A case study was published on August 1, 2019, in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, documenting the improvement of a pregnant woman who was helped by chiropractic care after an injury during her pregnancy.
The authors of the study begin by reporting that traumatic injuries complicate 6% to 8% of pregnancies. This results in approximately 30,000 pregnant women having to seek care for their injuries. The breakdown shows that 54.6% are from motor vehicle accidents, 22.3% from violent assaults, 21.8% from falls, and the remainder from a variety of other incidents.
Accidents and trauma during pregnancy can affect the mother and the unborn infant. Studies have shown that the infant survival rate after a serious trauma is reduced to 56% following the trauma with most of the fetal deaths occurring in the 2nd trimester. The study points out the serious consequences, “Among pregnant women who sustained severe injuries, there is 17-fold increased risk for placental abruption and a 30-fold increased risk for fetal death.”
In this case, a 36-year-old woman who was in the 33rd week of her pregnancy presented herself for a chiropractic evaluation and possible care. Two weeks prior to her visit, she fell down a 15-step set of stairs. After the fall, she went into premature labor and was taken to the hospital. She was released two days later and told that she would probably have her baby early.
One week later, the woman developed pain in her hips, lower back and pelvis. She reported that it was becoming increasing difficult to lift her toddler son as well as perform her daily activities. She rated the pain as between 8 and 10 on a 1 to 10 scale with 10 being the worst.
A chiropractic examination showed several postural abnormalities including a forward position head and an increased curve on the lower back. Palpation of the woman’s spine showed multiple areas of sensitivity and tight musculature. Her spinal range of motion was both restricted and painful.
It was determined that subluxations were present and specific forms of chiropractic adjustments were given appropriate for her subluxations and being pregnant. It was recommended that she be adjusted 2-3 times per week for the remainder of her pregnancy.
The woman reported that within the first three chiropractic visits, she had a significant improvement in her pain and quality of life. After three visits, her pelvic pain had resolved as did her lower back pain after five visits. She delivered a baby girl just one day short of 38 weeks, which was longer than expected by her medical physicians and longer than for her first child.
In their discussion, the authors relate how common chiropractic care is becoming for pregnant women. “Since the inception of chiropractic, the care of the pregnant patient has taken place. In the modern era, the popularity of chiropractic for this patient population is justified in terms of chiropractic’s effectiveness in addressing pregnancy-related musculoskeletal complaints and improvements in quality of life.”