Many women experience aches and pains during pregnancy. Chiropractic treatments have been shown to be a safe and effective way to treat lower back pain, pelvic pain, and other forms of pregnancy-related pain. However, few researchers have explored the experience of pregnant patients and their chiropractors. A recent study sought to explore the experience of chiropractic treatment for women who are pregnant and have lower back pain.
The qualitative study involved interviews of pregnant patients who underwent chiropractic treatments for back pain during the second or third trimester of pregnancy. The researchers also conducted separate interviews with their chiropractors. The interviews asked about their treatment experience. According to the research team, five themes emerged out of the interviews: Treatment and Effectiveness; Safety Considerations; Self-Care; Pregnant Patient Presentation and the Chiropractic Approach to Pregnancy Care; and Chiropractor-Patient Communication.
All of the chiropractors reported that they believed chiropractic treatments were safe for pregnant patients, and that they had seen no adverse effects. None of the patients involved in the study experienced any adverse events after chiropractic treatment.
They also noted that exercise can be beneficial for pregnant women with low-back pain. Most of the chiropractors provided their patients with an exercise plan or recommendations for low-impact exercise such as walking, stretching, and yoga.
All of the interviewed patients said they found chiropractic treatments to be effective for relieving their lower back pain. Patients reported that the chiropractic care they received while pregnant improved their mobility and ability to carry out daily activities, while decreasing their overall pain and discomfort. The patients reported that they were generally satisfied with the chiropractic care they received during pregnancy, and experienced positive outcomes from treatment.
According to interviews with the chiropractors, the chiropractor’s approach depends on the patient’s specific symptoms and how far into the pregnancy the patient is seen for treatment. Most of the chiropractors interviewed had a patient-centered approach, emphasizing communication with patients and education about pregnancy-related changes to the patient’s body. The researchers concluded by recommending that chiropractors approach pregnant patients from a patient-centered standpoint, because the patients interviewed in this study appeared to find this approach helpful for managing their back pain through chiropractic treatments.
Sadr S, Pourkiani-Allah-Abad N, Stuber KJ. The treatment experience of patients with low back pain during pregnancy and their chiropractors: a qualitative study. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies 2012, 20:32. doi:10.1186/2045-709X-20-32.