On May 27, 2019, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a documented case study of a pregnant woman who was suffering with lower back pain and Placenta Previa being helped by chiropractic.
The placenta is the structure that grows inside an expecting mother’s womb that provides oxygen and nutrition and removes wastes from the developing fetus. According to the Mayo clinic website, “Placenta previa occurs when a baby’s placenta partially or totally covers the mother’s cervix — the outlet for the uterus. Placenta previa can cause severe bleeding during pregnancy and delivery.” Placenta previa occurs in about 1 in 200 pregnancies.
In this case, a 24-year-old woman in her 12th week of pregnancy went to the chiropractor because of lower back pain. She had also been medically diagnosed the week before with placenta previa. The woman reported that her back pain had gradually gotten worse over the past four weeks with no way to relieve the pain. The pain was affecting her daily activity and was aggravated when she would try to pick up her 2-year-old son. The pain had gotten to the point where it was impacting her daily activity and chores.
The woman was able to specifically identify the point of pain as being directly over the right sacroiliac (SI) joint. She rated the pain as a 6 out of 10, (10 is the worst), and noted that the pain got worse as the day went on until it was causing problems with her sleep. She did not receive any medical care for this issue, but she did use some essential oils to no avail. This was her first experience with chiropractic care.
An examination was performed which included a postural analysis, several orthopedic tests, palpation of the spine and surrounding musculature, testing of the spinal ranges of motion and a surface electromyographic (sEMG) examination. From the examination, it was determined that multiple areas of subluxation were present in the woman’s neck and pelvis.
The woman began receiving chiropractic adjustments at the rate of 3 visits per week. After the first week of chiropractic care, the woman reported that almost all of her lower back pain had gone. After 4 weeks of care, she reported that she no longer had any lower back pain. In addition, the woman’s OB/Gyn, using ultrasound imaging, had determined that her placenta previa had resolved. Based upon the good results, the woman elected to continue chiropractic care on a weekly basis for the remainder of her pregnancy.
The authors of this study note that there are some medical opinions that suggest that chiropractic care is contraindicated in women with placenta previa. The authors challenge this assertion citing various other medical opinions and the results of this study. “This case report provides supporting evidence to challenge the notion that placenta previa is an absolute contraindication to chiropractic care.” They go on to state, “Chiropractic care may be effective and beneficial for pregnant women with low back pain and placenta previa.”