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A study published in the May 2003 issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, showed a strong link between the resolution of infertility and the initiation of chiropractic care. The study consisted of a retrospective review of 14 separate articles of 15 women suffering with infertility. In each of these cases chiropractic care was introduced and the results were documented and published.
The studies followed 15 female subjects ranging in age from 22 to 65. The prior pregnancy history of these women revealed 11 of them had never gotten pregnant. Two of the women had prior successful unassisted pregnancies. One woman had an assisted pregnancy, while 1 had a history of a miscarriage. In this group 9 women had previous treatment for infertility before starting chiropractic and 4 were actually undergoing infertility treatment when they started chiropractic care.
The study noted the huge expense of infertility treatment options currently used by many couples noting the range of expenses can easily go into the thousands. The article also noted that in vitro fertilization has shown evidence of long term risks. A study published in November 2002 in the online version of the American Journal of Human Genetics reported that "babies conceived by in vitro fertilization may be at increased risk for a rare genetic disorder that predisposes them to cancer".
The chiropractic care rendered to the women listed in this study was from a variety of chiropractors using a variety of techniques. The focus of the care in these cases was correction of vertebral subluxations. The research article defined Subluxation by using the agreed definition of the Association of Chiropractic Colleges. Subluxation, as defined by the Association of Chiropractic Colleges, is a "complex of functional and / or structural and / or pathological articular changes that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health". The study noted that all of the women in these studies, who were struggling with infertility, had evidence of nerve system interference, as detected by the presence of subluxations.
The results of these individual case studies showed that even though many of these women had tried unsuccessfully for some time to become pregnant, all of the women in this study eventually became pregnant somewhere between 2 months and 20 months of the onset of chiropractic care. One of the case studies was summed up by the author, Elizabeth Anderson-Peacock, DC, DICCP, "Although chiropractic care is not a treatment for infertility, it is postulated that improvement of spinal neural integrity through specific chiropractic adjustments may have contributed to improved homeostasis and physiological adaptation thus allowing the body to express a greater level of health as an outcome."
"Pregnancy Today" magazine describes themselves as "the journal for parents to be". On June 13, 2004 they ran a story written by Patti Larson a mother and author, about her experiences while being pregnant and the help she received with Chiropractic care. She began the story by explaining the emotions she and her husband experienced when she found out for sure she was pregnant.
As a woman in her mid-30s having her first baby, she described her concerns and questions by asking, "When will morning sickness start? How long will I be able to work? Will I make it through delivery with little pain and swearing?" She also noted that her diet and sleep habits were good, but although she had great intentions, her exercise regime was less than desirable.
She did however, mention the one thing she saw as a big factor in helping her. "What ultimately saved me from suffering undue tiredness, aches and stress from my ballooning body shape and shifting hormones was chiropractic care." She continued, "I already made regular visits to my chiropractor prior to pregnancy, so it seemed natural to continue. My chiropractor recommended I continue with weekly visits, adding that I should come in more often if I felt I needed it."
Dr. Jeff Ptak, her chiropractor in Santa Monica, Calif., explained why chiropractic care made such a positive difference, during her pregnancy. "Chiropractic care addresses the functioning nervous system," he said. "When the nervous system is not unduly stressed from environmental factors physical, emotional or chemical stress the body will work according to its unique genetic plan. A stressful birth will stress all parties involved and remain until the nervous system stress is cleared. Chiropractic, by allowing the body to handle stress, helps expecting mothers, new mothers and their newborn children handle life with greater ease."
Leslie Stewart, a certified nurse-midwife also agrees. "Chiropractic care can actually help with labor. Some women who run past their due date have used treatment to help start labor, rather than having a hospital induce them."
The article author, Patti Larson, noted that she not only continued care through her pregnancy, but also after the birth of her daughter Madeline. She concluded the article by saying, "Madeline received regular adjustments her second week after entering the world. She never had colic, ear infections, colds or any symptoms of sickness throughout her first 12 months of life when children are often most susceptible. Some people cringe when I tell them she sees a chiropractor, yet everyone agrees that she is one of the most alert, active babies they have ever seen. Some say I'm lucky, but I tell them it's really very simple just stay well adjusted!"
A November 7, 2001 report on a study conducted by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association showed that a chiropractic technique known as the "Webster Breech Turning Technique" was statistically very successful in resolving breech pregnancies without medical procedures. A Breech pregnancy is when the baby is not properly positioned in the mother's womb near the date for delivery. If the baby is not positioned head-first, the delivery may be difficult or even dangerous for both the mother and child.
This chiropractic technique was created by the late Dr. Larry Webster, who was affectionately known as "The grandfather of chiropractic pediatrics." The study entailed surveying members of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, Inc (ICPA - www.icpa4kids.com) throughout the United States and Canada. The survey noted that there were a reported 112 cases of breech recorded by the chiropractors. Of these, the results were 102 positive resolutions. This means that in 102 of 112 cases the baby turned properly after the chiropractic procedure was performed. This represents a success rate of almost 92%!
