side effects for medication

Dr.Crystal Draper

Toronto Chiropractor

by Crystal

Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy: Using the Webster Technique

As if nausea, fatigue, food aversions and cravings weren’t enough, did they have to add back pain to the list? It has been reported that approximately 50-80% of all pregnant women experience back pain during their pregnancy and 50% to 75% of women experience back pain during labour (not fair, right?).

There are many factors that contribute to pregnancy-related low back pain. These include weight gain, a change in mom-to-be’s center of gravity, an increase in forces through the spine and hormonal changes. For more information on these changes, please read Low Back Pain and Pregnancy: Growing Pains.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care during Pregnancy

When you’re experiencing back pain, who you gonna call? Your chiropractor! But a question that is commonly asked is, is chiropractic care safe during pregnancy? The answer is yes! Chiropractic care is safe to use through all trimesters of pregnancy and will not harm the growing fetus in anyway. Additionally, chiropractic care has been shown to improve the mother’s overall function and quality of life, and it can contribute to easier, safer births with less intervention.

Results from a chiropractic and medical collaborative study indicate that 75% of pregnant patients who receive chiropractic care during their pregnancies experience pain relief. Moreover, studies show that women who seek chiropractic care throughout gestation have, on average, shorter labour times – and let’s be honest, who doesn’t want that?

The Webster Technique

The Webster Technique is often used to treat chiropractic patients during pregnancy. According to the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA), the Webster Technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment that is safe to use during pregnancy. The goal of the adjustment and treatment is to reduce the effects of sacral and sacroiliac joint dysfunction in order to improve the biomechanical function of the sacrum and pelvis.

Pelvic function can play a large role in optimal positioning of the babe. When the pelvis is misaligned, and there is tightening and torsion of the ligaments that attach to the uterus – as well as specific pelvic muscles – it can cause a condition called “intrauterine constraint.” This constraint within the uterus can prevent the baby from comfortably assuming the best possible position for birth, leading to a breech presentation.

To perform and make chiropractic treatment comfortable for the mom-to-be and her growing belly, pregnancy pillows are used so that she is able to lay face down on the table. (This is generally the most exciting part of treatment for moms, as for some, it has been up to nine months since they have been able to safely lie on their belly!).

Treatment consists of a combination of soft tissue and joint work through the low back, pelvis and abdomen in order to regain proper biomechanical function of the pelvis and decrease pain. Due to laxity of the ligaments brought on by the release of relaxin in pregnancy, treatment and adjusting are both comfortable and easy while using the gentlest of movements. Although the treatment is gentle, the results are surely impactful. Clinical studies have reported an 82% success rate for breech babies when chiropractors used the Webster Technique.

Determine if this Treatment is Right for You

Above all, there is reassurance in knowing that safe and effective treatment options exist during pregnancy and that pain relief is possible. Please speak to a Webster Certified Chiropractor or your healthcare provider to discuss if this treatment is appropriate for you and your one on the way.

For more information on the Webster Technique, please visit the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) website.


The advice provided in this article is for information purposes only. It is meant to augment and not replace consultation with a licensed healthcare provider. Consultation with a Chiropractor or other primary care provider is recommended for anyone suffering from a health problem. 


Borggren, C.L. Pregnancy and Chiropractic: A Narrative Review of the Literature. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 2007; 6: 70-74.

International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. A Webster Technique: A Sought Out Technique for Pregnant Women. ICPA Family Wellness First. 2014.

Pistolese, R.A. The Webster Technique: A Chiropractic Technique with Obstetric Implications. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 2002; 25(6): 1-9.

Ohm, J. The Webster Technique: Definition, Application and Implications. Journal of Pediatric, Maternal and Family Health. 2012: 49-53.

Sabino, J. Pregnancy and Low Back Pain. Current Review in Musculoskeletal Medicine. 2008; 1: 137-141.

by Crystal

Parapanamania Won My Heart – My Experience as a Parapan Am Games Medical Volunteer

The summer is winding down and the games have come and gone, but the memories and impact they left on the city will be felt forever.

