Chiropractic for Pregnant Women and the Webster Technique

chiropractic for pregnancy

Many people ask us if it is safe to utilise Chiropractic while pregnant and if so what are the benefits to receiving Chiropractic care while pregnant.

Our Chiropractors at Hawker Chiropractic in Canberra love working with pregnant mum’s and have helped many mums over the years throughout their pregnancy. Each of our Chiropractors have undertaken post graduate studies in the area and are willing and able to assist you throughout your pregnancy.

What are the benefits of Chiropractic care during pregnancy?

Chiropractic care during pregnancy may offer a natural solution to painful musculoskeletal symptoms such as back pain, neck pain and pelvic instability. While the research is sparse when it comes to Chiropractic and Pregnancy the research that is available is hugely positive.

Chiropractor for pregnancy in canberra
Back pain is quite common in pregnancy and may be relieved through Chiropractic care.

Back pain

Studies show that over 50% of women experience back pain during their pregnancy, however most don’t seek help for this which is such a shame as another study found that of the pregnant women that Chiropractors did see around 75% benefited from Chiropractic care. Although statistics show most women don’t see a Chiropractor during their pregnancy Chiropractic is the third common alterative therapy used during pregnancy by those who choose to use extra resources during their pregnancy (massage and yoga are number 1 and 2).

75% of pregnant patients who received chiropractic care during their pregnancies stated that they found relief from pain.

Back labour and Chiropractic

It has also been noted in the literature that Chiropractic care may significantly decreased the incidence of “back labour” (where women experience a lot of pain in their back throughout labour). The risk of experiencing back labour is 3 times more likely if you have experienced back pain through pregnancy. By receiving Chiropractic care during pregnancy to relieve your back pain you potentially decrease the chance of experiencing a very uncomfortable back  labour.

Labour times and Chiropractic

Another study reported that first time mums who seek Chiropractic care throughout their pregnancy have on average a 25% shorter labour time! Women in their subsequent pregnancies who undergo Chiropractic care during their pregnancy have on average a 31% shorter labour time. I think most women would put their hands up for a shorter labour time!

How can Chiropractic help during pregnancy?

pregnancy chiropractor near me

Chiropractic care during pregnancy focuses on restoring balance to the lumbopelvic system. This includes establishing a healthy pelvic alignment (i.e. no twisting through the joints) and enabling proper joint mobility. This helps prevent tightening and tensioning of the muscles and ligaments that support the spine, pelvis and uterus. This can lead to a reduction in pain enabling you to enjoy your pregnancy.

Back pain, neck pain, pubic symphysis discomfort, sciatica and other aches and pain may also be relieved through Chiropractic care.

The Webster Technique

The Webster technique is a specific sacral analysis coupled with specific adjustments that aim to restore balance to the pelvis and correct potential musculoskeletal causes of intrauterine constraint. Intrauterine constraints is where there is an external force to the developing baby that may obstruct its normal movement within the uterus. These external forces can be tight ligaments, restricted joints or tight muscles. Whilst this technique is mainly focused on women in later pregnancy with a breech baby we also use the analysis throughout pregnancy to make sure your baby is moving freely in the uterus.

 It is important to note that when we use the Webster technique we do not manually try to move the baby! We only attempt to correct the biomechanical causes of the restraint.

To learn more about the Webster Technique go here

Is Chiropractic safe during pregnancy?

Getting adjusted by a Chiropractor during pregnancy is very much a safe treatment. However, we do recommend finding a Canberra Chiropractor who has undertaken extra study around pregnancy care or who has a special interest in Pregnancy.

canberra chiropractor for pregnancy

A big question we get asked is how do you treat a pregnant mum if they can’t lay on their belly? Once the belly gets big enough and the mother can no longer lay on her tummy, we use either a table that has a swing away abdominal piece or a specialised pillow that supports the mums belly while she lays on her belly. We are still able to adjust a pregnant mum using regular techniques however we change the positioning so that it doesn’t irritate the belly. All of this is done with complete consent from the mother.

