The process of birth is preceded by a myriad of biomechanical and physiologic changes for both mother and fetus. As the mother’s production of the hormone relaxin increases ten-fold, it creates arthrodial laxity, which allows for the pelvis to accommodate the enlarging uterus. However, it also weakens the ability of static supports in the lumbosacral spine to withstand forces that may lead, from a chiropractic perspective, to vertebral subluxations and in-utero/intrauterine constraints. A unique chiropractic technique by which lumbosacral subluxations are addressed in the pregnant woman is the Webster In-Utero Constraint Technique A total of 30 consecutive patient files were examined in one chiropractic clinic. The average age of the patients was 30.9 years with ages ranging from 20 – 46 years. The average week of gestation at presentation for chiropractic care was 34.4 weeks of gestation (range 29-39 weeks). All were singleon pregnancies. Four of the patients had a fetus in transverse lie fetus, 11 were breeched, and 9 were in a posterior lie while one had a facial presentation. All corrected to the proper vertex presentation following a sequence of adjustments, as confirmed by the midwife. An average of 3 visits (range 1-10 visits) was required to correct the fetal malposition or malpresentation.
The technique utilized as the Webster Technique may provide benefits to the pregnant patient beyond low back pain. We advocate further research in this field.
Linda Mullin, DC 1 and Joel Alcantara, DC 2
- Associate Professor, Life University, Marietta, GA and Private Practice of Chiropractic, Marietta, GA
- Research Director, International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, Media, PA and Private Practice of Chiropractic, San Jose, CA, USA
This study was funded by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, Media, PA
Joel Alcantara, DC
237 N Middletown Rd
Media, PA 19063
Presented at WFC/FCER Biennial Research Conference. Sydney, Australia, June 16-18, 2005.