This summer, I had the honour of being part of the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games, a major international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities. Now in its fifth edition, the Games featured 1,500 athletes from 28 countries competing in 15 sports. All of these sports were Paralympic qualifiers for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Over the course of the event, I had the privilege of volunteering as one of the Lead Medical Practitioners for the Games where I provided chiropractic and first responder services to athletes and volunteers. I was located at the Parapan Am Fields on the sidelines of Football 5-a-side, played by athletes who are visually impaired, and Football 7-a-side, played by athletes who have cerebral palsy or a traumatic brain injury.

Watching the skill, perseverance and sportsmanship of these athletes was truly incredible and inspirational. Above and beyond the skillfulness and ability was the camaraderie. Despite being on different teams from different countries that were in aggressive competition with one another, all athletes looked out for one another and demonstrated true sportsmanship – something I was not expecting to witness at this level of competition and with so much at stake.

Working with the athletes was definitely a highlight of the games, as was working with the amazing multidisciplinary healthcare team including other chiropractors, sports physicians, physiotherapists, massage therapists, athletic therapists, nurses and emergency medical services. Collaborating with such a diverse group of healthcare practitioners at such an exciting event with athletes of this caliber will be an experience I will never forget.

Ian Troop, CEO of the Toronto 2015 organizing committee said, “Sport brings people together, sport overcomes difference, sport builds communities.” I couldn’t agree more.

United We Play.

by Crystal

Overcoming the Hustle and Bustle: The Importance of Breath

The holiday season should be filled with joy and laughter, but often times stress and depression consume it. All of the hustle and bustle of going from store to store and party to party can get overwhelming. Now is a great time to remember the importance of the breath.

The Benefits of Diaphragmatic Breathing

The first thing we do when we are born, is take a full, deep belly breath. This is an instinctual response to our new environment, yet it is one that is so quickly abandoned in adulthood.

Proper breathing has many different names: diaphragmatic breathing, abdominal breathing, or belly breathing, to name a few. It involves taking in a deep breath so that you fill your lungs completely, allowing your diaphragm (the dome-shaped sheet of muscle that extends across the bottom of the rib cage and divides the chest from the abdomen) to drop downward, pulling your lungs with it so they can fully expand and fill with air. As your lungs expand, they will press against abdominal organs and you will notice your belly rise. As you breath out, the diaphragm relaxes and comes back upward against your lungs, helping to expel carbon dioxide as you exhale.

Notice that with a full, deep breath I said the belly rises and not the chest. Most adults breathe only with their chest and not with their belly. This occurs for a few different reasons:

  1. Stress affects breathing – the stress of traffic jams, work deadlines, holiday shopping and family difficulties stimulates our sympathetic nervous system, or our “fight or flight” response. This stressful state alters our breathing pattern by making our breaths in and out shorter and more rapid.
  2. Posture affects breathing – poor posture has become an epidemic with the amount of computer work we do in today’s society. This posture involves a slumped forward, shoulders rolled-in position that inhibits full diaphragm breathing and promotes shallow chest breathing.
  3. Body image affects breathing – a “washboard” stomach is considered very attractive in our culture. This encourages men and women to constantly contract their stomach muscles or suck in their tummies to appear thinner and so they fit into that holiday outfit. However, this adds tension and anxiety, and again forces us into shallow chest breathing.

The Problem with Chest Breathing

The problem with shallow chest breathing is that it decreases the diaphragm’s range of motion, which inhibits the lowest portion of the lungs from getting a full share of oxygenated air, creating a feeling of shortness of breath and anxiety. On the contrary, deep belly breathing encourages full oxygen exchange (oxygen in, carbon dioxide out), which slows the heartbeat and breathing rate and can lower blood pressure and stress levels.

