Pregnancy, Lower Back Pain and Chiropractic
Results of a study published on April 1, 2014, in the scientific periodical, the Chiropractic & Manual Therapies, showed that chiropractic helped pregnant woman suffering with lower back pain. The research was conducted in Switzerland, and compiled at the Department of Chiropractic Medicine, Orthopedic University Hospital Balgrist, University of Zürich, in Zürich, Switzerland.
Study authors begin by noting that lower back pain in pregnant women is so common that it is almost considered a normal part of the process. They estimate that between 50% and 80% of pregnant women will suffer back pain during their pregnancy, and this pain does have an effect on their quality of life.
In this study, pregnant women over the age of 18 with low back pain, pelvic pain, or both of any duration who had not undergone chiropractic, or any form of manual therapy in the prior 3 months were recruited from chiropractic practices in Switzerland.
Data was collected on a total of 115 women who participated in the study and received chiropractic care during their pregnancy. The data included a numerical rating scale (NRS) for pain, where “0” means no pain, and “10” would be the worst pain imaginable. Additionally the patient’s global impression of change (PGIC) scale was used so the women could rate their own overall progress from chiropractic care.
Data was obtained using accepted standardized questionnaires after chiropractic care was started at intervals of one week, one month, three months, six months, and finally one year after the initiation of chiropractic care.
The study results showed that all groups at all timeframes showed positive results from their chiropractic care. The results also improved as chiropractic care continued. The data showed that 52% of the pregnant women with back pain were improved at 1 week. The percentage of pregnant women with a improvement in their back pain increased to 70% at 1 month, and 85% at 3 months. At 6 months, 90% reported improvement, and, after a full year, that percent was statistically the same with 88% saying they were improved.
In their discussion, the researchers point out that the results of this study add to the growing body of evidence from prior studies showing that chiropractic is beneficial for pregnant women suffering from back pain. “The results of this current study which showed that a high proportion of pregnant patients with LBP undergoing chiropractic treatment reported clinically relevant improvement support those published in a recent cohort study as well as the recent randomized clinical trial (RCT) looking at chiropractic treatment for pregnant patients with low back or pelvic pain.”