More than ever, this past year we have been seeing a lot of pregnant patients. It is always a pleasure to be able to help a woman having a more comfortable pregnancy; after all, it is a very special time in life. And not only is it wonderful to accompany the mother, it is also a privilege when they bring their newborn for a spinal checkup.
During 40 weeks, the body goes through a lot of changes to adapt to the growing fetus. The different phases involve hormonal changes along with postural alterations to accommodate the new centre of gravity imposed by the weight gain.
When the pelvis bones are well aligned, the uterus can expand with the growth of the fetus. When there is an imbalance at the pelvic joints, not only can that cause lower back pain to the mother, but it can also reduce the space available for the baby’s development.
We used to think that pain during pregnancy was normal, but we now know that these pains and discomfort can be relieved and prevented. We often associate pregnancy to lower back pain and sciatica, but also thoracic spine complaints, headaches, rib pain, numbness in the hands can indicate spinal trouble.
Proper alignment of the spine and pelvis with specific chiropractic adjustments not only relieves the mother-to-be from her pains but also helps support the growing uterus and allows maximum room for the baby to grow. When the mother remains supple, the baby can move more easily and can assume the optimal birthing position.
During delivery, it is essential that the pelvic and pubic joints “open up” properly to allow the baby’s passage through the birth canal. In fact, a lot of our patients who benefit from chiropractic care report easier labour and faster deliveries! Research also shows that 84% of pregnant women who received chiropractic care have mentioned relief of their lower back pain and sciatica during pregnancy.
The birth process can be traumatic for mother and child. It is important to get our little ones examined after birth.
The nervous system is the very first system to form during the fourth week of embryonic development. Around it, all other structures and tissues of the body will develop. The nervous system controls and coordinates every cell of the body. The vertebrae of the spine protect these nerves.
When the vertebrae lose their normal position or motion, they can irritate the nerves and interfere with their job to relay information from the brain to the rest of the body. This process is called a vertebral subluxation. This can occur during the birthing process or any other traumatic event in a child’s or adult’s life.
Doctors of chiropractic detect and correct vertebral subluxations by adjusting the spine. It helps restoring lines of communication within the body and improving overall body function, healing potential and wellbeing.
Chiropractic techniques are modified to suit children of all ages. For a child or infant, this usually requires little more than a light touch from a fingertip with precise pressure and direction. Children love to get adjusted and they respond quickly to chiropractic care. They heal rapidly because they haven’t yet developed long-term altered spinal biomechanics often seen in adults.
Some of the more common children’s conditions that have been reported to improve with chiropractic care include colic, torticollis, back pain, breathing problems, recurrent ear infections, sleeping problems and many others.
Colic deserves a special mention due to its prevalence. Infantile colic is a persistent crying that affects as many as 20% of babies. Infants appear distressed and act as if responding to pain. They probably are. But lacking language, they communicate in the only way they can: crying.
A Danish study looked at the effects of chiropractic care with 316 colicky infants. Parents reported “no colic” or “colic improvement” in 94% of the cases within the first two weeks of beginning care.
Chiropractic offers natural care during pregnancy and after the birth of the baby. It optimises healing capacities of the body allowing better health and better adaptation of the spine for mom and baby. While we are taking care of mothers, we are looking forward to meeting the little ones in 2022.
We wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in health.
By Sandra Genest-Boudreau | Christophe O. Alves
Sandra Genest-Boudreau is French-Canadian, who graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in 1990 before coming to the Algarve in 2002. She is passionate about adjusting all her patients, particularly children. Christophe Alves graduated from the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (AECC) UK, and has a special interest in Sport Chiropractic. Algarve Quiroprática clinic: EN125 in Pêra | 282 312 853 | 969 397 375
Licença da ERS n.º 17485/2019 de 11-06-2019