Step-by-step Guide to Belly Breathing

  1. Find a comfortable and quiet place to lie on your back, either on a yoga mat or in bed, with a pillow under your knees to take pressure off of your low back.
  2. Place one hand on your upper chest and the other on your abdomen, just above your belly button. This allows you to feel your belly rise and fall as you breathe in and out and brings awareness to the depth of your breath.
  3. Focus on your breath as you breathe in slowly through your nose and appreciate your belly rising under your hand. The hand on your chest should remain relatively still.
  4. As you exhale, gently tighten your stomach muscles, letting them fall inward along with your hand as you expel your breath out through your mouth (or your nose, if that feels more natural). Again, the hand on your chest should remain relatively still.
  5. Once you begin to feel comfortable with the above steps, you can start to incorporate imagery and words with each breath to help you relax. For example, imagine that the air you breath in brings calmness into your body, and as you breathe out, imagine you are expelling the tension and anxiety with it. You can also use words as you breathe in and out to encourage relaxation. As you inhale, say “breathing in calm”, and as you exhale, say “breathing out tension”.
  6. As you begin exercising belly breathing, aim for 5-10 minutes of practice. Once you feel more comfortable, you can gradually add time until you are practicing for 20 minutes or more a day.
  7. You can also practice this technique while sitting in a chair. To perform belly breathing in this way, ensure you are sitting in a comfortable chair, with your knees bent at 90 degrees and your shoulders, head and neck relaxed. Continue with above steps 2-6. This technique can be very effective for dealing with anxiety while flying, as you can work on calming your nerves right from your seat.

Building Awareness of Your Breath

To bring more awareness to your breath, alternate normal and deep breaths several times. Pay attention to how you feel during each breath, as you inhale and exhale during a normal breath and during a deep belly breath. Shallow breathing generally feels tense and constricted, while diaphragmatic breathing produces relaxation. So, if you are stuck in a stressful moment and don’t have time to do a full 20 minute session, just take a minute to stop, close your eyes, and find your breath.

What better time to bring awareness to your breath than when you are waiting in line to buy your mother-in-law her Christmas present or when you are trying to beat the holiday traffic. Taking that moment to fill your belly and expel the tension will allow you to re-ground yourself and remember the joy and fun of the holidays.


The advice provided in this article is for information purposes only. It is meant to augment and not replace consultation with a licensed healthcare provider. Consultation with a Chiropractor or other primary care provider is recommended for anyone suffering from a health problem.


Harvard Health Publications: Harvard Medical School. Take a deep breath. May 2009.

Harvard Health Publications: Harvard Medical School. Understanding the Stress Response.  March 2011.

Mason, L.J. Guide to Stress Reduction. Ten Speed Press. November 2013.

The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Diseases and Conditions. Diaphragmatic Breathing. 

by Crystal

Beat the Bedtime Blues: How to Find the Perfect Sleep Position

One of the most common questions I get asked is, what sleep position is best? This isn’t an easy one to answer because it depends on each individual and what ailments they suffer from, if any. Each sleep position has its own benefits and disadvantages, although sleeping on your stomach is generally not recommended due to the strain it places on your neck and low back. To help you figure out which is best, The Wall Street Journal sat down with Physical Therapist Experts in order to find the perfect sleep position for every ailment. Sleep well!



The advice provided in this article is for information purposes only. It is meant to augment and not replace consultation with a licensed healthcare provider. Consultation with a chiropractor or other primary care provider is recommended for anyone suffering from a health problem.

by Crystal

Kinesiology Tape and Pregnancy: Baby Mamas Need a Little Support Too

You’d be hard-pressed to find an athlete who isn’t wearing a flashy colour of tape spiraling around their body these days. At the 2012 London Olympics, CNN even coined it “the latest Olympic accessory.” While this new rehabilitative taping technique has made a significant difference in the lives of top athletes by helping them recover from injuries without compromising their play, it also has many therapeutic benefits for the general population, including mamas-to-be.

What is Kinesiology Tape?

This colourful tape facilitates the body’s natural healing process by providing support and stability to muscles and joints, improving blood flow, reducing pain and swelling and controlling inflammation. Kinesiology tape differs from classic athletic tape (the plain old white stuff) because it is much more pliable. It is an elastic cotton strip with an acrylic adhesive so it will not restrict your range of motion.  Additionally, an application of kinesiology tape typically lasts three to five days if applied correctly, rather than just during an activity.

