Pregnancy and Low Back Pain


Gentle, low force treatment can help you through the discomforts associated with pregnancy

Pregnancy can be overwhelming at times. While it’s one of the greatest things to ever happen to you, your body goes through some difficult changes — like back pain, shoulder stiffness, sciatica, headaches, and pelvic problems just to name a few.

If not addressed, these conditions can have a negative impact on your lifestyle and can make your delivery much more difficult.

The stress placed on a woman’s body during pregnancy can lead to many complications that can cause discomfort or pain. In many cases, chiropractic adjustments can alleviate pregnancy and labor pain and decrease delivery time. Chiropractic adjustments can also help balance a woman’s spine and pelvis for normal functioning of the muscular and nervous systems.

Is Chiropractic Safe During Pregnancy?

One of the first questions we always get from both doctors and patients in regard to pregnancy is whether or not chiropractic is safe for both the mom and the baby during pregnancy. Chiropractic care is safe during pregnancy and our chiropractors are specially trained in The Webster Technique, which is specifically designed for pregnant women.  We here at Spinal and Sports Care Clinic have seen tremendous success in treating pregnant moms but do not take our word for it. Here is one expert opinion:pregnancy

Anne Packard-Spicer is a faculty member specializing in pregnancy related conditions at Northwestern Health Sciences University. She states that when a woman’s pelvis is properly aligned, the uterus will be under less nerve and mechanical stress, which causes the baby to be in a more comfortable position during labor. Chiropractic adjustments can begin at any time and can continue all the way up to the day of delivery.

Many women worry about getting adjusted while they are pregnant, but chiropractic is gentle and very safe throughout pregnancy,” says Packard- Spicer. “There is no evidence that adjustments have ever harmed a single pregnant woman or her baby. In my 12 years of experience, it is safe, gentle, and effective.

Pregnant women who are experiencing little to no pain should seek chiropractic evaluation to assess whether they have any mis-alignments. Asymptomatic patients may not need to be adjusted, but should be evaluated on a regular basis during pregnancy. Additionally, women who are considering becoming pregnant should receive chiropractic evaluations three months before conceiving. Pregnant women are typically adjusted regularly for 2-3 weeks or until their pain is reduced. Occasional check-ups through pregnancy and delivery can help assure a comfortable pregnancy.

Prenatal Massage works well with chiropractic care and is another natural way to effectively and comfortably reduce pain and stiffness related to pregnancy and helps you relax.

Other Research Supporting Pregnancy and Chiropractic

Chiropractic: A Natural Approach to Pregnancy

Chiropractic care has a long, proven track record in helping pregnant women during this constantly changing, yet delicate time. Here’s what one study had to say about chiropractic and pregnancy…

84% of patients receiving spinal manipulative therapy [chiropractic care] reported relief of back pain during pregnancy. There was significantly less likelihood of back labor when spinal manipulative therapy was administered during pregnancy.” — JMPT 1991

Add to this what childcare experts and authors Dr. William and Martha Sears state in their highly praised The Pregnancy Book:

chiropractic care during pregnancy can help to avoid or relieve back pain and also prepare your back and pelvic structures for the stresses of labor and birth.

Chiropractic and Lower Back Pain

The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics collected data on 78 patients after treatment of lower back pain secondary to pregnancy by a chiropractic physician. Results showed:

“73% of the patients had experienced clinically significant improvement in disability and 82% patients had experienced clinically significant improvement in pain. Follow-up data for an average of 11 months after the end of treatment were collected on 61 patients and 85.5% of patients rated their improvement as either excellent or good. The study concluded the management strategy used in this study appeared to yield favorable outcomes in this patient population and appears to be a safe option for patients with pregnancy related lumbo-pelvic pain.” (JMPT. Volume 32. Issue 8; pages 616-624. Oct. 2009)

In fact, many medical and healthcare associations recommend chiropractic care for pregnant mothers. The American Pregnancy Association said the following are potential benefits of chiropractic during pregnancy:

  • Maintaining a healthier pregnancy
  • Controlling symptoms of nausea
  • Reducing the time of labor and delivery
  • Relieving back, neck or joint pain


Chiropractic care involving spinal manipulative therapy and adjunctive therapies resulted in symptom improvement and independence from medication. With chiropractic care, the patient reported frequency of attacks from once daily to once every 5 days. The headache intensity was also reduced from a 9/10 pain rating to 2/10. The patient also indicated that self medicating at maximum allowable strength at every headache episode now occurred only occasionally or not at all.” Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. Vol. 15, Iss. 4, Nov. 2009. Pg: 192-7.