Most commonly in pregnancy, expecting moms are going to start to see lower back pain and sciatica. As the pregnancy starts to continue and move forward, she’s going to be gaining weight. The center of gravity moves forward and that shifts the way the weight is borne over the spine and starts to stress the lower back. That can increase the likelihood of the lower segments of the spine getting misaligned or, what in chiropractic we call subluxated, where the vertebrae move out of their normal position, they get a little bit fixed or stuck in that abnormal position, and it irritates the nerve system. If it is irritating the L5 nerve which is typically the one that leaves from the lower back and goes down the back of the leg, you’re going to see sciatica.
Another thing that the moms will experience is round ligament pain. Usually the anterior portion, more commonly on the right, in my practice. I don’t know why, but we see it a lot more on the right than we do on the left. And as those ligaments progress in the pregnancy, they can be tightened or contracted. The Webster technique helps relax that round ligament, stops the pulling, and actually lets the uterus maintain its larger shape. That big shape makes everything more comfortable for the baby while it’s in gestation just kind of hanging out inside the womb. The more room there is inside the womb, usually the easier it is for the baby. The more freedom of movement the baby has, the more likely it is for a head-down presentation.
A lot of moms are coming to us with babies that aren’t head down yet. Although the technique doesn’t actually flip the baby, it does optimize the environment that the baby’s in by relaxing the round ligament, the uterosacral ligament, and aligning the pelvic joints to create the optimal space. All the research shows, if you apply the Webster technique correctly, it’ll result in shorter delivery time, less pain, and less need for intervention, which is what the moms are looking for.
Sometimes we’ll see neck pain, shoulder pain, and numbness or tingling in the arm. Again, as the center of gravity moves forward in the abdominal area, the head needs to move forward to maintain the center of gravity and balance, which sometimes upsets the alignment in the neck. Then we start to see pressure build up on the nerves that leave the neck, and you can see what’s called the shoulder-hand syndrome or pain through the shoulder. Numbness and tingling in the hands in the expecting mom is very common as well.
Those are the primary issues that women will present to us with when they are experiencing pain. There are also so many benefits of getting the Webster technique and getting adjusted during your pregnancy that don’t really have anything to do with pain such as maintaining proper alignment, and proper nerve supply without interference in the expecting mom. When delivery happens, it is this big neurological cascade that happens in the mom’s body. When the baby is ready to be born and breathe oxygen, the baby will signal the mom. Then the mom starts this neurological cascade of events that kind of expels the baby through the birth canal. It is a miraculous process and it is so reliant on the nerve system and proper communication in the body. When you are under chiropractic care and optimizing nerve system function and communication, those things are going to go much smoother during pregnancy. There is a lot of research supporting that with the Webster technique.
The pains that moms may experience during pregnancy are back pain, neck pain, sciatica, shoulder-arm pain, round ligament pain, and pelvic pain. Chiropractors do some adjusting to the pelvic girdle to help minimize that pelvic pain as well. So, all in all, chiropractic care utilizing the Webster Technique is a great way to handle the aches and pains during pregnancy. It’s all natural, no drugs, no surgery, and there are no side effects to the mom or the baby.