Baby bump support

Kinesiology tape is a safe and effective treatment option in pregnancy. As we have previously discussed, musculoskeletal pain is common in pregnancy, especially low back and pelvic girdle pain, as well as round ligament pain (that quick jabbing pain felt in the lower abdomen or groin area – ouch!). By adding a few strategic strips of the colourful tape to either the back or abdomen, some of the common postural aches and pains that are associated with a growing baby bump are alleviated. So not only are you sporting the latest vibrant accessory, you’ll feel better and more supported doing it!


Please talk to your Chiropractor or healthcare provider to discuss if kinesiology taping is appropriate for you. Also, be sure to notify your practitioner if you have sensitive skin, or better yet, test it on a small patch of skin to ensure you aren’t reactive to the tape adhesive. Once your kinesiology tape has been applied, your practitioner will give you instructions on how to preserve the integrity of the tape while showering, bathing and dressing in order to maximize your colourful weave. Go ahead, pick your favourite colour and strut!

Case Study

This lovely 37 year old mama-to-be was experiencing acute pelvic girdle pain and nasty round ligament pain with any quick movements around 20 weeks. Additionally, she felt a lot of pressure around her pubic bone as though she needed to constantly hold under her belly for support.

At 23 weeks, she was getting frustrated and nervous about how she would manage the pain until her due date. Chiropractic Care and Massage Therapy were giving her transient relief, but not enough to put her at ease. At this time, we tried taping mom’s belly (as depicted here) and within one day her pain went from a 9/10 to a 4/10!

She is now late in her third trimester and her pain fluctuates between a 1/10 to a 4/10. She uses the tape as needed along with continued Chiropractic Care and Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy. This mama has gotten into her last trimester stride and is looking great!

For more information

To learn more about kinesiology tape, please visit:

Kinesio Tape


Spidertech Tape


The advice provided in this article is for information purposes only. It is meant to augment and not replace consultation with a licensed healthcare provider. Consultation with a chiropractor or other primary care provider is recommended for anyone suffering from a health problem.

by Crystal

Doula Guest Speaker: Natural Relief for Back Labour

One of the most common complaints that I hear from moms during active labour is about their back pain. Regardless of a baby’s positioning in the womb it is not uncommon for labouring moms to feel discomfort in their lower back. For some moms, this pain is mild and manageable, but for others it is intolerable.

Comfort Measures

Try these comfort measures for the labouring mom:

  • The Double Hip Squeeze can make unmanageable pain manageable during labour. While the mother is leaning over (leaning over the bed, on her hands and knees, leaning over a birth ball, etc.) place your whole hand on the outside of her buttocks and press in towards the centre of her body.  Your fingertips should be facing inwards towards the centre of her body as well. As a support person this can become quite tiring so best to use it only during the contraction. Use as much pressure as the mother is comfortable with.
  • Tennis balls or Acuballs are very helpful to have in your birth bag for massaging the lower back. As the mother leans over in any position you can roll the ball around their lower back using varying amounts of pressure. This can also be done using a rolling pin (for those labouring at home) or a cold can of pop.
  • Get into some water. Just when a labouring mother doesn’t think she can go on any longer is the perfect time to get her into the tub. Being fully submerged in water can lessen the intensity of the contractions and will usually relieve some of the pressure in her back. I have attended some births where the bath tub was tiny and only the mother’s lower body was in the water. In this case, I cover her abdomen in a large towel and keep it warm by continuously pouring warm water over it. Ideally though, a soaker tub is best.
  • Pelvic rocking; almost like a slow dance, supported or not, keep the pelvis moving back and forth to encourage ideal positioning of the baby. Wrapping your arms around your partner’s neck and leaning slightly forward and allowing the belly to ‘hang’ makes this position even more effective.
  • Try a side lying position for a series of contractions. Not only will this allow the mother to rest, but it may also encourage a baby to rotate into a favourable position. Place a pillow between the mother’s knees and make sure to lie on both sides.

