Baby Mal-position (Breech) and Correction with Chiropractic

What is Baby Mal-Position?

It’s when the baby’s head position isn’t engaging with the pelvis, by either turning around in a way or tipping asymmetrically so that birth and labor are not optimally positioned. OB/GYN’s and Midwives will typically notice and classify a baby as Mal-Positioned somewhere between weeks 32-37. This may seem late but prior to these weeks, the baby will be moving into different positions often and it doesn’t matter up until the end of pregnancy because the baby is small enough in comparison to the uterus and so has plenty of room to move.

What are the different Mal-Positions?

Breech – buttock down
Complete Breech –baby is sitting cross legged on the cervix
Footling Breech – is butt down with one foot on the cervix
Knee Breech – is one or both knees on the cervix (most rare)
Frank Breech – is baby folded up with the buttock on the cervix and feet up by the head
Transverse position
Posterior position – babies nose pointing toward mom’s belly button.
Oblique position
Extended baby head
Asynclitic position with baby head tilted to one side or the other causing the cervix not to open evenly.

What are some of the Causes of Baby Mal-Position?

Stress, Anxiety or Fear
Pelvic Mis-alignment – especially the tail bone
Bad Posture
Trauma even minor bumps and bangs
Tense Uterus due to muscle or any of the above issues

A patient may present with only one of the problems or she may have a combination of several causes leading to a baby in a less than optimal position.

How do you treat Mal-Position?

Chiropractic (Webster Technique)
Acupuncture or Acupressure
Positive Attitude
Pelvic tilts
Turning position exercises on my favorite Website: spinningbabies.com
Water Walking for 30 minutes daily
External Version (last resort – very uncomfortable and not a very good success rate)

What is Webster Technique?

A technique that is performed by chiropractors to align the sacrum, the pelvis and a series of very specific muscles. The doctor’s in our office use their hands, a tool and muscle release to restore normal pelvic alignment so it allows the baby to turn when normal neuro-biomechanics are restored to mom’s body. Literature has shown that normal neuro-biomechanics allow for achieving optimal fetal-uterine position will reduce the likelihood of dystocia (difficult labor). The procedure usually takes 4 office visits to our Chiropractor. If baby isn’t turning by visit number 3, we add simultaneous acupuncture treatments. While most visits take usually 4 treatments, we have seen stubborn little ones take up to 8 visits; so please realize your baby and your body may not follow the typical guidelines. The success rate for Webster is fairly high and our doctor’s have a low fail rate. When Webster does fail it is usually due to cord position, and if baby were to turn – it would put their life in danger. So sometimes a procedure needs to fail so that we have a healthy happy baby and this is our primary goal.

How do I prevent a mal-positioned baby?

Literature does state that proper pelvic alignment throughout pregnancy does significantly correlate with a decrease in dystocia (difficult labor), mal-position and stress on the baby’s body. Women while pregnant have a greater chance of sacral mis-alignment and neuro-biomechanical issues due to the change in hormones, rapid weight gain and postural changes. Seeing a chiropractor periodically throughout a pregnancy is recommended for both mom’s and babies health. Massage can also be a tool used to maintain correct muscle movement and prevent undue stress on baby or mom. In our office, we recommend the following adjustment schedule broken down by week. This can by modified anytime if back or pelvic pain develops because they are signals that a neuro-biomechanical issue is occurring. We want to correct this before we have a stressed or mal-positioned baby. During pregnancy, exercise regularly, walking, swimming or yoga can all help maintain a healthy pelvis and help with labor as well as keeping baby in a good position while In utero.

Adjustments:

Week 10-14 (or sooner if pain develops)
Week 18-21
Week 23-26
Week 29-32
Week 38
Week 39
Week 40 a day after due date.
(And always schedule an appointment for Acupuncture a couple days after your due date so they can naturally start encouraging labor.)
Is chiropractic care safe for pregnant women?

