Archive: Feb 2017
Nothing has the capacity to change our lives like raising a child and leaving a legacy. Nothing is more a rite of passage for many women as becoming pregnant and birthing a child. Pregnancy is an AMAZING process! There are so many factors that have to come together just right in order for an egg to even be fertilized. After that, it is estimated that about 50 percent, yes HALF, of all pregnancies are spontaneously aborted by the body before the mother even knows she is pregnant.
So it’s only natural for an expectant mother to do all she can to ensure the best pregnancy possible. One of the things that is being recommended more often these days is chiropractic. Each week in our office we receive multiple referrals from the local birthing center or the midwife group at a nearby hospital. Once you understand the benefits getting adjusted has on a soon-to-be mom, it’s a wonder it’s not advised more often.
Let’s take a look at all the ways chiropractic care can helps with pregnancy:
Pelvic/Back Pain: As the uterus expands during pregnancy, there is increased pressure on the pelvis, as well as the ligaments that anchor the uterus. As the uterus expands, a woman’s center of graviity moves forward. It is estimated that for each inch forward, there is an additional ten pounds of pressure on the low back. Getting adjusted regularly throughout pregnancy allows the spine and the body to adapt to the increased stress, and reduces pain. Even WebMD is catching on to how beneficial chiropractic can be for pregnancy related pain
Better Nervous System Function: Pregnancy and childbirth are pretty much entirely autonomic processes, meaning you don’t have to think about them for them to happen. The autonomic nervous system controls them entirely, except for the pushing part. If there is pressure on the nerves to the placenta, or uterus, or cervix (which has to dilate to 10 cm for the baby to come out) then they will not operate normally. Removing the interference, or subluxation, helps the entire process to work better.
Easier Labor: The pelvis has to expand and open up for the baby to come out. A hormone called relaxin actually helps the ligaments, which hold one bone to another, to soften and stretch out. If the pelvis is out of alignment and stuck it will not be able to expand as it’s supposed to. Certain structures can actually block a portion of the pelvic outlet, making delivery much more difficult, and painful!
Proper Fetal Positioning: One of the main reasons that birth centers and hospitals refer us patients is for a BREECH POSITIONED baby, that is, head up and feet down. This is a potentially life threatening condition to delivery a baby in, and almost every case winds up a c-section. Another position that can create problems is POSTERIOR POSITIONING, or the baby head down but facing the front instead of facing the rear as they should be. Posterior position births, also called ‘back labor’, produce intense pain for the mother. The more uncomfortable the mother is, the greater the chances of medical interventions, which can cause more complications, including fetal distress. Aligning the pelvis throughout pregnancy keeps pressure off of these ligaments, and the parts of the uterus that attach to the pelvis. This helps create more room inside for the baby to move around and get into proper position.
Quicker Recovery Time: Birth causes a lot of pressure and stretching to the pelvis and to the ligaments holding everything together. If the pelvis is misaligned before labor, there is a high chance that as it expands during labor ligaments can be damaged. Additionally, when the pelvis heals, if the different portions don’t come back together the right way it can cause considerable pain. Research has shown that regular chiropractic care during pregnancy reduces the occurrence of SPD (SYMPHYSIS PUBIS DISORDER) an extremely painful condition post-partum when the 2 pubic bones do not realign correctly.
Even though the RESEARCH shows chiropractic care is not only safe, but also effective, be sure to find a chiropractor who is certified to treat pregnant patients. Since the ligaments are already more stretchy and loose during pregnancy there is a greater chance of injury if the doctor is not properly trained.
For more information about chiropractic and pregnancy please visit the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association website http://www,icpa4kids.org
Nothing can ruin your day like a headache. We all have had them, some more than others. Some mild, dull annoyances, others migraine quality, forcing us to hide in a dark room, maybe vomiting, often losing an entire day. Something I hear often in my practice is, “Well, I’ve just learned to live with it.” Or, “I’ve tried EVERYTHING!” The truth is headaches are not normal, and there are some very simple and effective solutions.
1) Drink more water! For more on the importance of water, check out this article from 2014 about WATER
Dehydration is a very common cause of headaches. The blood vessels, particularly venous drainage around the brain are very sensitive structures. Called the Dural Sinuses, they can cause a headache when blood volume decreases from dehydration. So many things can dehydrate us: poor food choices, not drinking enough or drinking too much non-hydrating beverages (even excess sports drinks can actually cause dehydration-like symptoms by increasing electrolyte levels too much), excessive sweating, certain medications… just remember, next time you get a headache drink two tall glasses of water ASAP.
2) Pressure Points: Rub any tender points along base of skull. While massage can be very effective at relaxing tight muscles that contribute to head and neck tension, there are more specific, and often more effective points to rub. Feel from the bump behind your ears all the way to the center point at the base of your skull. If you find any sensitive spots, apply medium to firm pressure for about 30 seconds. Repeat the process but a little higher up on the base of the skull each time. You’ll be amazed at how far up onto the skull you will find tender spots.
3) Essential Oils: Peppermint, Lavender, Eucalyptus and Rosemary are four of the best oils for headaches. Peppermint: rub a few drops of peppermint oil into the temples and/or back of neck for a tension headache. Also good for focus and concentration Lavender: can be applied just like Peppermint oil for tension headaches. In addition it can be added to a warm bath, or a few drops can be put into a spray bottle of water and misted on the face and neck. Eucalyptus: has similar effects to the last two. It is also a great expectorant and can be rubbed on the chest to relieve pressure. Rosemary: is also good for tension headaches, but is especially effective if the headache is related to low blood sugar. With all of these oils you should use a carrier oil. This is a regular food grade oil, like Coconut or grape seed oil. Place some in your hand or a small dish and then add the Essential Oil to it. This will prevent skin irritation, as some of the oils can be quite strong, and also helps your oils last longer. Remember, a little bit goes a long way.
4) Get Adjusted!: When spinal bones in the neck move out of alignment, from either stress or injury, headache is a very common result. Increased pressure on the sensitive nerve fibers that exit between every vertebrae can cause a wide array of symptoms, as well as changes in physiology that remain assymptomatic. Follow these links for references to research studies related to headache and getting adjusted.
You’ll find over 30 different studies on everything from the common headache, to migraines, to post-concussive, even pediatric headaches and how chiropractic care can alleviate them.
5) Chemical Origin: Many headaches are related to a build-up of toxins in the body or certain chemical toxins, often times a food additive. Many people have headaches following ingestion of MSG, Nitrates/Nitrites, Gluten (wheat), food preservatives/dyes, even plain old sugar. Keeping a food journal can help you identify the types of foods/additives that you react to. Cleansing can help if it is due to a build-up of toxins.
While medication has its place, over-medicating can often create worse effects than the original issue. Over 125,000 people a year die from NSAIDS (Ibuprofen, Naproxen, etc). Opiod pain medication is creating an epidemic of addiction, with many of its victims resorting to a much cheaper form, heroin, to get their fix. The resulting addiction often forces them into crime to support their habit. There are much better choices out there to get to the root cause of the headache and not just mask the symptom. It is NOT normal to have regular headaches. Do something about it! 🙂
For more information about any of the topics listed above, please contact our office.