Back pain in labour can be correlated with longer labours because it is oftentimes due to unfavourable positioning. Typically, the situation will resolve itself especially if the mother is actively changing positions throughout her labour.


The advice provided in this article is for information purposes only. It is meant to augment and not replace consultation with a licensed healthcare provider. Consultation with a primary care provider is recommended for anyone suffering from a health problem.

Guest speaker:

Meghan Ford, a Birth Doula and Holistic Nutritionist.

Meghan provides prenatal and birth support to women and families in the GTA. For more information on Meghan, please contact


by Crystal

When Breast Cancer Hits Home: A Mother’s Day Donation

Statistics show that one in nine Canadian women are expected to develop breast cancer during their lifetime. Despite this high prevalence, we never think that it will affect us, or someone we love. I was one of these people, until I was rudely awakened. It was 10 years ago, but I still remember the day when those piercing, heart stopping, stomach flipping three words came out of my mother’s mouth: “I have cancer.” I had a million thoughts flash through my mind in those few seconds that followed: “Wake up – this is just a bad dream! Why? Not her! She’s only 50! What now?”


Numerous doctors’ appointments, surgeries and a whole lot of fear filled that spring and summer. The journey all began with a routine mammogram where some questionable calcifications were found in my mother’s left breast. From there, her doctors decided to remove these lesions for testing, and so it began. The first surgery was a lumpectomy, where only the lesion/tumor and some of the surrounding tissue were removed. Her doctors thought this surgery would be sufficient, and we were hopeful that the biopsy would come back negative. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case – the cells were cancerous.

The surgeon decided to perform a second lumpectomy to ensure all of the cancerous tissues were completely removed. This may have been the worst part because they also removed a few lymph nodes during this procedure to see if the cancer had spread. Those few looming weeks our family spent waiting for the results were some of the hardest weeks we have ever had to endure. Despite the lymph nodes coming back clear (big sigh of relief), the medical team was still not convinced. They felt it was best to go forward with a mastectomy, where they would remove her left-sided breast tissue.


Post surgery, my mother made the healing process look like a breeze. I don’t think I saw her shed one tear. She exuded strength, positivity and had an overall sunny disposition, as well as a newfound appreciation for the colour yellow! In colour psychology, yellow is described as the best colour to create enthusiasm for life and can awaken greater confidence and optimism. Being the lightest hue of the spectrum, the colour psychology of yellow is uplifting and illuminating, offering hope, happiness, cheerfulness and fun. It seemed to have just that affect on my mother; overall it brightened her day.

The following year, she had reconstruction surgery, which sadly did not go very well due to the amount of tissue damage from previous surgeries. As a result, a second surgery was deemed necessary. By now I bet you’re thinking, what a trooper! What did I tell you?


Despite the difficulty of the situation we faced, we were grateful for so many things. First, my mom did not have to undergo chemotherapy or radiation therapy, allowing her to recover with a little more ease. Second, if breast cancer was going to happen, at least it happened at a time when I was home from school for the summer and fully able to be at her side and at her service. You see, education is very important to my parents, and my mother had decided to “extend the truth” until I came home so I could finish off my semester. She knew I would flee to her side as soon as I heard those nasty three words.

I am also so incredibly grateful for the strength of our family, which allowed us to get through this trying time together. We all banded together to get through this, yet my mother was the rock — full of strength, courage and perseverance.

While I have so much to be thankful for, above all, I am most grateful that my dear mother has been cancer-free for 10 years.

“The strength of a woman is not measured by the impact that all her hardships in life have had on her; but the strength of a woman is measured by the extent of her refusal to allow those hardships to dictate her and who she becomes.” C. JoyBell C.


To celebrate 10 years of remission, show my gratitude to my mom for being the amazing, strong-willed, full-of-heart woman she is, and honour Mother’s Day, I am donating my hair to the Canadian Cancer Society (the Pantene Beautiful Lengths campaign) in her name. This partnership between the Canadian Cancer Society and Pantene Beautiful Lengths encourages women and men to donate their hair to create real-hair wigs for individuals who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment. I have been growing my hair out for over three years with this secret plan in mind all along, and I can’t believe the day has finally arrived. Thankfully, my mother didn’t need the service of real-hair wigs, but I am honoured to donate 11” of my hair to help another strong-willed woman just like my mother who does. Here’s to kicking cancer’s butt!