Chiropractic care is safe for most pregnant women. Here is a list of the exceptions. If you are already under chiropractic care, please inform your Chiropractor immediately if:

Contraindications to adjusting may include vaginal bleeding, ruptured amniotic membranes, cramping, sudden onset of pelvic pain, premature labor, placenta previa (not always a contraindication), placenta abruption, ectopic pregnancy, and moderate to severe toxemia.

Below are some References:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2647084/

http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/chiropractic-care-during-pregnancy/

http://www.webmd.com/balance/alternative-therapies-in-pregnancy

Chiropractic Adjustments are an Immune Booster

Based on a recent compilation of research done by Christopher Oswald, DC, CNS he  has shown that not only does a properly aligned spine reduce pain and prevent injury, but it also boosts and modulates many of the major players in the immune system.   This means that when a friend or family member starts to feel ill, a good adjustment can actually knock out the illness or speed the recovery time for an individual.

Let’s talk more in depth about how the immune process actually works and who are the major players.  The adjustment has a more modulation effect on the immune system which means that when you need the immune system stimulated it helps rev up a portion but at the same time calm the other portion that can lead to chronic inflammation and allergies.

A study done in 2006 shows that a Chiropractic adjustment will actually influence the release of cytokines and thus effect the immune system.  The immune markers that the study looked at were the following inflammatory cytokines; tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin (IL) .  The study’s basic summary stated that a Chiropractic adjustment would reduce inflammatory cytokines, which helped whether someone was sick or fighting a cold or allergies.  They also saw in the study from 2010 that when an adjustment was done that it would activate B cells and some interleukin cells thus priming the immune effector cells and regulating a proper immune response.  (A proper response is important because you don’t want  the immune system to become hyper-active like an auto-immune condition, but neither do you want immune suppression like a patient on chemotherapy.)

This research is still building but it does lend credence to the fact that an adjustment should be part of a healthy bodies routine and when you feel the first signs of a cold or flu, it is an important time to get in and see the doctor.  In our clinic, the ideal time to see us is before you are very sick, but if you miss that window and get sick, we still want to help you recover faster by doing an adjustment on you.

The Chiropractic Approach to Low Back Pain

What is back pain?

Back pain typically occurs in the lumbar spine and pelvic region otherwise know as the buttocks.  The pain can occur from a tightening of muscles or joints that get jammed due to a specific incident or small injuries that occur over time from work, athletics or even desk jobs.

What is the most common cause of back pain?

The most common cause of back pain is related to repetitive strain injuries that occur on the job or during daily activities.  Working on the computer, cooking, sewing or any activity that keeps you repeating the same movements from the same position can be the culprit of that nagging backache. The strain happens when either the muscles are tight and you are unable to stretch them, or when a joint is misaligned and the muscles become painful as they try to re-align the joint.

What are the less common types of back pain?

Degenerative disc disease, arthritis, herniation and neurologic conditions are all injuries that occur to the spine and more commonly in the low back.  These conditions will likely cause you great distress and you will need to seek a health care provider’s services.  The following symptoms require an immediate visit to your doctor:

  • History of cancer
  • Unexplained weight loss >10 kg within 6 months
  • Age over 50 years or under 17 years old
  • Failure to improve with therapy
  • Pain persists for more than 4 to 6 weeks
  • Night pain or pain at rest
  • Persistent fever (temperature over 100.4 F)
  • History of intravenous drug abuse
  • Organ transplant
  • Recent bacterial infection
  • Major muscle weakness
  • Trouble lifting your foot
  • Numbness and lower extremity weakness
  • Anal sphincter dysfunction
  • Recent trauma
  • History of osteoporosis

What are the basic causes of back pain?

  • Desk job
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Herniated disk
  • Gravity
  • Sports injury
  • Bacterial Infection
  • Fractures
  • Cancer
  • Repetitive strain
  • Jammed (misaligned) joints

Why see a Chiropractor instead of a massage therapist?

