Webster Technique is a gentle, effective chiropractic assessment and treatment protocol for pregnant women. It involves an analysis and adjustment of the pelvis that improves alignment and reduces tension on the muscles and ligaments supporting the uterus. It uses a combination of myofascial release (similar to a massage) and manual adjustments. Webster Technique is used to support women by reducing mechanical causes of pain and preparing her body for an easier, safer delivery.
Physical factors from mom can sometimes impede baby’s ability to assume an optimal position. By removing these roadblocks, Webster Technique supports baby’s ability to become situated in an ideal place for an ideal birth. It is NOT a direct breech baby turning technique, but the research does support a clear correlation between Webster Technique and improved infant positioning at birth.
All 3 of our chiropractors are certified Webster Technique providers.
Current research has shown that Webster technique:
- is effective at reducing low back, groin, and hip pain during pregnancy1,2,3,4
- decreases the amount of tension and torsion on the uterus, which creates an optimal intrauterine environment that allows the baby to move freely into a better birthing position6
- supports a less traumatic delivery for both mom and baby6
- is a safe, gentle, and effective treatment for women in any stage of pregnancy1,2,3,4
There are several ligaments that connect the pelvis to the growing uterus. These ligaments function to hold the uterus in place and they act like an elastic band. When there is increased tension or tightness in the elastic band, it creates more pressure on the structure it is attached to. When the pelvis is misaligned, it creates an imbalance in the tension on these ligaments, which translates to torsion on the uterus, which impacts the room available for baby to move. This restriction pattern is called intrauterine constraint. The ligaments we specifically focus on are the round, broad, and uterosacral ligaments.
If the baby is in a breech, transverse, or posterior position, this can lead to something called dystocia and may impact the mother’s ability to have a natural, non-invasive birth. Dystocia and non-optimal infant positioning are common factors that lead to use of interventions (such as forceps and suction) and the need for a Cesarean section. Using Webster Technique, we can often address the structural imbalance and re-establish an optimal intrauterine environment, allowing both baby and mama to shift as needed to establish the foundation for the birth of their dreams.
Proper alignment of the sacrum and bones in the pelvis also contribute to a wider birth canal, which is the space that the baby must pass through during delivery. The larger and more symmetrical this space is, the easier and less traumatic the process with be for both the mother and the baby.
The initial visit will take 60 minutes, while subsequent treatments are about 20 minutes long. We will ask you a series of questions regarding your pregnancy, birth plan, diet and exercise habits, and both past and current health concerns. We want to make sure we understand your goals and reasons for seeking chiropractic care. Then we will perform a comprehensive physical exam, which will include a full analysis of the muscles, joints, and ligaments of the spine; orthopaedic and neurologic testing as needed, a movement screen, and the Webster Technique analysis. We will then discus our findings and recommend a treatment plan to serve your specific needs. Extra time is scheduled during the initial visit to answer any questions you might have and open communication is encouraged.
Webster Technique pelvis adjustments are very gentle and comfortable during any stage of pregnancy and are generally performed with a special chiropractic table called a “drop table”. Gentle soft tissue release (similar to a massage) will be performed in the area of the gluteal muscles, the uterine ligaments, and the hips as needed. Any other areas of concern will be addressed and each treatment is specifically tailored to the specific needs of the patient on that day. Special pregnancy pillows will be provided for your comfort. Most moms love that they can comfortably lay on their bellies and give their back muscles a break.
- Alcantara J et al. “The Use of Validated Outcome Measures in the Chiropractic Care of Pregnant Patients: A Systematic Review of the Literature.” Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice: 131-36.
- Borggren CL. “Pregnancy and Chiropractic: A Narrative Review of the Literature.” Journal of Chiropractic Medicine6.2: 70-74.
- Oswald C et al. “Optimizing Pain Relief during Pregnancy Using Manual Therapy.” Canadian Family Physician 59.2: 841-42.
- Peterson CK et al. “Outcomes of Pregnant Patients with Low Back Pain Undergoing Chiropractic Treatment: A Prospective Cohort Study with Short Term, Medium Term and 1 year Follow-up.” Chiropractic & Manual Therapies Chiropr Man Therap: 15.
- Sabino J & Grauer JN. “Pregnancy and Low Back Pain.” Current Review of Musculoskeletal Medicine 1.2: 137-41.
- International Chiropractic Paediatric Association (ICPA). http://icpa4kids.org/Chiropractic-Research/Webster-Technique/