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Article by Sarah-Jane Corfield-Smith, re-produced from Daily Telegraph
Pretty vs. Pregnant: chiropractic practice for pregnancy back pain
This week our expectant beauty columnist, Sarah-Jane Corfield-Smith, finds that pregnancy-induced back pain leads her to making a new spine-relieving saviour
BY Sarah-Jane Corfield-Smith | 13 May 2014
A few weeks ago I wrote that I had, “never been to a chiropractor…”. Now, low and behold, after a few weeks of lower back and pelvis pain that flares up after my walk into work or standing up for too long, I am now under the care of a chiropractor to get me through the last six weeks of my pregnancy.
Up until now, the thought of all that ‘clicking’ and my burgeoning bump had meant that visiting a chiropractor for lower back pain associated with pregnancy wasn’t high on my agenda. But, having spoken to friends and my midwife, it seems to be a very common treatment route.
So, this week I spoke to Adam Greenfield, doctor of chiropractics at Stanmoer Chiropractic Clinic, www.stanmorechiropractic.com, to discuss all things pregnancy and chiropractic related.
“A lot of the pregnant women that I see – and I have treated over 700 in 12 years – have never been to a chiropractor before. But suddenly when pregnant and being faced with pain and discomfort, that you can’t take pain relief for, women find they have to seek out different treatment methods.”
“Chiropractic treatment is completely safe when pregnant. In fact, the only time I wouldn’t treat a pregnant woman is if she has elected to come and see me and is not experiencing any pain related symptoms. I would then wait until after 12 weeks. However, I have had patients who I’ve been treating ‘normally’, that have suddenly discovered they’re pregnant and the treatment has had no contraindications to their pregnancy.”
Adam reassured me that the pain I had been experiencing was completely normal. “The most common pregnancy-related issues I see are pelvic girdle pain (around the pelvis and lower back), problems with the sacro-iliac joints (where the spine meets the pelvis) or sciatic pain (nerve irritation).” So, how does he approach treating these issues?
“What’s interesting when treating pregnant women is that you can’t actually correct the posture because the spine has to bend to compensate for the increased load in the abdomen, this is called ‘Sway Back Posture’. So, the aim of care in this situation is not to undo the compensation, but to address the secondary symptoms of the change in positioning of the spine.”
“With pregnant patients I start with the least invasive treatment methods first. If after a few sessions the pain hasn’t eased, then I use a traditional manipulation style. I don’t start with this, because during pregnancy your ligaments are very elastic and I don’t want to put the body under any more stress. With non-pregnant patients I can manipulate them three to four times a week, however with a pregnant patient I would do it less often.”