Case Study & Literature Review
On January 13, 2015, a study was published documenting the case of a pregnant woman with a transverse breech pregnancy being corrected under chiropractic care. The study also reviewed a number of other such cases documented in research adding to the body of evidence showing chiropractic helping with this issue.
A Transverse Breech Pregnancy is when a fetus is lying across the womb with the spine perpendicular to the mother’s spine. Later in pregnancy, the baby should be head downward in preparation for birth. The authors report that by the 28th week of pregnancy, about 4% of women have a breech pregnancy. Of these, it is expected that 86% will deliver via cesarean section. Nationally, the rate of cesarean birth continues to rise, being at 31.6% in the year 2010.
In this case study a 31-year-old pregnant women went to a chiropractor for help. She had been diagnosed by her obstetrician with transverse breech malposition, confirmed by ultrasound, at 30 weeks gestation. She was also suffering from lower back pain.
A chiropractic examination was performed involving a postural analysis which showed imbalances in her posture. Additionally, palpation showed tight lumbar musculature and spinal malpositioning. Static electromyography, or sEMG, along with thermographic scans were performed that revealed areas positive for the presence of subluxations. Based on the examination, it was determined that the woman had subluxations at the top and bottom of her spine.
Chiropractic adjustments were begun to correct the subluxations along with a specialized technique called the Webster technique. This technique addresses the subluxations in the base of the spine as well as easing tender nodules in the round ligament of the pelvis, thus addressing in-uterine constraint. This care was given to the woman twice per week for the remainder of her pregnancy.
On her eighth visit, the woman reported that her baby was no longer in the breech position and had turned into the normal vertex presentation. As a result the study noted, “The patient continued care and was able to have a natural, assisted homebirth and healthy vaginal delivery of a baby boy, in the presence of her midwife and family.”
The author summed up this study in their conclusion by saying, “This report of a 31 year old multiparous [having borne more than one child] female patient presenting with transverse breech presentation utilizing Webster technique during her pregnancy proved to be effective. Receiving chiropractic care during pregnancy, specifically utilizing the Webster technique, helped to reestablish normal sacral alignment and biomechanics of the female pelvis.”