Which is better during pregnancy and postpartum?
If you haven’t been to a chiropractor during your pregnancy or postpartum period, you’re one of the few who have not taken advantage of the opportunity. Chiropractic care is considered relatively safe and effective for treating musculoskeletal conditions during that delicate time period. Chiropractors can adjust what they call subluxations, or partial dislocation, which result from the changing posture and pressure on the vertebral column. A technique known as the Webster Technique is often used to treat this population but it is not the only manual therapy tool in their toolbox.
What many do not know, however, is that physical therapy can be a great complement to chiropractic care. Physical therapists, especially those specifically trained to treat the prenatal and postpartum population, can complement chiropractic care with exercise, stretching, manual therapy and education. Sometimes, manual therapy, like a chiropractic adjustment or what physical therapists call mobilizations, and even other forms of manual therapy, are needed. But in the physical therapy world, manual therapy is usually followed up with an exercise, —which can be in the form of a stabilizing exercise or stretch to encourage the joints mobilized to remain in it’s optimal position, and even athletic taping. Essentially, it balances the entire musculoskeletal system.
Education is also a big part of physical therapy. Learning how different parts of the body work as a system is helpful to know what may have caused the problem in the first place, and can also help to prevent it from occurring in the future. The absolute best thing you can walk away with, is knowing how to use your own body to encourage healing, whether through dietary changes, exercise, self mobilizing techniques or postural correction, all of which you can learn in physical therapy.
Hopefully, by now you realize that you don’t have to choose between one or the other. A chiropractor and a physical therapist can both be a part of your holistic care team. If you are fortunate to have both, share this with your friends so they too can benefit from the joint effort (Get it?).
Here’s what a local chiropractor has to say on this topic:
“Moms need to have a team of providers working together to make the pregnancy and post-partum the best possible.
Even though so many people think PTs and Chiros are the same, our focus is different. Chiro analyzing the spine to see how the nervous system is functioning. PT looking at the body's structure and how it affecting the musclo-skeletal system. Both looking at the balance of the body. “
—Dr. Jeff Burrows