Best Practices for Chiropractic Care for Pregnant & Postpartum Patients
- RRS Education
Chiropractors see pregnant women with back and pelvic pain frequently. Up to 90% of pregnant women will experience pregnancy-related back pain and up to 35% of those will describe their pain as moderate, severe, or disabling, with a negative impact on their activities of daily living.
Approximately 30% of women have their first episode of back pain while pregnant and while this pain will often resolve after birth, 75% of women will continue to experience pain up to 3 years later. Those women experiencing postpartum related back pain 3 months after giving birth have a higher risk of experiencing chronic low back pain (LBP) throughout their lives, so this is an important patient population to manage properly!
LBP and pelvic girdle pain (PGP) are different conditions, but are often studied together, making it very difficult to determine safe and effective management strategies for these patients. LBP is defined as pain occurring between the costal margins and the inferior gluteal folds, while PGP is defined as pain occurring in the symphysis pubis and/or between the posterior iliac crest and gluteal folds. LBP and PGP can also occur simultaneously, which is called combined pain. In addition to the lack of clear research, many health care providers dismiss these conditions as temporary and self-limiting, providing little or no recommendations for treatment.
There are still important gaps in the literature regarding chiropractic care for pregnant and postpartum patients. This study aimed to develop a best-practices document based on the evidence and a consensus process including a multidisciplinary group of pregnancy and postpartum care experts.
THIS WEEK'S RESEARCH REVIEW: “Best Practices for Chiropractic Care for Pregnant and Postpartum Patients”
This paper is in press in JMPT (2022) at the time of posting and this Review is posted in Recent Reviews, Pregnancy and the 2022 Archive.