A qualitative study of pregnant women with low back pain, and their chiropractors was published on Oct. 9, 2012 in Chiropractic & Manual Therapies with the title of "The treatment experience of patients with low back pain during pregnancy and their chiropractors: A qualitative study".
The pregnant women, all in their second or third trimester and suffering with low back pain, were interviewed by the study’s authors to investigate their feelings about the experience of chiropractic care during their pregnancy. Anonymity and confidentiality of the study’s respondents were protected by assigning a number to each respondent.
Low back pain is a common symptom during pregnancy. Between 50 to 80 percent of pregnant women report low back pain during pregnancy because of hormonal, postural, and structural adjustments to the body. Chiropractic care for low back pain during pregnancy is safe and effective according to previously published studies and reviews.
Positive results with no adverse effects were experienced by all the pregnant women in the study. A reduction in low back pain, increase in range of motion, and better function were some of the reported experiences.
“It really allowed me to function. I could barely walk before or stand, the pain was intense, but after I went to the chiropractor I found I could function day to day, I could walk from the bus stop to work, I could do these things, so that was pretty significant. It’s just helping me function. It’s just teaching me how to pick up my daughter so I don’t hurt myself. To still function, to still play with my daughter and be able to go to the grocery store and do all these things without really hurting myself. As well as it allows me to sleep at night,” said patient number 05.
In addition to the reduction or elimination of lower back pain, some of the pregnant women reported that chiropractic care increased their overall quality of life, and increased mobility.
“I can walk longer periods of time. So that’s excellent. I can go standing for four to five hours. Because prior to that I’d be standing 40 minutes to do the dishes and I’d be in agony. Even the basic things, like picking things up off the floor, you’d get stuck in that position, I haven’t experienced that yet [in this pregnancy]. Or just sitting for long periods of time, because I do work an office job from home, so I do sit long periods of time. I know for most people [they] have to get up and stretch for a couple minutes, even in doing that I’ve been doing okay,” said patient number 01.
Some respondents had sought chiropractic care for previous pregnancies due to low back pain, and continued with chiropractic care for later pregnancies because of positive results. Pregnant patient number 11 said, “It worked so well the first time, I’d even come away from the appointment feeling better. It was almost an immediate fix. So because of my positive experience the first time, there was no question that I was going to use chiropractic care for the second pregnancy.”
The study results conclude that chiropractic care for pregnant women suffering from low back pain is effective for pain relief, increased range of motion, increased mobility, and overall better quality of life. “I think after the treatment, it was decreased pain and increased sense of mobility, increased range of motion and decreased sense of frustration and grumpiness,” said patient number 06.
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