic care.
I have treated multiple patients with scoliosis, and each have reported decreased pain and increased ability to remain active in their chosen hobbies. I am always encouraged to see these patients feeling better, knowing that without chiropractic care they would still be in pain. Since the gentle and safe Activator Methods technique is used at Johnson Family Chiropractic, each patient knows that their treatments will not cause additional pain.
Chiropractic can be effective for scoliosis for several reasons. The additional motion that the chiropractic adjustment provides to the spinal joints allows the spine to be flexible instead of tightening up in a abnormal position. Tight muscles which pull the bones out of position are relaxed. And there are several other complex theories of why chiropractic may help scoliosis. Several groundbreaking research studies on scoliosis have now shown that chiropractic can be effective in treating or helping to treat scoliosis.
If you are curious to learn more about chiropractic and scoliosis, feel free to contact a chiropractor in Peoria to set up a consultation or examination.
Here is an excellent video which briefly describes how and why chiropractic works, and what chiropractors do.
Please note that the chiropractic adjustments featured at 2:42 do not accurately reflect the chiropractic technique used at Johnson Family Chiropractic. We exclusively feature the Activator Methods technique, a gentle and low-force technique that is safe for all ages. Click this link to see a full description of the Activator Methods technique.
If you have any further questions regarding chiropractic and your health, contact a Peoria chiropractor today.
HT: Dr. Matthew Groves, DC
Pregnant women often find themselves with back pain, abdominal pain, headaches, joint pain, and other discomforts caused by weight gain, swelling, and postural changes. These pains are often a necessary sacrifice in order to allow the baby optimal conditions to grow. But living with pain, especially pain that reduces or prevents sleep, is not much fun.
Many women turn to chiropractors in order to help them with the temporary pain of pregnancy. Chiropractors can also help prepare mother and child for the birth process.
Even more women turn to simple over-the-counter medications to deal with the pain. Aspirin. Motrin. Midol. Celebrex. Toradol. Advil. These drugs are called NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). I have spoken with several patients who say they use NSAIDs "like candy" when they are in pain. But are these drugs safe?
Unless otherwise attributed, all content is written by Kyle Johnson, DC, of Johnson Family Chiropractic of Peoria.
All images used are under Creative Commons license.
Although every effort has been made to provide an accurate description of our chiropractic care and its benefits, the information given on this website and blog is not intended to be, nor should it be interpreted as, medical advice for any condition.
If you have any questions regarding your condition, you should seek the help of Dr. Johnson in person, so that he may properly assess your condition.
This blog is provided by Johnson Family Chiropractic of Peoria, PC, proudly located in Peoria, IL.