At Hawker Chiropractic we want our pregnant mummas to enjoy pregnancy and ease their musculoskeletal symptoms. We want them to be able to move throughout their pregnancy and when time comes enjoy the birthing process.

To book your appointment or for more information call 6255 3711

Your Posture Matters

Your Posture Matters

Did you have those parents that always told you to “Sit up straight”, “pull your shoulders back” and “don’t slouch!”. At the time you may have rolled your eyes and thought how annoying your parents were, but the fact is you should have been going up to them, giving them a big hug and saying thank you!

You see posture is more than just an aesthetic thing. Yes, we look much better when we stand up tall and pull our shoulders back but the effect our posture has on our health goes much further than just what it looks like.

First Let’s think about what poor posture looks like.

Usually we see that the head drops forward, our shoulders become rounded and our low back sways out. All you have to do is look at your child or colleague sitting at a computer to see this posture. This posture also tends to cause things like back pain, neck pain and headaches. When we think about what this posture looks like you could say it looks like we are ready to run or we are ready to fight – this is a result of the sympathetic nervous system.


Sympathetic Dominance & Posture

When our sympathetic Nervous System (our fight or flight response) is activated we tend to default into this posture. This is due to activation of parts of our brain stem that drive this response. Not only does it cause our head to fall forward and our shoulders to roll but we also get tensing of the hamstrings, buttocks and shoulder muscles. The sympathetic nervous system activates in times of perceived stress and unfortunately in today’s society this is pretty much a daily occurrence. Stress can be from a physical, chemical or mental/emotional cause and most people today are bombarded with multiple stressors daily. When this becomes a chronic occurrence, it is likely you are suffering from something we call Sympathetic Dominance.

Usually with sympathetic dominance the stressor comes first causing our body to react and trigger this posture. This is an automatic function which means we have no conscious control over it. The issue doesn’t stop there though. When we are in this poor posture our body is sending constant feedback to the brain constantly communicating that it is in this position and is ready to fight or flight on demand. This then creates a negative feedback loop where the stressor is coming in telling your brain to be stressed and your posture is also sending messages saying you should be stressed. All this happens without our actual conscious control.

Having this posture can also be detrimental to other areas of your health. When our sympathetic nervous system is activated it means that our parasympathetic nervous system (rest & digest) is suppressed. These 2 systems work like a seesaw constantly trying to balance each other out. Our parasympathetic system controls things such as digestion and repairs everything in our body while we sleep. When this system isn’t allowed to work then we start seeing issues in other areas of our health. 

How can we help our posture?

Previously I mentioned that this typical poor posture happens without our conscious control so doesn’t that mean we can’t fix it? Well that certainly isn’t the case. There are many things we can do to influence our posture and therefore help switch off our sympathetic nervous system. The best thing about it is these tips are not hard to do!

Fixing your posture

  1. Practice proper ergonomics when using your phone/tablet/computer
  2. Use a posture pole daily
  3. Strengthen posterior muscles such as your glutes, lats and the muscles in between your shoulder blades
  4. Stretch anterior muscles such as your pecs and hip flexors. It is also important to stretch your hamstrings.
  5. Get adjusted by your Chiropractor
  6. Chiropractic adjustments helps ensure proper communication between the brain and body and vice versa. This will help to optimise the activation of your outer brain which will help calm down your brainstem (where the sympathetic activation comes from)

If you want more information on this then we recommend reading the book SD Protocol by Dr Wayne Todd and if you have any questions on posture then we would love to hear from you either in the practice or via email.

Top 6 foods for your Nervous System

child chiropractor canberra

As Chiropractors we love the nervous system! It is what we work with every single day. By adjusting the spine we remove interference from your nervous system which allows the brain and body to communicate to each other more effectively.

However, there are many other ways in which we can support the Nervous System and one of those ways is via the food we eat. Our food makes up the building blocks to every single cell within our body and therefore we should be building it up with good quality nutritious foods.