Chiropractic care helps re-align joints which stops the pain related to the muscles trying to push the joint back into alignment.  A typical response to this type of pain might be to stretch or get a massage.  While this might temporarily ease the pain, if you don’t re-align the joints, the muscles will loyally return to their job of trying to push the joint back into place and you will be back in pain once again.  This isn’t to say that massage can’t be a terrific partner in getting rid of long term pain. We feel that massage and chiropractic can make an excellent team!

Getting adjusted not only will help relieve your low back pain, but offers other health benefits as well.  According to research by Sean M. Hannon, BA, DC, chiropractic adjustment can result in the following physiologic changes:            

  • Increased strength
  • Increased oxygen consumption capacity
  • Increased range of motion
  • Decreased pain
  • Increase cardiac regulation
  • Increased immunity

Considering these benefits, it is easy to see why athletes and other health conscious people seek out regular chiropractic care. If you suffer from chronic or even occasional back pain, contact our office.  We can help!

What are some of the techniques we use to treat low back pain?

Our doctors are trained in many different types of adjustment techniques ranging from hands-on to instrument adjusting.  They also use different types of soft tissue therapies that can benefit an injury whether it is chronic or acute.  Treating both joint and soft tissue issues allows an injury more complete resolution than either alone.  The techniques used are:

  • Graston – soft-tissue and fascia therapy
  • Activator – instrument adjusting (non-force)
  • Sacro-occipital Technique (SOT) – Use of pelvic alignment (non-force)
  • Diversified Adjustment – Manual medicine with hands
  • Thompson Drop Adjustment – Using the table to increase speed of adjustment but not the pressure put on a body
  • Quatum Neurology – instrument adjusting (non-force) uses nerve reflexes as well
  • Gonstead – Classic manual chiropractic adjustment
  • Kinesio tape – muscle therapy and proprioceptive training using tape
  • Cranio-sacral technique – hands-on soft-tissue manipulation
  • Pediatric and Pregnancy Specific adjustments – hands on but specifically designed for certain times of life
  • Webster Technique – pelvis alignment for turning breech babies

Pregnancy and Chiropractic

Is chiropractic safe during pregnancy?

 

“There are no contra-indications to chiropractic care during pregnancy,” according to the American Pregnancy Association.  And when you think about how long chiropractics has been around, it could be considered one of the safest procedures that can be performed during your pregnancy. While all chiropractic professionals receive some training in school with regards to the special needs of pregnant women, only some doctors, like Dr. Walker at InHealth Clinic, continue their training and work with pregnancy in their practice.

 

Why should I have chiropractic care during pregnancy?

 

As you go through physiological and hormonal changes, your body becomes the perfect environment for developing a child. This can sometimes cause physical stress, which can improve with chiropractic care. Keeping your back joints and pelvis from misalignment and keeping you comfortable means that your baby will have the optimal amount of room in the pelvis to develop. This also means your baby will be in the best position possible for delivery reducing the intensity of back labor during your birth and preventing dysticoa (difficult labor).  Additionally, keeping your spine and pelvis in alignment can reduce the occurrence of breech positioned babies.

 

What happens if my baby is breech?

 

A wonderful chiropractor, the late Larry Webster D.C., developed a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment which enables the chiropractor to balance the women’s pelvis and reduce pressure and stress on the uterus so that the fetus will reach an optimal position which is head down in the birth canal.  The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported in July/August 2002 that the success rate of babies turning vertex was 82% using the Webster Technique. The technique is widely used and much more comfortable than the external version that is performed in many cases. The highest success in turning a breech baby is achieved at 36-38 weeks. Once it gets much past this, the success rate drops due to the baby’s larger size taking up more room in the uterus. It is always best to seek chiropractic care as soon as you are told your baby is breech.

 

When is the soonest I can see a chiropractor post-partum?

 

The soonest is immediately, however most women tend to wait about two weeks until they have had time to adjust to being a new mom and have healed vaginally a bit. Our office does make house calls for one special group — our post-partum moms, whether for you or baby.  The earliest we have responded was four hours after a birth for a mom that had a C-section and the little one’s head was flexed to one side and not moving.  Mom was also having a burning low back pain, which was treated at this time.

