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Dr. Harry Brown Sr.May 9, 2023 1:57:29 PM16 min read

Is Chiropractic Care Safe During Pregnancy? The Benefits and Risks Explained

Is Chiropractic Care Safe During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is a beautiful time full of hope, love, and anticipation but it can also bring aches, pains, and worries. Many expectant mothers turn to chiropractic care to alleviate their discomforts. In this article, we will explore the potential benefits and risks of chiropractic care during pregnancy, so you can make an informed decision about your healthcare needs and enjoy a pain-free, joyful pregnancy. 

Quick Clarification of Key Points

Many chiropractors consider it safe to receive chiropractic treatments while pregnant. However, it is best to consult your medical doctor or midwife before starting any treatment. For women in their first trimester, some chiropractors may adjust their techniques for added safety measures.

Table of Contents

Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment During Pregnancy

Relief from Discomfort

Improved Posture

Alleviate Tension in Muscles

Visiting a Chiropractor While Pregnant

What to Expect During the Visit

Potential Risks of Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

The Bottom Line on Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

Alternatives for Relief During Pregnancy

Answers to Commonly Asked Questions

Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment During Pregnancy

Chiropractic care has many potential benefits during pregnancy. Good posture, joint mobility, and muscle tone can all improve with regular sessions. Most chiropractors take a holistic view of women's health, understanding that the body changes during each trimester and adjusting treatments accordingly.


Remedying common problems associated with pregnancy is one potential benefit of chiropractic care. Specifically, pregnant women often experience increased lower back, leg pain, and hip and joint issues due to weight gain throughout this stage of life. Research suggests that chiropractic treatment may help reduce pain levels for an expectant mother and improve her quality of life. Pregnant women may also experience improved labor duration and delivery, which can reduce the risk of a cesarean section and improve recovery time after giving birth.


While some studies exist demonstrating the positive link between chiropractic care during pregnancy and improved outcomes, not everyone agrees with its use. Detractors may point out a lack of scientific evidence regarding long-term improvements in labor or delivery times or even potential harms or risks associated with it. Additionally, finding a qualified practitioner can be time-consuming, especially if expecting mothers are trying to find one in their specific area who specializes in prenatal care.


However, despite those criticisms, for many mothers-to-be seeking to naturally reduce any discomforts common with the changing body during pregnancy, chiropractic treatments offer non-invasive relief from many ailments experienced over nine months of development from fetus to infant. The following section will discuss how these treatments specifically bring this type of relief as we look at how they can help alleviate pregnancy-related discomfort.

Relief from Discomfort

Chiropractic care is said to offer significant relief for discomfort associated with pregnancy, such as back pain, sciatica, and headaches. According to a 2018 survey from the American Pregnancy Association, almost 70 percent of pregnant women experience some form of back pain.


Studies on the use of chiropractic care by pregnant women have shown that spinal manipulation can be beneficial for reducing back and pelvic pain. A 2014 study found that 89 percent of pregnant women who received chiropractic care reported lower pain levels, often within one to four visits. Research also suggests that chiropractic adjustment may reduce labor time, although further research is needed to confirm this benefit.


Some argue that spinal manipulation might not be safe during pregnancy. A 2017 systematic review concluded that there are no current evidence-based recommendations for using chiropractic care during pregnancy because the small sample sizes and methodological issues in existing studies make it difficult to draw definitive conclusions. However, most chiropractors agree that spinal manipulation can help alleviate discomfort and improve overall well-being for pregnant women when done correctly and with skilled hands.


Overall, many pregnant women report finding relief through regular visits to their chiropractor. This can include reduced pain, improved mobility, and better posture from enhanced alignment. Listening carefully to your doctor's recommendations and considering your wellness goals before beginning any therapy or treatment plan during pregnancy is essential.


The following section will discuss how chiropractic care can help improve posture during pregnancy by adjusting the spine and other joints.

Improved Posture

Improved Posture: Poor posture can lead to various issues during pregnancy, such as back and pelvis pain. It can also strain other parts of the body, like the neck. Thankfully, an experienced chiropractor can help pregnant women maintain proper posture and reduce any pain that results from it.


Chiropractic care is often encouraged for pregnant women due to its potential to improve posture, but this benefit is not without risks. When getting adjusted by a chiropractor during pregnancy, pregnant women need to seek care from someone who has extensive experience working with pregnant patients and is familiar with potential risks and precautions. Treatment should never involve any forceful or excessive manipulation.


