Chiropractic care benefits all aspects of your body's ability to be healthy. This is accomplished by working with the nervous system--the communication system between your brain and body. Doctors of Chiropractic work to correct spinal, pelvic and cranial misalignments (subluxations). When misaligned, these structures create an imbalance in surrounding muscles and ligaments. Additionally, the resulting nerve system stress may affect the body's ability to function optimally.
The Webster protocol is a specific chiropractic sacral analysis and diversified adjustment. The goal of the adjustment is to reduce the effects of sacral subluxation/ SI joint dysfunction. In so doing neuro-biomechanical function in the pelvis is facilitated.
Dr. Larry Webster, founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association discovered this adjustment as a safe means to restore proper pelvic balance and function. This specific sacral analysis can be used on all weight bearing individuals to determine S/I joint dysfunction/ sacral subluxation and is therefore applicable for the entire population. The assessment includes heel flexion to buttocks, with restricted flexion indicating the affected SI joint. Correction is made with a diversified, sacral adjustment. It is used on all weight bearing individuals presenting with this biomechanical restriction. Common symptoms include (but are not limited to) low back pain, sciatic neuralgia, and symptoms associated with S/I joint dysfunction.
In regards to pregnant mothers, Dr. Webster reported that when a mother sought care and her baby was in a breech position, the restoration of pelvic neuro-biomechanics with this adjustment also frequently facilitated optimal fetal positioning. There are cases published in the chiropractic literature that support his theory. More research is needed and is currently underway by the ICPA.
In this clinical and theoretical framework, it is proposed that sacral misalignment may cause the tightening and torsion of specific pelvic muscles and ligaments. It is these tense muscles and ligaments and their aberrant effect on the uterus which may prevent the baby from comfortably assuming the best possible position for birth.
The obstetric literature has determined that correct positioning of the baby in-utero affects birth outcome and decreases the potential for undue stress to the baby's developing spine and nerve system. Obstetric literature has also determined the importance of pelvic neuro-biomechanics for the prevention of dystocia (difficult birth). Chiropractic literature has determined the significance of sacral adjusting in normalizing pelvic neuro-biomenchanics.
It is therefore considered prudent that this specific sacral analysis and adjustment be used throughout pregnancy to detect and alleviate sacral imbalance and optimize pelvic neuro-biomechanics in the mother. Because of the particular female adaptations from the increase of hormones, weight gain and postural adaptations, pregnant mothers have a greater chance of sacral subluxation and neuro-biomechanical imbalance than the general population. Additionally, because of the effect the chiropractic adjustment has on all body functions by reducing nerve system stress, pregnant mothers
may have significant benefit by having their spines checked regularly throughout pregnancy, optimizing health benefits for both the mother and baby.
The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association offers classes of instruction and awards qualified attendees a Certificate of Proficiency in the Webster protocol. Only those doctors on our site maintain recognized certification status for the Webster protocol.
Jeanne Ohm, DC
ICPA Executive Coordinator
Parents, to find a Certified D.C. in your area, visit our Membership Directory.
To read research about this technique visit: http://icpa4kids.org/Chiropractic-Research/Webster-Technique/
At some point during the course of her pregnancy, a woman may begin to experience low back pain and even sciatica, that is, radiating pain down the back of a leg. The likely explanation for most of these cases of obstetric-related low back pain is the increased mechanical load due to the weight of the developing fetus, amniotic fluid, and placenta. Many times, low back pain is transient and resolves on its own. However, pregnancy-associated low back pain may persist for more than a week and require conservative treatment to help reduce pain and achieve resolution.
Chiropractic care is the optimal conservative treatment for pregnancy-related low back pain, with or without sciatica. The musculoskeletal structures affected by the increased weight of pregnancy are the vertebral joints of the lumbar spine, the sacroiliac joints, the local ligaments, and spinal musculature. The sacroiliac joints, especially, contain numerous pain receptors and sacroiliac joint dysfunction often causes a substantial component of a pregnant woman's low back pain.
Chiropractic care identifies, analyzes, and corrects these sources of lumbar spine and sacroiliac joint dysfunction and nerve irritation. As a result, information exchange between the brain and the rest of the body is optimized. The ability of the lumbar vertebrae and the sacroiliac joints to bear weight and manage the increased mechanical stresses of pregnancy is facilitated. Stimulation to pain receptors is reduced and the supporting musculature is enabled to relax. Function improves and a sense of improving health and well-being is restored.
In the case of a breech presentation, the buttocks and/or feet of the fetus are positioned closest to the birth canal, rather than in the more typical vertex presentation, with the fetus's head being closest to the route of delivery. A breech presentation occurs during 3-4% of all full-term births. Factors that may be associated with a breech presentation include prior pregnancy, the presence of twins, and too little or too much amniotic fluid. A breech presentation may be identified by specific palpation of the abdomen and confirmed, if needed, by an ultrasound of pelvic examination.
Chiropractic care may be utilized in the overall healthcare management of a breech presentation. If the pregnant mother-to-be chooses a vaginal delivery, chiropractic care may be employed to provide integrative support. By detecting and correcting spinal misalignments and sources of nerve interference in the mother-to-be, chiropractic care helps to optimize all of her physiological processes, including supporting the health and well-being of her developing fetus. By helping to restore and maintain peak physiological function in the mother-to-be, chiropractic care helps provide an environment that supports the activities of other members of the healthcare team in attempts to turn the fetus so that the orientation is head down, and otherwise helps support an optimal outcome of a vaginal delivery.
1Berhan Y, Haileamlak A: The risks of planned vaginal breech delivery versus planned caesarean section for term breech birth: a meta-analysis including observational studies. Brit J Obstet Gynecol 123(1):49-57, 2016
2Fischbein SJ, Freeze R: Breech birth at home: outcomes of 60 breech and 109 cephalic planned home and birth center births. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 18(1):397, 2018 doi: 10.1186/s12884-018-2033-5 3Alcantara J, et al: The use of validated outcome measures in the chiropractic care of pregnant patients: A systematic review of the literature. Complement Ther Clin Pract 21(2):131-6, 2015
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