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For more information about chiropractic treatment, contact:

John Ballam, DC

201 Davis Grove Circle, #106
Cary, NC 27519
Telephone: (919) 363-2277

Chiropractic During Pregnancy? Absolutely!

Anyone questioning the benefit of chiropractic care during pregnancy should consider the simple fact that pregnancy invariably places considerable stress on the mother’s posture, observes Dr. John Ballam of Legacy Chiropractic in Cary.  “Usually it’s a momentary trauma that brings a patient in to see me. We can address the problem and, since the trauma doesn’t persist, healing can take a natural course.

Dr. Ballam, shown here with his two daughters, works with children of
all ages, including newborns.

“But with pregnancy, the source of the problem is serious stress on the mom’s posture, resulting in back, hip, neck, and shoulder pain. And,” he points out, “the source of the stress is something that’s growing—and keeps on growing! So, these musculoskeletal issues don’t go away on their own, but get worse if not addressed.”

Pregnancy brings on many hormonal and physical changes, notes Dr. Ballam, “including poor posture, muscle tightness and cramping, protruding abdomen, and general body pain and inflammation. So, it’s not surprising that musculoskeletal problems are common in pregnancy. For example, a 2018 study published in the Journal Therapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease found that 70 percent of the women who gave birth reported lower-back pain during pregnancy; 80 percent reported back pain, 33 percent had hand-wrist discomfort, and 32 percent experienced hip pain.

“Because of the extra weight that mom carries, and its position, her body is pulled out of alignment,” explains Dr. Ballam. “What I can do is periodically pull it back into alignment. This not only relieves the pain she’s experiencing, but it prevents the misalignments from getting worse and leading—even after pregnancy—to serious spinal problems.

Dr. Ballam points out that pregnancy doesn’t always create problems, but it magnifies them. “Often, I find that, if she’s never been to a chiropractor, or if it’s been a while, she may have some minor trouble spots that perhaps she doesn’t even feel. But now, because she’s pregnant and the baby’s getting bigger, those minor trouble spots have become problems that she’s very much aware of.”

Gentle Adjustments Yield Major Relief

“I adjust my pregnant patients in the same way that I adjust anyone,” says Dr. Ballam. “They still have the same bones, muscles, and ligaments. What really changes is the chiropractic table and the way it’s able to accommodate their tummy, allowing them to lie face down, with the part where the tummy is completely dropping down, so they feel more comfortable. They and the baby have room, and they’re relaxed. Occasionally, there may be restrictions for certain types of adjustments or procedures, dictated by mom’s pregnancy.

“I know that some women may be hesitant about going to a chiropractor when they’re pregnant, wondering whether it’s safe for the baby, but the adjustments are completely gentle. In fact, the only regret I’ve ever heard is from women who had experienced hip and back pain with their first child and then discovered chiropractic with their second pregnancy. They say it’s a night and day difference and wish they had done it with their first.”

Dr. Ballam notes that women can see a chiropractor at virtually any point of their pregnancy: “When a woman is pregnant, there are so many things that she’s told to avoid, like taking aspirin or other pain relief medications. What’s great about chiropractic, is that it has a high potential for success, with low risk. It’s really a great option during pregnancy. It’s gentle and safe, and the benefits are great—though sooner is better. Don’t wait till your third trimester to call. There’s a lot that I can do if we start early.

“Remember that the mom’s spine and pelvis create a structural environment that supports the uterus,” says Dr. Ballam. “That will dictate how comfortable they are. The cool thing is that in making mom feel better, the baby feels better too, because it creates a more relaxed, unrestricted environment for the baby.”

Adjusting Post-Pregnancy

And new mothers shouldn’t forget post-pregnancy chiropractic, says Dr. Ballam. “I know that’s when everyone is pretty much focused on the baby; but it’s mom’s body that has been through a marathon—carrying the baby for nine months, and then the labor and delivery. It’s not unusual to find that she needs a post-pregnancy adjustment to take care of her lower back and pelvis.”

Other post-pregnancy problems are caused by feeding the new baby. “The most common stress point,” he points out, “is right between the mother’s shoulder blades. Almost inevitably—whether nursing or holding a bottle—mom is going to arch her shoulders or round them down to the baby. Holding that position puts a lot of stress on the mid-back. Actually, this is the number one musculoskeletal complaint I hear from new moms, and it’s such an easy adjustment, that almost always provides immediate relief.”

Chiropractic for Newborns

“Babies are probably my favorite patients,” says Dr. Ballam. “And they often need chiropractic care—even newborns. That’s because even in utero the baby is experiencing significant stress. If mom’s pelvis is twisted or contorted, that will affect the ligaments inside the pelvis supporting the uterus, creating uneven tension on the baby. Some babies are breached, and that creates a stress on the baby’s body as it’s growing.

Free Posture Assessment

“A posture assessment,” says Dr. Ballam, “is an invaluable tool in chiropractic care. It provides a baseline against which to evaluate future problems. That is why,” he says, “we offer a free digital pos-ture assessment and free consulta-tion to assess imbalances and risks.”

To schedule a free initial consultation and posture assessment, call:
(919) 363-2277.

“And the birthing process itself can be very physical for a baby,” he points out. “I always tell patients to imagine me grabbing you by your head and pulling you out the door, then exclaiming, ‘Welcome to the world!’ and slapping you on the butt. That’s the birthing process—and it can certainly affect the baby’s alignment and comfort. Which is why it is important to have the new baby checked to make sure that everything is aligned correctly.

“A baby can’t communicate pain to you; they’re just going to cry or fuss. Many parents are frustrated because they don’t know what their child needs. They may check their diaper, feed, and burp them—but the baby is still fussy. Often all the baby needs is just a simple, gentle correction.”

Misalignments take many forms, he explains—some rather surprising. “This occurred with one of my own daughters,” he recounts. “Right after she was born—still in the hospital—she was nursing like a champ on one side. But when she tried to nurse on the other side, she had issues latching on and was very fussy. The nurse went to get the lactation consultant, and while she was gone it occurred to me that my daughter was uncomfortable in that position. So, I checked her and did a gentle correction, and then we had her try nursing again. She immediately took to it and the problem was resolved. Hearing about this, the consultant said that she loves recommending chiropractic because of how much it helps with nursing issues.”

That adjustment was very quick and very gentle. “I know that chiropractors have a reputation of snapping, cracking, and popping,” he admits. “But chiropractic care for babies is nothing like that—it’s extremely gentle. Picture the amount of force it takes to check that a peach is ripe, and that’s the amount of force I’ll use to make a correction with an infant. I’ve worked with babies as young as a few weeks old, and they have just slept through the treatment—it’s that gentle.”