 

What about preparing for labor? Are there things that I can do naturally?

 

Pregnancy may leave you concerned or tired. Here are a few things we treat with natural remedies.

 

  • Gestational diabetes – diet, minerals and botanical medicine
  • Stress – herbal stress reducing minerals
  • Preparing the uterus for labor – Uterine tonics
  • Breast soreness due to breast feeding – healing salves
  • Episiotomy healing – herbal poultices and sitz baths
  • Umbilical cord healing – salve and powder
  • Nutrition – vitamins, oils safe for pregnancy, and minerals
  • Preventing antibiotics for newborn – mom on a strong probiotic
  • Morning sickness – homeopathic remedies

 

We have more tools at our disposal, but the above give you some of the common needs of our patients.

 

Remember that chiropractic is safe as soon as you need it!  At inHealth, we are here to serve you during this very special time. If you have concerns or needs feel free to call our office, we never mind being a resource and promise to direct you to the best person to meet your needs.

 

Resources:

 

American Pregnancy Association:  http://www.americanpregnancy.org

BABI:   http://www.bayareabirthinfo.org/

The Chiropractic Approach to Low Back Pain

What is Back Pain?

Back pain is usually a pain that occurs in the lumbar spine and pelvic region otherwise know as you buttock.  The pain can occur from a tightening of muscle or joints that get jammed due to a specific incident or small injuries that occur over time from say construction work, running or desk jobs.

What is the Most Common cause of Back Pain?

The most common cause of back pain is related to repetitive strain injuries that occur on the job or during daily activities.  Working on the computer, cooking, sewing or any activity that keeps you repeating the same movements from the same position can be the culprit of that nagging back ache. The strain happens when either the muscles are tight and you are unable to stretch them, or when a joint is misaligned and the muscles become painful as they try to re-align the joint.

What are the Less Common types of Back Pain?

Degenerative Disc Disease, Arthritus, Herniation and neurologic conditions are all injuries that occur to the spine and more commonly in the low back.  These conditions will likely cause you great distress and you will need to seek a health care provider’s services.  The following symptoms can help you determine if it is a must to see your doctor:

  • § History of cancer
  • § Unexplained weight loss >10 kg within 6 months
  • § Age over 50 years or under 17 years old
  • § Failure to improve with therapy
  • § Pain persists for more than 4 to 6 weeks
  • Night pain or pain at rest
  • § Persistent fever (temperature over 100.4 F)
  • § History of intravenous Drug Abuse
  • § Organ Transplant
  • § Recent bacterial infection
  • § Major Muscle weakness
  • § Trouble lifting your foot
  • § Numbness and lower extremity weakness
  • § Anal Sphincture dysfunction
  • § Recent Trauma
  • § History of Osteroporosis

 

Basic ways back pain can occur:

 

  • Desk job
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Herniated disk
  • Gravity
  • Sports injury
  • Bacterial Infection
  • Fractures
  • Cancer
  • Repetitive strain
  • Jammed (misaligned) joints

 

Why See a Chiropractor instead of only Massage?

Chiropractic care helps re-align joints which stops the pain related to the muscles trying to push the joint back into alignment.  A typical response to this type of pain might be to stretch or get a massage.  While this might temporarily ease the pain, if you don’t re-align the joints, the muscles will loyally return to their job of trying to push the joint back into place and you will be back in pain once again.  This isn’t to say that Massage can’t be a terrific partner in getting rid of long term pain and it can we feel that massage and chiropractic can make an excellent team.

Getting adjusted not only will help relieve your low back pain, but offers other health benefits as well.  According to research by Sean M. Hannon, BA, DC, chiropractic adjustment can result in the following physiologic changes:

                     

  • § Increased strength
  • § Increased oxygen consumption capacity
  • § Increased range of motion
  • § Decreased pain
  • § Increase cardiac regulation
  • § Increased immunity

 

Considering these benefits, it is easy to see why athletes and other health conscious people seek out care regular chiropractic care. If you suffer from chronic or even occasional back pain, contact our office.  We can help!

 

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