As pregnancy changes the shape of a woman’s body, it also changes her center of gravity. Many women experience balance issues during pregnancy. This can lead to unexpected falls in some cases.
About 30,000 women seek care for injuries each year. Of those, 6-8% of these injuries are associated with or related to pregnancy, adding another layer of complexity for management. Traumatic falls during pregnancy account for about 22% of the most common causes of trauma during pregnancy.
In the event a fall occurs during pregnancy, the body is designed to protect the fetus by providing a cushion called amniotic fluid and additional support from the strong, thick muscles of the uterus. Falls in the second and third trimester are more alarming especially if there is a direct impact to the abdomen.
It is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible after a fall or trauma during pregnancy for the most favorable outcomes. The assessment and treatment may include an exam of the pregnant mother for injuries and then an examination of the fetus, using doppler for heart tones and ultrasound. Other testing may include a continuous electronic heart monitor and blood testing.
Chiropractic care during pregnancy may be beneficial, especially after a fall. During pregnancy, the spine and pelvis will shift and change to accommodate for the growing baby. Structural shifts in the pelvis will make it difficult for the baby to get in the best possible position for birth.
According to researchers the nervous system controls and coordinates all functions of the body and structural shifts in the spine can occur that obstruct the nerves and interfere with their function. By removing the structural shifts, chiropractic improves nerve supply and function.
A Case Study
The woman reported on in the study was a 36-year-old pregnant female who fell down a flight of 15 stairs. Following the fall, she developed hip, pubic, and lower back pain. The pain was so intense it limited her interactions with her other child who was a toddler. She also had difficulty walking and trouble with her daily activities. She had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia. Over the counter medication taken for the pain did not help. Her medical team told her she would have the baby early and a plan was set to induce her labor.
The chiropractor examined her and found tight muscles, decreased range of motion, and postural and structural shifts in her neck, midback, lower back, and pelvis. These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.
Following chiropractic adjustments, she experienced complete resolution of hip, pubic, and lower back pain. Her quality of life improved to where she was able to play with her son again. She was also able to avoid the medical inducement as she went into labor on her own. The study’s author called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in women experiencing trauma during pregnancy.
Dr. Kimberly Maxwell is Bozeman’s Pediatric and Prenatal Chiropractor. You can find her at www.AbundantHealthFamilyChiro.com or contact her directly @ 406-585-7000 or firstname.lastname@example.org . When your child and family is in need of a wholistic natural approach, she is here to be that resource for you.
Resolution of Hip, Pubic, and Low Back Pain After a Fall in a Pregnant Woman Following Chiropractic Care: A Case Study. Erin Marjerrison, DC & Joel Alcantara, DC. Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, Chiropractic ~ August 1, 2019 ~ Pages 91-94