“Do you want a body built on McDonalds and coke or fruits and vegetables?”

Read more

Why do Children see a Chiropractor?

Paediatric Chiropractor Canberra

Chiropractic is based on the important relationship between the spine and the nervous system. A fundamental idea in Chiropractic is that dysfunction in the spinal joints can lead to dysfunction within the nervous system and as the nervous system controls everything in the body, spinal dysfunction can have a wide range of effects on the overall health of the body. As Chiropractors we aim to evaluate the spine and adjust the areas of spinal dysfunction.

As children grow they encounter many stresses. These can be physical (falls and bumps), chemical (food additives, pollutants, toxins) and emotional (tantrums, first day of school). Stress can cause resulting problems in the child’s spine which may lead to interference within the nervous system.

Read more

7 Practical Ways To Live A More Active Lifestyle

chiropractic to improve health

How To Live A More Healthy, Active Lifestyle

In our busy, modern-day lifestyle our choices are influenced by two simple questions:
1. “How long will this take? – I am time poor”.
2. “How much energy is this going to use? I’m tired and still have so much to do today!”

As health practitioners it’s no surprise to us that studies are finding people who live a more simple and active lifestyle experience huge health benefits. Being active doesn’t mean slogging it out in the gym for an hour every day but making some simple changes to increase activity levels can potentially improve your back and neck pain, prevent high blood pressure, lose weight and lower your stress levels! Read more

Chiropractic and Headaches

Tension headache

Migraine, chiropractic for headaches, sinus pressure and headache
Crushing pain of a headache

Do you or anyone you know suffer from headaches?  Maybe chiropractic can help!  It is well known that headaches are one of the most common conditions people suffer with, and here at Hawker Chiropractic in the Belconnen region of Canberra, we certainly have seen a large number of patients who suffer this affliction regularly.  It is because headaches are so common that a lot of people believe that getting a headache is ‘normal’.  However, a persistent or re-occurring headache is a sign that something is wrong within one of the many systems in the body.

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Sciatica – It’s a pain in the butt!

Sciatic pain Canberra
What is Sciatica?

Sciatica, sciatic pain, low back pain, chiropractic and sciatica, leg pain

Sciatica itself is not a diagnosis but rather a symptom experienced by the individual as a result of some compression of the sciatic nerve within the body, usually within the pelvis. True sciatica is pain radiating along the sciatic nerve, which runs down one or both legs. The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve in the body, starting from the lower back and running all the way down the back of the leg to the foot.

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Where Can I Get A Good Remedial Massage in Canberra & What Will It Do For Me?

massage, relaxation, therapeutic

massage, relaxation, therapeutic

At Hawker Chiropractic in the Belconnen region of Canberra, we have a team of professionally trained female massage therapists to look after all your aches and pains.  Most people will want a remedial massage when muscles feel tight, or we develop pain in areas:  back pain, neck pain, foot pain, headaches, sprains and strains.  Sometimes we just want some relaxation and time away from the pressures of family or work.  We can even use remedial massage to help recover after sport or to deal with other conditions such as anxiety or posture problems.  However, most people don’t realise that massage can have a positive effect on the many systems in our body.  We have put together a quick list of how a remedial massage can positively affect your whole body and even your mental health. Read more

Low Back Pain – We Can Help!

Low back pain canberra

chiropractic treatment of low back pain, low back pain treatment

Back pain has become an epidemic in our society with some studies suggesting that around 80% of people will experience it at some stage in their life.

Low back pain is a condition which causes confusion within the community because of the number of origins and treatment options.  Studies are showing that surgery is not the best option and drugs are somewhat ineffective (in some cases).  However, there are activities that you can do in your everyday life to help alleviate some of your back pain.

We want to tell you about 3 underlying issues that may be causing or contributing to your low back pain and give you some advice about how chiropractic and/or massage and acupuncture could help. Read more