Pregnancy Chiropractic Studies

It is a common observation that birthing seems to be more comfortable for women who were under chiropractic care during pregnancy. The following studies mention how common spinal problems are resolved during pregnancy (up to 90%) and best of all how Chiropractic is a safe, effective , drug free approach which is ideally suited for the health and well being of both mother and child.

Picture pregnant lady


The effects of chiropractic treatment on pregnancy and labor: a comprehensive study. Fallon J. Proceedings of the world chiropractic congress. 1991; 24-31.
The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can change the shape of the spinal curves and overall posture which can affect organ systems.

In this study Dr. Fallon describes her work with 65 women who received chiropractic care from at least the tenth week of pregnancy through labor and delivery. These women experienced mean labor times significantly reduced compared to controls.


Women who were multiparous (had had at least one child prior) averaged 39% shorter labor times versus controls.

The role of chiropractic in pregnancy. Vallone S. Int’l Chiropractic Assn. Review Summer 2002. p 47-51.

“By encouraging regular chiropractic and maternal self care (which includes good nutrition, regular stretching and exercise and stress management) we can improve our patient’s probability of a successful natural delivery.”

Follow-up of patients with low back pain during pregnancy. Brynhildsen J, Hansson A, Persson A, Hammar M. In: Obstetrics & Gynecology, Feb 1998; 91(2): 182-6.

Women with severe low back pain during pregnancy have an extremely high risk for experiencing a new episode of more severe low back pain during future pregnancies and when not pregnant.

Back Labor: a possible solution for a painful situation. Phillips C. ICA Review July/August 1997.


From 50-75% of pregnant women experience the acute, severe, low back pain that is categorized as back labor. Dr. Phillips writes: “many first time mothers mistakenly think back labor is what childbirth is supposed to feel like. Let me assure you IT IS NOT.” Dr. Phillips offers a biomechanical approach to back labor. Dr. Phillips states, “Back labor is not a very common finding in patients who have received chiropractic and craniosacral therapy throughout pregnancy.”

Dr. Phillips offers approaches that will help the baby turn so as to prevent back labor and methods that a chiropractor, labor companion or any birth attendant may use to help a woman in labor relax the pelvis, reduce pelvic tension and permit a back labor presentation to turn the baby to a more natural position for delivery.

Hypolumbarlordosis: a predisposing factor for preeclampsia. Kanayama N. Maradny EE, Kajiwara Y. et al. European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 1997;75: 115-121.

About 1 in 200 pregnant women suffer from preeclampsia with hypertension and albuminaria (protein in urine) and which can lead to seizures, coma and death. The cause is unknown.

The authors studied pregnant women to see if there was a relationship between their spinal shape, particularly the lumbar (lower back) spinal shape and preeclampsia.  It was revealed that women with decreased lumbar spine curves had more preeclampsia. Interestingly, they also found that patients with reduced lumbar curves had decreased blood flow to the iliac artery than normal pregnant women.

Back pain during pregnancy and labor. Diakow, PRP, Gadsby, TA, Gadsby JB et al. J Manipulative Physiol Ther Vol. 14, No. 2 Feb. 1991.


From the abstract:

An interview of 170 consecutive female patients: of the 170 pregnancies with reported back pain, 72% also reported back labor…The treated group experienced less pain during labor.

Eighty-four per-cent of patients receiving spinal manipulative therapy reported relief of back pain during pregnancy. There was significantly less likelihood of back labor when spinal manipulative therapy was administered during pregnancy.

Pregnancy and chiropractic care. Penna M, American Chiropractic Association Journal of Chiropractic. Nov. 1989 p.31.


From the summary:

“Regular adjustments can make pregnancy less stressful and delivery less uncomfortable. Chiropractic treatment can continue safely until the day of delivery.”

Labor pain: correlations with menstrual pain and acute low-back pain before and during pregnancy. Melzack R, Belanger E. Pain, 1989; 36:225-229.

Viscersomatic reflexes may be responsible for low back pain during birth. Low back pain was significantly correlated with labor pain. Both menstrual pain and the increased labor pain may derive from the same mechanisms.

Low back pain during pregnancy. Berg. G. et al. Obstetrics Gynecology, 1988;71:71-75.


Sacroiliac dysfunction is common in pregnancy and adjustments is found to help.

Effect of pressure applied to the upper thoracic (placebo) versus lumbar areas (osteopathic manipulative treatment) for inhibition of lumbar myalgia during labor. Guthrie R, Martin R. Journal of The American Osteopathic Association, Dec. 1982, Vol. 82 No. 4, pp.247-251.

From the abstract:

In a study of 500 women during labor, 352 experienced pain in the lumbar area during labor, an incidence of 70.4%. One of the most interesting findings of the study was the association of back pain during labor and abnormal fetal presentation.

Application of pressure to the lumbar area to inhibit lumbar pain reduced the need for major narcotic pain medication and minor tranquillizing medication.

What is the role of osteopathic manipulative therapy in obstetric care? For normal patients? For patients with problems (e.g. toxemia of pregnancy)? Hampton D. Journal of The American Osteopathic Association, Nov.1974, Vol.74, p. 192.

Adjustments keep the segments of the pregnant woman’s structure moving freely and normally. It permits a constant free flow of all body fluids and a normal venous supply to control function. During the second 6 weeks of pregnancy, the growing fetus and expanding uterus often settle in the hollow of the sacrum and relief of nausea may be achieved…adjustments…results in an easier pregnancy and an easier delivery. The return of the mother to pre-partum health also is expedited by adjustments.  Adjustments has a part in the prevention and cure of toxemia.


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