Some people worry that chiropractic adjustments are too invasive and may be linked to premature labor or miscarriage, but research does not support this concern. Studies have found that chiropractic adjustments generally do not increase the risk of complications in pregnancy. That said, some women may feel uncomfortable undergoing certain types of manipulations while pregnant, so they should always use their judgment when deciding whether to get adjusted by a chiropractor.


By consulting a qualified healthcare provider and safely undergoing regular adjustments, improved posture is achievable with few risks. Adjustments encourage flexibility and keep ligaments loose until delivery, which can help a woman's body adjust to carrying the weight of her baby throughout her pregnancy more quickly than if she had never sought treatment. Improved posture is just one possible benefit of getting adjusted during pregnancy; the next section will discuss how chiropractic care can help alleviate tension in muscles for expectant mothers.

Alleviate Tension in Muscles

The tension in muscles is a common issue for pregnant women due to the physical changes that occur during pregnancy. Chiropractic care has been shown to greatly alleviate muscle tension and improve comfort levels in expectant mothers. Chiropractors can provide gentle manipulation and massage, which helps reduce joint discomfort and improve spinal alignment, resulting in greater flexibility and range of motion.


Apart from alleviating muscle tension, chiropractic care may also help reduce headaches and congestion, improve digestive issues, and even help with labor pain. For some women, regular chiropractic adjustments have allowed them to remain more active throughout their pregnancies, helping manage their weight gain.


There are very few risks associated with chiropractic care during pregnancy as it does not involve using medications or radiation like other treatments. It is considered safe for both the mother and baby if done by a trained professional with experience treating pregnant women. There are some restrictions on which adjustments can be performed if the patient has certain pre-existing medical conditions or risk factors such as high blood pressure or gestational diabetes. These must be discussed before beginning any treatment.


Even though it is generally regarded as safe and beneficial, some still express concern about using chiropractic care during pregnancy due to potential adverse effects on the developing baby. However, no studies have shown any connection between prenatal chiropractic care and adverse outcomes in newborns. Many studies have indicated that proper management of musculoskeletal pain through chiropractic care during pregnancy helps reduce stress hormones released by the mother, which may positively affect fetal development.


In conclusion, while some may disagree with its use during pregnancy, most of the research indicates that chiropractic care can be a successful treatment option for relieving muscle tension and improving overall comfort during this special time in a woman's life. Visiting a chiropractor while pregnant then becomes a decision between an individual and her healthcare provider based upon any risk factors for each patient's particular situation.

Visiting a Chiropractor While Pregnant

Visiting a chiropractor while pregnant is an increasingly common practice among expecting mothers, as it is thought to have many beneficial effects on both mother and baby. There are different approaches to chiropractic care, but it generally involves physical adjustments of the body and spine to align them correctly and with minimal discomfort. It is vital for expecting mothers to discuss any concerns about chiropractic care with their healthcare provider before making an appointment.


There are pros and cons to considering chiropractic care during pregnancy. Advocates believe that the potential benefits include:

  • Alleviating pain and tension in the lower back.
  • Preventing pelvic misalignment.
  • Improving the quality of sleep.
  • Providing relief from sciatica.
  • Improving fetal positioning.
  • Reducing labor time.

However, some studies have raised safety concerns about this practice during pregnancy; namely, it could cause miscarriage or premature labor due to increased mobility or increased pressure on or near the uterus and abdomen.


It is also essential to discuss what type of technique or practice a chiropractor provides, as there are higher-risk techniques, such as sacral adjustment or spinal lubrication, which may not be suitable for use during pregnancy. It is best to choose a chiropractor with experience working with pregnant women to minimize any risks associated with the procedure.


Ultimately, visiting a chiropractor while pregnant should only be undertaken after thorough research, consultation with one's regular doctor and midwife, and at least one in-person meeting with the chosen chiropractor. With this in mind, let's discuss what one should expect during a visit to a chiropractor when pregnant.

What to Expect During the Visit

When pregnant women visit a chiropractor, they should expect to receive a thorough health assessment. The consultation process typically involves the chiropractor taking a patient history and exam before any treatments are given. By asking questions about the nature of the symptoms and general medical information, the doctor can come up with an accurate diagnosis. Furthermore, some chiropractors may prescribe therapeutic exercises, stretches, or lifestyle modifications as part of the treatment plan.


