Chiropractors and Pregnancy

I will be the first to say that I don’t know that much about chiropractic care.

I’m very much a scientifically minded, evidence based kind of person.  This means that I don’t always jump on what some might call “alternative healing” methods right away.  That’s not to say I don’t use them to compliment modern treatments.  I’m just saying that after surviving hyperemesis gravidarum, I’m not going to rely on alternative methods to the exclusion of modern medicine.

I’ve got a healthy amount of skepticism about the whole chiropractor thing.  I had a chiropractor once tell me she could cure my head cold by adjusting my neck and tugging my ears in a special way.  But I would have to come back three times per week for a six weeks or it wouldn’t work.  Maybe that works for some people, but I really don’t think that’s the right choice for me.  I totally respect if that’s something that works well for you.  Please don’t misunderstand that.  It’s just not something that I really get into.

I have also had a (different) chiropractor take me from constant, horrible pain in my hips to no pain at all through deep tissue work and joint adjustments.  I was training for a half-marathon and later a marathon (didn’t finish the latter), and when you start running those really significant distances, things crop up.  Little issues become really big, painful issues pretty immediately when you push your body to its limit like that.  This chiropractor got me from barely being able to hobble after a 10 mile run to being able to run 15 miles with no pain.

This particular chiropractor was very into sports medicine.  In fact, he worked on the US Olympic marathon team.  He didn’t cure their sore throats.  He helped work their muscles and bone structure into physical balance so that they could run without pain from one body part compensating for another.  You start building your strength in a symmetrical way and your body is much more comfortable.

When I was pregnant with the Grasshopper, I didn’t see a chiropractor.  I just never made the time.

This time, though, I’ve been getting horrible pain in the joints of my pelvis.  I mean, it was hurting to roll over in bed.  My entire right leg would start hurting part way through the night.  Not fun.

So I asked my midwives if they could recommend a chiropractor in the area.

The one I ended up seeing is a sport-focused chiropractor just like the one I saw when I was running.  It was great.  No mystical stuff, no uncomfortable pressure to come back every single day for a month.  He just worked on the muscles in my hips, back, and neck, and gave me a few good adjustments.

I say he “just” worked on those muscles, but boy he really got in there.  It was pretty intense.  I had to breathe through most of it.  He told me to tell him to back off if I needed him to, but for me as long as I can stay relaxed enough to where I’m not flexing the muscle to “protect” it or holding my breath, it’s okay.  I like deep tissue work.  If it’s right on the edge of too much and I need breathe and focus, that’s just where I want the pressure to be.

I tell you this: I waddled in there, but I walked out like a regular human being.  Wonderful.

I went back to see him this past Tuesday just to follow-up.  He was able to get in a little more on the hips and worked things out enough to get a good adjustment deep in my low back, which he hadn’t been able to get before.

He also gave me some pointers on relieving some of the symptoms I’ve been experiencing:

  • Pelvic rocks (cat/cow if you’re into yoga) will help ease pressure on my pelvis
  • A calcium/magnesium supplement will help reduce the leg cramps (eating a banana apparently won’t help much)
  • Ice packs on sore places in my back, hips, and neck will help reduce pain also

Basic stuff.  Most of it echoed what my midwives had told me, but hearing him reinforce that was nice.

He really helped me to feel more comfortable.  I’m still achy, cranky, and hot, but I’m not completely miserable anymore.  I’m also pretty sure that shortly after he did the first adjustments, the baby went ahead and turned the rest of the way to a head down position.  I’ll find out for sure at my appointment next Thursday.  I’ve heard that getting your hips opened up can help a baby turn, so I really think this is what happened.

Have any of you seen a chiropractor while you were pregnant?  If so, what did you see him/her for?  Did it help?

3 thoughts on “Chiropractors and Pregnancy

  1. I’ve been seeing a chiro for the past 10+ years. Sadly I had moved when I was pregnant with my first baby, who was breech, and didn’t know of a chiro I could trust – yes, not all are the same and I wouldn’t go to just any chiropractor, so I didn’t go.
    My other pregnancies we had moved back home and I saw my chiro and got much relief, especially with sciatic pain and hip pain.

    As a family we go once a month and I always feel like I am standing so much taller afterwards. Yes it’s painful, but no pain no gain, right? 🙂


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