The conclusions of this study clearly stated, "When successful, the Webster Technique avoids the costs and/or risks of either, ECV, cesarean section or vaginal trial of breech. In view of these findings the Webster Technique deserves serious consideration in the health care management of expectant mothers exhibiting adverse fetal presentation."
Study Shows Chiropractic Technique Effective In Breech Turning
study published in the July/August 2002 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT) shows that a chiropractic technique known as the "Webster Technique" for managing the musculoskeletal causes of intrauterine constraint, is effective in cases of pregnancy with women experiencing breech presentation which can lead to a cesarean section birth.
According to the published study, "Intrauterine constraint is defined as any force external to the developing fetus that obstructs the normal movement of the fetus." Intrauterine constraint can prevent the developing fetus from moving into the normal head-down position needed for a normal vaginal birth. When this happens this is called a "breech presentation". This situation plays a critical role in how the mother delivers her baby. According to the statistics published in the article, in the United States 86% of all infants with breech presentation are delivered by cesarean section.
According to the JMPT article, the Webster Technique is a chiropractic technique designed to relieve the musculoskeletal causes of intrauterine constraint. This technique is also known by names such as as Webster's In-Utero Constraint Technique or Webster's Breech Turning Technique. The Webster Technique was developed by Dr. Larry Webster in 1978. Dr. Webster was often referred to in the Chiropractic profession as "The Grandfather of Chiropractic Pediatrics." Additionally, the technique is presently taught in many chiropractic colleges and postgraduate chiropractic education seminars.
The study was done by surveying a large number of doctors of chiropractic who use the technique to see the percentage of results they obtain on real patients. The survey required detailed information to verify the accuracy of the responses. The results showed that 82% of the doctors surveyed reported a high rate of success when using the Webster Technique. The results from the study suggested that it may be beneficial to perform the Webster Technique in the 8th month of pregnancy, if it has been determined that the child is in the breech position. This timing is important because from the 8th month on, a breech presentation is unlikely to spontaneously convert to the normal head down position.
The study concludes by saying, "when successful, the Webster Technique avoids the costs and risks of cesarean section or vaginal trial of breech. In view of these findings, the Webster Technique deserves serious consideration in the management of expectant mothers exhibiting adverse fetal presentation."
From the April 1, 2007 issue of the Monterey Herald in California comes an article with a story of a woman who was having trouble with her pregnancy. Jennifer Hernandez was 36 years of age, and 32 weeks pregnant when her obstetrician told her she was facing a Caesarean delivery because the baby in her womb was in a high-risk position.
Hernandez's obstetrician performed an ultrasound which showed that her baby was 180 degrees from the normal head-down position for birth. With this news and wanting to avoid a possible C-section, she then sought the services of Dr. Anne Lundquist, a prenatal chiropractor certified since 2001 in the Webster In-Utero Constraint Technique.
Hernandez reported her reaction after starting chiropractic care, "I felt a great relief after the first adjustment." The article then noted that after two sessions with Dr. Lundquist, a new ultrasound showed the baby was in the proper head-down position. "Immediately after the first treatment I felt he moved," Hernandez said.
Dr. Jeanne Ohm, a chiropractor and executive coordinator of the Philadelphia-based International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, the organization that certifies chiropractors in the technique, described the technique by saying, "It reduces interference to the nervous system, balances out pelvic muscles and ligaments, which in turn removes torsion to the uterus. It allows the baby to get into the best possible position for birth."
Dr. Ohm, who has 25 years of chiropractic experience and 10 at teaching the "Webster" technique noted that the technique doesn't involve any risk. However, the article did note that the success rate drops if the patients have passed the 34-week mark of their pregnancies.
Chiropractic Helps New Mothers Produce Milk
An article in the March 2007 issue of the scientific periodical, the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics, presents three documented case studies of chiropractic care helping new mothers who were unable to produce adequate mother's milk. A reduction in mothers milk, known as "Hypolactation" can be a serious problem that can create health issues for both the mother and child.
The first case was a women who went to the chiropractor on the referral of her midwife. She had given birth 10 days earlier to her second child and unlike her first, she was unable to establish a milk supply for her second baby. The patient had no other medical issues other than difficulty in swallowing a glass of water.
An examination determined that she had a subluxation, and specific chiropractic care was initiated to correct that issue. After her second visit the patient commented that she found it much easier to swallow. By the third visit she noticed visible changes in her breast and the production of milk. This improvement resulted in a positive weight gain for the infant who was forced to depend of formula until the mothers milk issues were resolved.
