In human pregnancy, Burns noted that women with vertebral lesions had pregnancies and labors that were abnormal compared with non-lesioned pregnant women. Further, various obstetrical complications occurred with mothers suffering from lumbar lesions. 12,13
In regards to the health of the developing young rabbits, the offspring of lesioned mothers demonstrated stunted growth, erratic behavior, slow development and implications of anatomic deformities.12 Chiropractic author and researcher, Plaugher recommends that additional studies are clearly warranted based on these results with animals. 14
Subluxation of the sacrum in the pregnant pelvis is a major contributing factor to intrauterine constraint. Forrester and Anrig report:
“Specifically, sacral rotation causes an anterior torquing mechanism on the uterine ligaments and musculature, decreasing space and altering the environment for the fetus… When correction of the sacral subluxation occurs, the structure and therefore the function of the uterine structures are improved allowing the fetus to position itself properly.” 15
Constraint in the uterus contributes to abnormal fetal positioning in pregnancy and labor. Fetal presentations other than cephalic or positions other than anterior may result in frequent birth complications for the mother and baby.
Intrauterine constraint in pregnancy may cause irregular spinal development of the fetus as well. Compromised spinal development of the baby may have permanent adverse effects on the baby’s nerve system. Forrester and Anrig write:
“The critical effects of in-utero constraint involve the biomechanical considerations on fetal development, the potential for a reduced efficiency in labor resulting in a longer harder labor process with an increased incidence of anoxia, brain damage, asphyxia, prolapse of the umbilical cord and intrauterine death and a greatly elevated propensity toward operative delivery which exacerbates the danger of trauma to the neonate.” 16
One specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment, the Webster Technique, has been utilized to correct sacral subluxation and therefore reduce the effects of intrauterine constraint.17-19 The Webster Technique is defined as “a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment that reduces interference to the nerve system, facilitates balance in the pelvic and abdominal muscles and ligaments, which in turn reduces constraint to the woman’s uterus allowing the baby to get into the best possible position for birth.” 20
There are several textbooks and reference manuals in chiropractic which each address the importance of chiropractic care in pregnancy.21-25 Each book includes some or all of the reasons for chiropractic care throughout pregnancy discussed above.
_________________________________________________________ Council on Chiropractic Practice Clinical Practice Guideline Number 1 Vertebral Subluxation in Chiropractic Practice – 2003 Update & Revision