The first visit may take 30-60 minutes, depending on the individual clinic's protocols. After this initial evaluation, subsequent visits could be shorter as long as no further diagnostic tests are necessary or additional symptoms arise. Pregnant women need to voice their concerns during these visits and let their chiropractor know about any new symptoms that develop after treatment has begun.


Chiropractic care is generally considered safe during pregnancy; however, some medical professionals debate this point due to potential risks associated with chiropractic care. Although most studies have shown that therapies such as manipulation and adjustment during prenatal care can benefit pregnant women in many ways, there are still concerns regarding safety and possible adverse effects.


To conclude this section on what to expect when visiting a chiropractor during pregnancy, pregnant women must keep open communication with their healthcare providers about any treatments being performed and always speak up if anything appears uncomfortable or any new symptoms arise. With that said, let us move on to our next section, discussing the potential risks of chiropractic care during pregnancy.

Potential Risks of Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

The potential risks of chiropractic care during pregnancy are highly contested and debated. On one side, some medical experts claim that this type of care can be unsafe because it could cause an increased risk of preterm labor, miscarriage, and other complications. Others suggest it can be beneficial if done by a qualified practitioner as it can help ease many physical discomforts such as back pain and headaches.


Chiropractors are generally trained to know the extra pressure pregnant women might put on their organs or muscle tissue to adjust for their center of balance and excess weight. This can benefit those expecting, who often experience muscular tension, awkward posture, back pain, and headaches. However, the concern remains with frail ligaments, limited joint mobility, and increased hormonal changes during pregnancy, making the woman more sensitive and susceptible to external and internal processing. These conditions can make the adjustment process more delicate than when treating non-pregnant patients who may not have the same level of sensitivities. Furthermore, since not a significant amount of research is focused on this topic, the potential risks associated with chiropractic care during pregnancy remain unknown and controversial.


The debate about safety has two key points. Purists of conventional medicine claim chiropractic care is unsafe because such treatments involve forceful manipulations of joints in the spine, which may cause disruptions in uterine contractions leading to either preterm labor or miscarriage. However, some practitioners dispute this theory putting forth that there are ways to perform adjustments and other massage techniques on pregnant women without reaching the levels of force or manipulating movements considered excessive in normal circumstances during which chiropractic adjustments can become dangerous activities. This view suggests that provided proper education is given to patients. They should understand why specific positional guidelines should be followed before allowing any manipulation to take place during their pregnancy sessions, with chiropractor visit checkup routines having been established with regular visits every few weeks over time, helping both patients as well as practitioner, connect on a more personalized level understanding the individual needs involved.


At the end of the day, while potential risks concerning chiropractic care during pregnancy remain uncertain, what's important is that women consult with their doctor before any therapy regimen is pursued, especially if considering something like chiropractic care during this particular moment in life when safe practices should always come first for expecting mothers - so exercise due diligence whenever appropriate!


The bottom line on chiropractic care during pregnancy is that it may offer some benefits to an expectant mother, but there is still much uncertainty surrounding its safety due to a lack of research specific to this application; thus, it's recommended to talk with your healthcare provider before scheduling any appointments for these types of treatments so an informed decision can be made that takes into account all aspects related – overall health condition(s) of both parties (mother & unborn child) along with an understanding how gentle interventions performed at optimal times help yield more positive results within session timeframes looking at patients as individuals rather than just bunching them up into generic categories.

The Bottom Line on Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

The bottom line of chiropractic care during pregnancy is that it can be safe and beneficial with proper guidance from a qualified healthcare practitioner. However, not all women opt for this form of treatment due to its associated risk factors. While many studies have found that chiropractic adjustments may help to reduce back pain and improve overall function, there are some potential risks. Further research is needed to investigate the long-term safety of these treatments during pregnancy.


One benefit of chiropractic care is its ability to improve posture and reduce muscle tension, which can help alleviate lower back pain and pelvic pain. Chiropractors often also recommend physical therapy exercises and stretches to improve one's range of motion and provide nutritional advice to support a healthier pregnancy. Additionally, some chiropractors use low-force methods such as Cox Flexion Distraction Technique and Activator Methods, which have been found to increase mobility in pregnant women.


On the other hand, some practitioners employ high-velocity thrusting maneuvers, which, while beneficial, could cause harm or injury if not done correctly. Furthermore, spinal adjustments during pregnancy may occur close to specific organs and blood vessels, thus prompting some health professionals to advise against these types of treatments during this period. Ultimately, pregnant women should consult their physician before entering any chiropractic care program.