It’s time!

Discussing my new hairdo with Hiro!

That’s what 11″ looks like!

Here we go!


Someone’s getting a wig!

I did it for my mama! Happy Mother’s Day!


For more information on breast cancer, how to donate, or ways to get involved, please visit The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

If you would also like to donate your lovely locks, please visit Wigs and Hair Donations at the Canadian Cancer Society.

Lastly and importantly, ladies, please take care of your breasts! This includes performing a breast self-exam at least once a month and leading a healthy lifestyle.

Don’t know how to check your girls? Take a look at this Breast Self-Exam How-To Guide by the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.

For lifestyle habits that will keep your breasts happy, please read these Habits for Healthy Boobs by Nutritionist, Joy McCarthy.

Think pink!


Haircut compliments of Hiro Hayashi at Salon Bespoke.

Photography compliments of Bekki Draper at Draper Photography.

by Crystal
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Breastfeeding Posture: Finding the Right Fit for You and Babe!

Breastfeeding is truly an art form. There are so many moving parts while learning to master this new skill. Mothers want to be sure their babe is latching properly, that they’re getting enough milk and that they’re comfortable. During this time, moms lose sight of their posture and can end up with some aches and pains of their own.

Musculoskeletal pain is common among moms who breastfeed while sitting or lying in bed. Usually the pain is mild and experienced in the neck, shoulders and back. But, there are ways that mom can make it easier on herself while still providing comfort for her little one.

Here are some posture tips to ensure everyone is comfortable!

The Cradle Hold

  1. This position is when you sit with baby lengthwise across your abdomen with your elbow (on the same side as the feeding breast) supporting baby’s head and hand supporting their bottom. Your other hand supports your breast.
  2. In this posture, you want to lay pillows on your lap to raise your baby up to appropriate nipple height. This will prevent you from hunching over in attempts to bring your nipple to baby. Instead, bring baby to nipple.
  3. For additional comfort, sit in a chair with supportive armrests and rest your feet on a stool to help elevate the little one and to avoid leaning down towards them.

The Cross-Cradle Hold

  1. This position differs from the Cradle Hold in that you support your baby with your opposite arm (to the feeding breast). For example, if you’re feeding on your left breast, use your right arm to support baby’s body and head. Your left fingers support the left breast.
  2. Similar to the Cradle Hold, you want to lay pillows on your lap to raise your baby up to appropriate nipple height, sit in a chair with supportive armrests and use a stool to rest your feet.

The Clutch or Football Hold

  1. As the name suggests, you position the baby like a clutch or football tucked under your arm.
  2. In order to remain comfortable with this hold, you want to sit upright with your back and shoulders well-supported.
  3. Place a pillow on your lap, towards the side of your hip and baby on the pillow facing you.
  4. Tuck baby’s legs and feet under your arm (like a purse or pigskin) and bend them slightly at the waist.
  5. Place your hand under the babe’s neck for support. Once they begin sucking, you can place a pillow under your hand so you are both supported.

Reclining or Side-lying Position

  1. This position is comfortable for feeding during the night but requires many pillows for support. You want to place several pillows behind your back, a pillow under your head and shoulders, and another one between your bent knees to ensure you maintain a neutral spine. An additional pillow should be placed behind baby as well.
  2. You are then going to lay baby facing you with their mouth aligned to your nipple and their head cradled with the hand of your bottom arm. Or, cradle the head with your top arm, tucking your bottom arm under your head, out of the way.
  3. If you need to bring baby closer to your breast, use a small pillow or blanket to prop them up. Neither of you should be straining in order to connect with one another.

Laid Back Position

  1. Similar to the side-lying position, this feeding position also requires the use of lots of pillows as good posture and support is crucial.
  2. You want to lie flat on your bed and elevate your head and shoulders slightly with pillows.
  3. Place your baby’s face down onto your stomach with their cheek to your breast.
  4. Again, make sure that neither of you are straining. If you are, tweak the position by using pillows or blankets for support.