The second patient went to the chiropractor for upper back pain but was also unable to produce sufficient milk to feed her one month old infant. Her examination showed no medical history for her problems, however, the chiropractic portion of her exam showed subluxations. She began a series of specific chiropractic adjustments for subluxation correction. By the forth visit the patient was noticing breast enlargement and the production of milk. She also became pain free from the upper back pain she was experiencing.
The third case was a women who came into the chiropractor's office with her daughter six days after birth. She was sent there on the recommendation of the hospital lactation consultant. As in the previous cases, subluxations were found and care was initiated to correct them. In this case it took only 24 hours for the positive results to show, and for this mother to be able to feed her infant naturally.
Based on their case studies and the volumes of previous research, these researchers concluded that subluxations and the neurological interference they cause play a major role in Hypolactation. The researchers suggest, "Chiropractic evaluation for subluxations would be a key element in the holistic assessment of the failure to establish milk supply in the post partum patient."
The above is the actual headline from the August 7, 2007 Milford Daily News in Massachusetts. This article addresses the benefits of chiropractic care in pregnancy. The article starts by following the story of one chiropractic patient, Amanda Giampaoli-Martinez, who was receiving chiropractic care throughout her pregnancy. The story notes that when Amanda was ready to give birth she called her chiropractor Dr. Maryam Ahsan, to be present at the birth.
It was not two minutes after the birth of Amanda's new baby girl, Arianna, that she was checked by Dr. Maryam. New mother Amanda recalled the activity by stating, "Dr. Maryam was driving when I called her and asked if she could come to the hospital. She just turned her car around." Giampaoli-Martinez continued, "When I was having bad pain, (Dr. Ahsan) put me on my side and adjusted me while I was on the table." Ms. Giampaoli-Martinez was pleased with her results and noted, "I went three times a week, and after a month my back pain was gone. I was also having shooting leg pain and the hip alignment helped to take that away."
The article explains that the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association teaches a technique named after the associations late founder Dr. Larry Webster, called the Webster Technique. The article explains that the Webster Technique decreases intrauterine constraint, resulting in a quicker, less difficult delivery. This technique became prominent after it was discovered that certain adjustments had a high success rate in reversing the position of breech babies.
Dr. Jeanne Ohm, executive director of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, explained the procedure, "There is no deep tissue massage with this technique. It's a really light force," she said. "Chiropractors will check the woman's sacrum (pelvis bone) and press on different areas to restore balance. They (patients) turn her on her back and check her belly and a round ligament for tightness." Dr. Ohm continued, "There are no known contraindications or complications to the adjustments. No one's ever called back to report a problem, and I would definitely be the first to know. Osteopathic studies have shown the adjustments reduce labor time and fight dystocia (abnormal or overly long childbirth)."
The article also interviewed Dr. David Bilstrom, a board certified physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, and director of Oasis Center for Health in Hinsdale. He feels that most medical doctors are unfamiliar with chiropractic care. He states, "Chiropractic care tends to be quite safe. In the right hands, I would feel very comfortable seeing the treatment done."
The above headline comes from the August 14, 2007 issue of the Dallas Morning Star. In this article, Special Contributor Kathleen Green, starts off by stating, " Moms-to-be once resigned themselves to nine months of misery. But, frankly, they've had enough." She continues, " More women are exploring options and seeking alternatives to ease back pain, headaches, exhaustion and much more. One place many are finding relief is at a chiropractor's office."
The article follows several chiropractors and their pregnant patients and views their reasons for choosing chiropractic and their results. One such patient was Teresa Seymour, who started chiropractic treatment during her first pregnancy with her daughter who is now 2 years old. Teresa said, "If there were times when I could feel that I was starting to get sore in the back, I would go to the chiropractor." During her second pregnancy, she reported, "Just picking up my daughter could knock a hip a little bit the wrong way and kind of pinch a nerve," she says. "I went to [my chiropractor], and he'd adjust my back and my hips."
The article interviews Dr. Ken Wilson, a chiropractor who sees a lot of pregnant women in his practice and estimates that about 20 percent of his patients are pregnant. He stated, "My focus has changed more to pregnant moms and kids nowadays. My wife had to go through the constant low back [pain] and headaches and really being uncomfortable all of the time. I wanted to help her personally."
Chris Burfield, an educational director with Dr. Wilson added, "When spinal bones get pulled out of place, those bones push up against or irritate the nerves. Those nerves will start to send pain signals off to the brain to let the brain know there's a problem."
Sara Townsley, a former high school science teacher received chiropractic care two years ago during her first pregnancy. She recalled, "If I do a lot of cleaning, like bathroom cleaning where I'm bending over, when I'm pregnant, that's usually when I have my sciatica." She continued, "Ella [her daughter] really sat on my hips, and it helped to have them aligned regularly to relieve some pressure and nerve pinching."