Given the potential risks associated with these treatments during pregnancy, alternatives for relief for pregnant women include physical therapy techniques such as hot/cold packs or hydrotherapy; core strengthening exercises such as Pilates or yoga; acupuncture; and massage therapy; or other holistic treatments like reflexology or Reiki. For severe cases, medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be recommended under supervision by a doctor.


Ultimately, while chiropractic care during pregnancy offers potential benefits in terms of relief from back pain and improved posture and function, there is no universal consensus on its safety and efficacy due to a lack of studies on this topic. Pregnant women should always consult with their physician/midwife before seeking this treatment. With that said, we will now explore alternatives for relief during pregnancy.

Alternatives for Relief During Pregnancy

It is important to note that there are a variety of alternatives for relief during pregnancy, including prenatal yoga, talking with a mental health professional, and using heat or cold treatments. Each offers its own benefits and may be preferable over chiropractic care in certain circumstances.


Prenatal Yoga : Prenatal yoga can effectively relieve pain due to tension in the back and around the neck. Prenatal yoga incorporates modified postures which help strengthen muscles associated with childbirth and can help reduce stress levels. Practicing prenatal yoga can also improve the posture and balance of pregnant women, which can reduce back pain commonly faced by pregnant women. Additionally, it teaches breathing techniques that can help relieve stress during labor.


Mental Health Professional: For many pregnant women, emotional support can effectively manage pain and discomfort due to pregnancy. Women expecting children are often faced with many responsibilities, changes in body image, labor hardships, and expectations from family members, which can lead to anxiety or depression. Therefore, talking with a mental health professional such as a counselor or therapist can be beneficial in relieving stress or other forms of emotional distress that could contribute to physical discomfort. They can offer psychotherapy techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy or other forms of counseling such as couples or family counseling if indicated by their clients' needs.


Heat or Cold Treatments: Heat and cold press can relieve tension and muscular strain in the back and neck region, which is often present during pregnancy. Heat treatments used on stiff joints can alleviate discomfort while soothing muscle spasms. Additionally, ice packs applied to areas of pain have shown promising results in reducing inflammation and numbing the site simultaneously. To regulate possible risks associated with temperature changes in pregnant women's bodies, both heat and cold should be applied carefully since extreme temperatures have been seen to cause complications during pregnancy.

Answers to Commonly Asked Questions


Are there any potential risks associated with going to a chiropractor during pregnancy? There are potential risks associated with going to a chiropractor during pregnancy. The primary risk is that your chiropractor could apply too much pressure on your back, leading to premature labor or miscarriage. Therefore, ensuring the chiropractor is well-trained and certified in prenatal care is essential. You should also ensure they provide a comfortable posture for these treatments. Finally, speak with your doctor before getting any treatment—including from a chiropractor—to reduce the risk of harm to you or your baby.
What benefits does a pregnant woman gain from visiting a chiropractor? Studies suggest chiropractic care during pregnancy may also reduce labor time by up to 25%. Regular chiropractic care can help balance hormones and the nervous system, leading to emotional wellness and peace of mind during this significant period of a woman's life. Finally, regular prenatal adjustments can help prepare mothers for natural birth by ensuring optimal baby positioning in the pelvis.
What types of adjustments can a chiropractor make to help during pregnancy? Chiropractic adjustments during pregnancy can help to reduce pain and improve alignment in the pregnant woman's body. A typical adjustment will involve a chiropractor manipulating the joints in the spine and other areas to improve balance and alignment. Adjustments may include mobilizations and gentle stretching movements that reduce joint stiffness and muscle tension. These adjustments can help reduce stress on the spine during pregnancy and decrease back, neck, or joint pain that many pregnant women experience. Additionally, chiropractic adjustments can help realign the pelvis, which can provide relief from back pain and help position the baby for birth. Ultimately, chiropractic care may improve comfort during pregnancy and promote a healthier delivery for both mother and baby.







Dr. Harry Brown Sr.

Dr. Harry W. Brown, D.C., a native of Atlanta, Georgia and graduate of Logan College of Chiropractic opened his first Chiropractor Office in Savannah, Georgia in 1977. His commitment and caring dedication to his patients was instantly recognized in the community. In 1979, Dr. Harry W. Brown, D.C. moved back to his home in Atlanta and opened his second Chiropractic Office in Jonesboro, Georgia. Through a commitment to the highest levels of patient care, Arrowhead quickly became the largest Chiropractic facility in Georgia.