The Webster technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment of the sacrum. The Webster technique allows the chiropractor to assess the relationship of the sacrum to its neighboring bones, muscles, and ligaments. The chiropractor then provides a gentle, quick adjustment to the sacrum. The goal of the adjustment is to promote proper neuro-biomechanical function in the pelvis: in other words, to make sure that everything's working the way it's supposed to.
Your pelvis is essentially a circular ring made up of three bones. Two large hip bones sit on either side, and the ring is completed in the back by a large triangular bone called the sacrum, the foundation of the spinal column. The pelvis essentially connects the lower half of your body to the upper half. The pelvis also protects some very important and delicate organs. The reproductive organs and bladder are found here, among others.
In women, the pelvis plays additional roles during pregnancy and childbirth. The uterus attaches to various points of the pelvis by means of some strong and tough ligaments. If the pelvis is slightly misaligned, these ligaments can tug on the uterus, causing tension in the uterine walls.
Before and during childbirth itself, the pelvic joints expand slightly in order to allow the baby's large head to pass through the birth canal. After childbirth, the pelvic joints attempt to contract to their original and proper orientations.
Webster Technique and Pregnancy
The Webster technique is especially popular among pregnant mothers preparing for the birth of their child. Dr. Larry Webster, the discoverer of the Webster technique, reported that when a mother sought care and her baby was in a breech position, the restoration of pelvic neuro-biomechanics with this adjustment also frequently facilitated optimal fetal positioning. There are cases published in the chiropractic literature that support his theory. More research is needed and is currently underway by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA).
Dr. Webster proposed a reason for his apparent success with breech positions. Sacral misalignment may cause the tightening and torsion of specific pelvic muscles and ligaments. It is these tense muscles and ligaments and their aberrent effect on the uterus which may prevent the baby from comfortably assuming the best possible position for birth. By adjusting the sacrum and allowing those ligaments to relax, the baby is then freed to assume the proper vertex position. It is important to note that Dr. Webster did not claim to turn breech babies, but rather that the adjustment restores the pelvic relationships which then allows both the mother's body and the baby to prepare for childbirth.
The obstetric literature has determined 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 pelvic neuro-biomechanics for the prevention of dystocia (difficult birth). Chiropractic literature has determined the significance of sacral adjusting in normalizing pelvic neuro-biomechanics.
Because of the particular female adaptations from the increase of hormones, weight gain and postural adaptations, pregnant mothers have a greater chance of sacral subluxation and neuro-biomechanical imbalance than the general population (although all people, male or female, can benefit from sacrum adjustments). Additionally, because of the effect the chiropractic adjustment has on all body functions by reducing nerve system stress, pregnant mothers may have significant benefit by having their spines checked regularly throughout pregnancy, optimizing health benefits for both the mother and baby.
It is therefore considered prudent that the Webster technique be used throughout pregnancy to detect and alleviate sacral imbalance and optimize pelvic neuro-biomechanics in the mother.
If you would like to learn more about the Webster technique, contact us today. Check out our patient reviews to see what our patients have to say about the Webster Technique.
Some content provided by ICPA with kind permission from Dr. Jeanne Ohm.