It takes confidence to seek out a new doctor, especially in a specialty that is unfamiliar like prenatal chiropractic. Many pregnant mothers are referred for a chiropractic examination by their obstetrician or midwife and have had no prior experience in a chiropractic office. They usually show up in the late stages of pregnancy because of back pain, or a breech presentation. They soon find out that there are many more benefits to expect from chiropractic care. In a mother, chiropractic supports pregnancy and birth as a natural process.
The benefits chiropractic provides are:
-It reduces interference (disease) to the vital nervous system which controls all other systems and functions
-It prepares the pelvis by enhancing the bony structures, muscles and ligaments
-It removes tension to ligaments to reduce intrauterine constraint.
-It allows for a safer, easier birth and decreases the potential for intervention
A first visit in a chiropractic office typically involves a screening. In the office of Dr. Michael Magwood, who is certified by the ICPA, his team believes it is a priority to simply connect with a mother first. “This is the way professionals should conduct themselves in order to find out if the person sitting before them can be best served in their facility, before charging them for the process and time spent together,” says Dr. Magwood. He also believes in educating moms about the safety of testing and what to expect after thoroughly reporting the results. This way, mothers can feel secure about the chiropractor’s contribution to the childbirth team.
The following is an outline of a typical Prenatal Chiropractic Exam at Pure Balance in NYC and Pure Balance Center in Clifton, NJ. Each examination is dependent on many individual factors; however, based on the screening, these are some of the tests and procedures that may be performed:
Along with a medical history, family history, and a description of the chief complaints, a chiropractic examination should include a list of current and past physical traumas, emotional stressors, and chemical exposures, that may lead to indicators or a diagnosis of dis-ease or vertebral subluxation, which chiropractors specifically work with.
Indicators of Dis-ease and Vertebral Subluxation:
Detailed Palpation Analysis
-Scanning up and down the full spine
-Tissue tone (superficial or just under the skin)
-Intersegmental (between the joint segments, or motor units)
-Motion (the joint play with light pressure)
Congestive Tissue Tone - palpation for puffiness or crepitus
Functional Leg Length Inequality - Incorporating an achilles reflex
Cervical Syndrome Test - multiple indicators for how head turning affects functional leg length in the prone position
Derifield Test - indicators for how knee flexion affects functional leg length
Abductor tendency/Adductor resistance - hip flare in the prone position (one or both sides)
Inversion/Eversion - foot flare (one or both sides)
Heel tension - at the achilles tendon (with or without symmetry)
Abnormal Breathing Patterns - including chest breathing and rapid breathing
Postural Faults - including gravitational center and plumb line
-Motor/Sensory/Reflex testing and other neurosensory tests
-Cranial Nerve Tests
-Thermography: Scan of the spine using infrared technology to identify areas of imbalanced energy radiation from the body which may identify areas of inflammation, stress, and autonomic regulation.
-Heart Rate Variability: Measures adaptabilty and balance of the autonomic nervous system.
Additional tests may be indicated in a complete prenatal chiropractic examination including:
Ranges of Motion
Hormone and Neurotransmitter testing
Respiratory stress testing
Many of these examination procedures are unique to chiropractic doctors, which is why the results should be communicated to a mother’s obstetrician or other specialists. The entire examination process can typically be completed in thirty minutes, followed by the chiropractor taking time to interpret the results and generate an appropriate plan for care.
If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, reach out to the chiropractors at Pure Balance right away. Serving the community since 2001, they can serve as some of the most mindful and caring members of your childbirth team. To schedule an appointment with a caring and skilled professional, give them a call at (212) 661-5656. You can also visit them online to learn more about the range of services they provide.