The July 31, 2017, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health documented the successful resolution under chiropractic care for a woman who was suffering from long-term back pain after pregnancy. Most cases of pregnancy related lower back pain are not self limiting and do not resolve by themselves.
The study begins by noting that pregnancy related low back pain is common. Within the first year after pregnancy, the authors report that approximately 80% of women will have mild complaints of low back pain and pelvic pain. Additionally, 13% will experience moderate pain and 7% will suffer very serious complaints. One study reported that almost 60% of all women with post pregnancy back pain will seek health care services. The most common of these services are physical therapy and medical care along with acupuncture and chiropractic.
In this case, a 33-year-old woman sought chiropractic services due to her suffering with lower back pain. She reported having the pain for the past three years which began when she was pregnant with her first child. She described her pain as a dull ache that bothered her three or four times per week. The woman rated the pain between and 4 and 6 out of 10, with 10 being the worst. Strenuous activity seemed to make the pain worse while sleeping seemed to improve the pain.
The woman’s first pregnancy resulted in a cesarean birth because her OB-GYN told her that she was not capable of having a vaginal birth due to her pelvic diameter being too small for a natural childbirth. In addition to her back pain, the woman also reported that she suffered with headaches, neck pain, dizziness and lightheadedness, upper back pain, right foot pain and a very reactive gag reflex.
A chiropractic examination was performed which included heat sensing spinal thermography, and both static and motion spinal x-rays. The thermography studies showed positive signs of the presence of subluxation, while the motion x-rays showed multiple areas of aberrant spinal segmental motion. The conclusion of the examination was that subluxations were present.
Specific forms of chiropractic adjustments were performed to address the woman’s subluxations. At her second adjustment visit, six days after her first adjustment, the woman reported that she had not had any episodes of lower back pain, and reported a complete resolution of her complaints. During that second visit, a follow-up pelvic x-ray was taken which showed a 72% correction of the base bone in her spine known as the sacrum.
In the study conclusion, the authors wrote, “This case report provides supporting evidence that pregnant women may benefit from chiropractic care prior to, during, and after their pregnancy.”