Postpartum Chiropractic Treatment For Neck & Back Pain

Postpartum Chiropractic Treatment For Neck & Back Pain


– Hi, Dr. Todd Sullivan from NOVA Chiropractic & Acupuncture. We’re back with my wife
Nicole and our son Brady. He was born exactly three
weeks ago from today. And so today what we’re going to do is, we’re going to be discussing
a postpartum visit, and what often I see patients
after the delivery for. And some other common issues that we see. So the most common thing we’ll see obviously is lower back pain, that’s still a common
thing post-pregnancy wise. As your ligaments are tightening up, things can still shift out of alignment, and the muscles are
also still really tight. In addition to that, now
you’re holding a little baby and bending over quite
frequently to change them and to nurse them. Also the other thing we see with nursing is the posture from nursing
tends to put a lot of pressure on the upper back and neck area, and causes a lot of neck pain. So Nicole, what would you
say, some of the common things that you’ve been experiencing
since this is our third child and you’ve some had experience with this as far as postpartum discomfort wise. – Yeah, I think everything that you said is what I’m experiencing right now. We had a natural birth so
recovery overall is going well, but I’d say that the
majority of the discomfort is in my upper back, because of nursing and he’s been sleeping on me a lot. And then also wearing him in a carrier, I’ve been experiencing
some lower back pain and also some tightness in my glutes area. I’d say those are the two
or three most common areas for me right now that I
experience some discomfort. – Yeah, and we see that
a lot with our patients, postpartum-wise, they’ll
have a lot of upper back, neck tension from nursing, and
then also holding the baby. And we’re gonna do a separate video showing you how to
correctly carry a car seat, because that’s the other
thing we’ll see is, new moms will come in with
a lot of shoulder discomfort which ties into the neck as well. But today what we’re gonna do is, we’re going to do an adjustment on her. We’re going to work on
her neck and upper back. We’re also going to work
on her lower back and hips to help loosen them up, and get everything in the right alignment. So the first thing I’d like to do is let’s have you sit facing
that way for me, perfect. And let’s have you just
check your range of motion, let’s have you bring your
chin down to your chest. Do you have any pain going forward? – Not too much. – Just tightness? – Just a little tightness. – And is it up in this upper back area? – Moreso in the right region. – Right region, okay. And then look up towards the ceiling. Any pain going back like that? – Yeah, just a little bit of tightness. – Okay, look straight ahead. Turn your head to the right side. Good, and then let’s have
you go to the left side. Any pain or tightness there? – Definitely tightness. – And do you feel it on the right side or is it on the left side?
– On both. – Okay, and so what we’re gonna do, she does have some tightness, you can see some limited range of motion turning her head left and right there, a lot of that is from
the upper back tension that she’s been experiencing from nursing. So what we’re gonna
do, is we’re gonna work on the muscles up here first. And then we’re gonna do some adjustments for her upper back and neck area there. And then we’ll assess
her lower back as well. So the first treatment
we’re gonna do for Nicole, is we’re gonna do some dry
needling in her upper back And the dry needling technique
is a very effective technique for releasing some of
the soft tissue tightness that she’s experiencing. Very effective at getting
rid of those knots or those tight points in
the upper back region. A lot of times it’s a
very quick treatment. You’ll basically experience
a little muscle soreness when we’re doing the treatment, but then it’ll give you a
lot of relief afterwards. So once we’re done treating
the muscle component, then we’re gonna address
her upper back tightness and then her neck tightness. So dry needling is one
technique we can utilize to release the tightness in
her upper back and neck area. Another technique we often do in this area is called active release technique, it’s almost like a
sports massage technique to kinda help release some of the tension, and then the other technique we’ll utilize is called Graston Technique,
which we use an instrument to help loosen up the muscle tightness. But today, what we’re gonna do is, we’re gonna do some dry
needling in her upper back area. And release some of the
knots and trigger points she has going on. So the patient feels a little tap, that’s me tapping the needle in. Good, there’s one. There’s the second spot. And what she feels when I hit
those knots or trigger points is she feels the muscle
do a little twitch, and then that’s the release of that tissue in that area there, it’s called a local twitch response. And then it also often
will give a reproduction of some of the dull achiness, and you know that’s the
spot where the problem is. – She felt a big twitch right there. So she has a lot of tightness even into the rhomboid area in her spine. And that’s it, so now we’re
