Like many of my chiropractic colleagues, I have provided care for countless ladies from conception, throughout pregnancy, to full term and beyond. In my opinion pregnancy is one of the most important times ladies should consider seeing a chiropractor, not just for a comfortable pregnancy but also for relative ease of birth.
Proper function of the spine and pelvis is important during all stages of life, however, I would consider pregnancy more so.
Pelvic stability is the primary focus whenever I am assessing a pregnant patient. The weight of the growing baby rapidly increases after 19 weeks and a hormone called relaxin makes joints more flexible in preparation for birth as pregnancy progresses.
The sacroiliac (or ‘SI’) joints are large support joints of the pelvis held together by strong internal (or interosseous) ligaments. These ligaments hold the pelvis together against the forces of gravity and our own body weight. Add the weight of a rapidly develop baby and then add some relaxin to soften the interosseous ligaments and you have a pelvis much more sensitive to the stresses of life.
I use mainly SOT (Sacro-occipital technique), which I like as a system of accurately identifying and adjusting an unstable sacroiliac joint. I often recommend a light weight sacroiliac (or trochanteric) belt which is designed to provide support and can offer great relief.
Techniques used during pregnancy a quite gentle and vary as the pregnancy progresses. We use height adjustable electric tables specifically designed for chiropractors. Some tables we use have adjustable sections. We also use pregnancy (or ‘belly’) pillows to ensure mum is comfortable.
I hope this is of some help to pregnant mums!
Dr Patrick Maher – Chiropractor Brisbane City