4 Things To Know About The Webster Technique Before Visiting A Chiropractor

Posted on: 26 May 2015

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Whether you have recently become pregnant or are well into your third trimester, there may come a time when you will debate whether a visit to a chiropractor will be beneficial to your pregnancy. Since only you and your doctor can decide a chiropractor will help ease pregnancy pains and get you and your baby ready for birth, you should educate yourself about the common pregnancy manipulations that a chiropractor may perform on you. 

Two common chiropractic issues that pregnant women face include a misalignment of the sacrum and the uneven tightening of the round ligament of the uterus. When you visit a chiropractor, they will likely check for signs of these issues and take steps to correct them. One of the common manipulations used is known as the Webster Technique. 

What is the Webster Technique? 

The Webster Technique was developed by Dr. Larry Webster after watching his daughter have a difficult delivery of a breech baby in 1976. Its main purpose is to align the pelvis and the sacrum so that the baby has adequate room to rotate into the proper, head-down position before birth. 

It is a simple manipulation of the ligaments that attach the uterus to the sacrum and involves assessing whether one side of the round ligament is tighter than the other and helping that side to relax. 

Why might you need the Webster Technique?

The Webster Technique is usually recommended for women in their eighth or ninth month of pregnancy if their baby is in a breech position. However, regular visits to a chiropractor throughout pregnancy can help detect problems early and prevent them from developing. Besides helping your baby be able to rotate in the uterus, this technique may help relieve lower back pain and sciatic pain, both of which are common during late pregnancy. 

What should you expect during your visit? 

At your visit, your chiropractor will usually ask you to lie face down on a special table made to accommodate your belly. You should let them know if you are uncomfortable and they will help you find an appropriate position. Then, they will gently bend both of your knees to bring your feet towards your buttocks. They will stop bending as soon as there is resistance and assess whether one foot offers more resistance than the other. If one does, he or she will ask you to lie on your opposite side so they can gently stretch the muscles in your hip and help realign your sacrum. 

Next, your chiropractor will have you lie on your back. They will find the round ligament of your uterus, low in your abdomen. They will check for uneven tension in the ligament and then apply gentle pressure to whichever side is more tense. They may hold the pressure for a moment and then release it, or they may hold the pressure for 10-15 minutes.  

Does the manipulation hurt you or your baby? 

The American Pregnancy Association notes that chiropractic care during pregnancy is thought to be normal and safe, however, you may want to seek out a chiropractor with advanced training in pregnancy issues. The Webster Technique should not cause any sharp pain or muscle stress. If you feel uncomfortable, you should tell your chiropractor immediately. 

When your chiropractor is performing the manipulation, he or she will press firmly into your abdomen. This may tickle you or cause the baby to kick. If they hold the pressure for a long period, you may find that you feel slightly uncomfortable with the pressure. You should let them know so they can adjust their timing in the future. 

When pregnant, you should not fear going to the chiropractor. Regular visits can help yourself have a more comfortable pregnancy and an easier birth. For more information on how a chiropractor can help you in your situation, visit on in your area.