The general idea with all of these positions is comfort and support for both mom and baby. If you are leaning in towards your baby, you will end up with a sore neck, shoulders and back, poor latching and sore nipples. All of these outcomes are going to make your breastfeeding experience a more difficult one for you both. So, use pillows, blankets, and stools, whatever you need to ensure comfort, support and an all-round positive bonding experience with you and your little bundle of joy!


The advice provided in this article is for information purposes only. It is meant to augment and not replace consultation with a licensed healthcare provider. Consultation with a Chiropractor or other primary care provider is recommended for anyone suffering from a health problem.


Mbada, C.E. Is Baby-Friendly Breastfeeding Mother-Friendly? Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy. 2013; 37(1):19-28.

O’Brien, T. The Best Breast Feeding Positions for Mom and Baby. Parents. <> (visited March 13, 2014)

Positions and tips for making breastfeeding work. Baby Center. <> (visited March 21, 2014)

Smith, R. Breastfeeding Positions. Shird Inc. 2013.

by Crystal

To Crack or Not to Crack, That is the Question: Is Chiropractic Care Safe in Pregnancy?

Musculoskeletal pain is very common in pregnancy, especially low back pain, as we learned in Low Back Pain and Pregnancy: Growing Pains. However, many expectant moms are confused about what to do about their pain. They don’t want to take medication and are unsure if it’s safe to see a Chiropractor while pregnant. As a result, most moms do nothing and just live with the pain. But, they don’t have to! Chiropractic care, including the adjustment (spinal manipulation), is a highly safe and effective evidence-based treatment for mommy’s-to-be.

The Research

Clinical studies have demonstrated a high level of safety for Chiropractic treatment in pregnancy. Most studies have found very few adverse effects of spinal manipulation, especially for the treatment of low back and pelvic pain in pregnancy.  Those that were identified consisted of mild and short-term events such as a temporary increase in pain following treatment. These side effects are not isolated to the pregnant population, but can be general effects of Chiropractic treatment or manual therapies in anyone.

However rare, more serious adverse effects of spinal manipulation in pregnancy have been reported with neck adjustments. This is thought to be a result of the hormonal changes of pregnancy. With the release of relaxin in pregnancy, there is an increase in joint laxity, increasing the susceptibility to injury.

Making Safe Choices

With these cautions in mind, your Chiropractor will perform a careful and thorough history and physical examination to ensure safety and assess for possible contraindications to treatment.  If contraindications are present, other treatment options can be explored by you and your practitioner, including acupuncture, gentle mobilizations and massage therapy, to name a few.

Most importantly, of the potential concerns that have been identified, none affect your growing babe! There is reassurance in knowing that safe and effective treatment options exist during pregnancy and that pain relief is possible. Please talk to your Chiropractor or health care provider to discuss treatment options most appropriate for you and your one on the way!


The advice provided in this article is for information purposes only. It is meant to augment and not replace consultation with a licensed healthcare provider. Consultation with a Chiropractor or other primary care provider is recommended for anyone suffering from a health problem.


Khorsan, R. Manipulative therapy for pregnancy and related conditions: a systematic review. Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey. 2009; 64(6): 416-427.

Oswald, C. Optimizing pain relief during pregnancy using manual therapy. Canadian Family Physician. 2013; 59 (841-842).

Stuber, K. Adverse events from spinal manipulation in the pregnant and postpartum periods: a critical review of the literature. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies. 2012; 20: 8 (1-7).

by Crystal

Don’t just sit there! It’s hazardous to your health!

We all know that too much sitting is bad for us, and we have previously discussed the Power of Movement. But, The Washington Post sat down with four experts to explain the many things, from head to toe, that go wrong in our bodies after those long hours at a desk and in front of the TV!


The advice in this article is for informational purposes only. It is meant to augment and not replace consultation with a licensed healthcare provider. Consultation with a Chiropractor or other primary care provider is recommended for anyone suffering from a health problem.