taking the needles out, we got the spots we wanted to treat. I’m gonna do a couple other
things on her upper back because again, she is just
generally tight through here, so we’re gonna use a massager
here on her upper back area. This feels really comfortable, it’s just like a vibration
massage on the muscle tissue. Just helps to increase
the blood flow to the area and help to loosen up some of the tension. Depending on the patient,
sometimes postpartum-wise, we will see a patient
one to two times a week for a couple weeks,
and then as the muscles start to loosen up and as
the ligaments in the spine start to get back to normal, then everything becomes more stable, and then the patient’s discharged. It often depends on how
bad the pregnancy was, how much stress they had on
their back during the pregnancy. Or also what number they
are in their pregnancies. If they had three other pregnancies, sometimes they have
some pre-existing stuff coming into the third pregnancy, and then that leads to more
issues in their back and spine. So it really can vary, but a
lot of times it’s just getting the patient out of pain,
get them moving better and loosening up those tight muscles, and then we release them from care. So what we’re going to do now, is we’re going to do a couple adjustments. We’re going to do an adjustment
for her thoracic spine here. Again, that’s tight
because of the nursing. Then we’re going to do a couple
adjustments for her neck. So what we’re gonna do is,
we’re going do an adjustment really gentle right up
in this thoracic spine. And just take a deep breath in, and blow all the way out for me. There we go, good release there. And let’s have you flip over
and go on your back now. Okay, so now we’re going
to do an adjustment for her cervical spine to help loosen up the tension in her neck. So what we’re going to
do for the first one, is we are going to
position her head a little, rotate it my way. There we go. And… Other area we want to
work on is right here. Good release there, very tight. Okay, next what I would like to do, is we’re gonna assess her hips, because she’s had a lot of hip discomfort from carrying the baby. So I’m gonna have you
lay on your left side and face away from me. And you’re gonna put your
head on this pillow here. All right, and just start with your legs a little bit straight, there we go. Okay, can already feel some trigger points and
knots in her glute here. So for this, what we’re gonna do is, we’re gonna do a technique
called active release technique. So we’re gonna actively the
muscle through a range of motion and as we’re doing that,
I’m gonna contact the muscle and we’re gonna loosen up
and elongate that tissue. So I’m gonna have you bring
you knee up towards your chest and then drop your foot
down to the ground, good. And then bring it back. And let’s do a few more passes like that. Often patients describe
this as like a hurts good, feels like you’re getting into
the area where the problem is and releasing that tension there. Feels a lot better and the range of motion feels a lot better after we’re done. Good. So a few more. Good. And again. Good. Okay, stay there on your side, now what we’re gonna do, is
we’re gonna do an adjustment for her joints and her low back. So for the adjustment,
what we’re gonna do, is we’re gonna bring this leg forward. I’ma slide you a little this way. Straighten this leg. Again, this feels very
comfortable to the mother and it actually gives
them a lot of pain relief. All the way out. Good, and face the other direction. We’re gonna do the same
thing on this side, we’re gonna work on the soft
tissue first in her glutes. And then we are going to do an adjustment. So let’s have you bring your
knee up, and drop it down. Good, and bring it back. And go again. Good. And again. Good. Couple more. Good. Good. Let’s do one more. Great. Stay there on your side, we’re
gonna do another adjustment. So what I’d like you to do,
is straighten that bottom leg, bend your top. Take a deep breath in, and
blow it all the way out. There we go, perfect. Okay, let’s have you sit up and face that direction for me now. Okay, so that just shows
a typical treatment, we sometimes do more or less
depending on the patient. One thing we also do in the
office if someone has had a Cesarean section and they have a scar, often that can become really painful, especially as you’re
recovering with the little one. So there is a treatment we
do called laser therapy, where we can apply the
laser over the scar area and it reduces the
swelling and inflammation, and helps accelerate the healing process. And we did that with our first, because you had a C-section
and it worked quite well at reducing the pain and swelling. – Yes, it definitely did
wonders for my C-section scar. – Yeah, and then also after that, once the patients out of pain, then I give them recommendations
to help strengthen the core which will help protect
their low back as well. So if you’re dealing with
any postpartum low back pain or neck pain, give our office
a call at 703-912-7822, or you can schedule online
at NovaChiroWellness

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