The article also interviews a medical physician, Dr. Walter Evans, an obstetrician-gynecologist in private practice at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas. According to the article, Dr. Evans acknowledges a chiropractor's potential in prenatal care, sometimes referring patients with lower back pain to chiropractors. He states, "I've had good luck working with some chiropractors with patients who have low back pain during pregnancy.
Two news stories chronicled chiropractic helping pregnant women during their times of physical change. One of the stories appeared on the website of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on July 2, 2007 and followed a second time mother who was suffering from lower back pain caused by her pregnancy. The second story was from the May 22, 2007 Asheville Citizen-Times and reported on a four time mother who had been under chiropractic care regularly to help prevent problems and make the experience healthier.
The St. Louis story followed the plight of Tykita Bethley who was suffering from what she referred to as usual aches and pains during her first pregnancy four years ago. She stated, "My back hurt, and then once I had my daughter, it hurt even more, especially on the right side." Then during her second pregnancy she added, "My back hurt like crazy then, too, but I had accepted my back pain for the longest time."
Tykita went to the Pregnancy Clinic at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, a facility that is set up to help study the effect of chiropractic care and exercise on pregnant women. She started care at week 27 and continued throughout the remainder of her pregnancy. She received stretching exercises and chiropractic adjustments. The result was that she became nearly pain free. I can't tell you," Tykita stated, "I feel so much better.
In the second story out of Asheville, NC, Wendi Lonabaugh is an ongoing chiropractic patient who was under care to prevent the problems she had with previous pregnancies. She noted that chiropractic made a difference and unlike her previous pregnancies, she did not have any sciatic pain this time, she commented, "It makes sense when you think about it.
The Asheville Citizen-Times also reported that according to the N.C. Chiropractic Association, more than 25 million people visited chiropractors last year. They noted that the number of people receiving chiropractic services has doubled in the past 20 years, and they estimate that the number will double again by 2010.
The article also reported on cyclist Patricia Pinner, who uses chiropractic to help improve her performance. The article reports that Pinner estimates that 90 percent of the women on the Asheville Women's Cycling team see a chiropractor. "The whole keeping your spine in alignment is necessary for total health," she said. "When you are trying to compete, total health needs to be as good as it can be."
From the March 11, 2008, issue of the the scientific periodical, the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research (JVSR), comes a case study involving a pregnant women who was suffering from back pain and therefore sought out chiropractic care. This was her third pregnancy and the previous two pregnancies resulted in cesarean births. The 29 year old woman was hoping to deliver this baby vaginally.
In this case, the woman started chiropractic care in her 34th week of pregnancy because of suffering from back pain. She reported having experienced on and off lower back pain throughout her pregnancy. She had also had similar problems in the third trimester of her previous pregnancy.
A chiropractic examination was performed and the determination of subluxations was made. Care was initiated focusing mainly on the lower spine. On the patient's 4th visit, she reported that her low back pain had improved significantly and she was "getting around better" than before the care.
In the 40th week of her pregnancy, the woman went into labor. She labored 12 hours at home with her husband before going to the hospital. Although she reported that the medical staff was extremely anxious, given her previous birth history, she delivered a healthy baby girl, naturally and without the use of medications or a Caesarean surgical procedure, as had been the case in her prior births.
The study authors, Joel Alcantara, BSc, DC and Ingrid Hamel, DC, FICPA, concluded, "This case report described the successful chiropractic management of a patient with pregnancy-related low back pain and possibly facilitated a successful vaginal birth despite two previous Caesareans."
A documented case study showing chiropractic care helping a breech pregnancy was published on April 7, 2008, in the scientific periodical, the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research (JVSR). In this case, a 28 year old woman returned to the chiropractor in her 34th week of pregnancy. She had previously been receiving chiropractic care for headaches and sacroiliac pain.
In week 34 of her pregnancy, the woman's nurse midwife recommended that she return for chiropractic care after it was discovered that the presentation of her current pregnancy was breech. She had previously carried her first pregnancy in a breech presentation until 37 weeks until seeking chiropractic care.
This study notes that approximately 3%-5% of term pregnancies in the United States result in a breech presentation, while 80%-100% of those breech presenting fetus? are delivered by cesarean section. Breech presentation is when a fetus is set up for the birth with the buttocks or feet rather toward the birth canal rather than the normal head first, known as the "cephalic presentation".
Upon chiropractic examination, the breech presentation was confirmed and the chiropractic analysis and procedure known as the "Webster Technique" was utilized to determine intrauterine constraint and initiate correction.
Two days after receiving chiropractic care using the Webster Technique, the woman returned to her nurse midwife for her follow up visit. That examination showed that the fetus had turned to a normal presentation. In the conclusion of this case report, the chiropractor, Dr. John Cameron Thomas noted, "The importance of preventing intrauterine constraint and cesarean section deliveries is apparent. For women who desire to deliver vaginally, there are options that can be performed before having a scheduled cesarean section."