The I.C.P.A. Presents on Behalf of Chiropractic in Pregnancy
Written by Jeanne Ohm, D.C.   
Friday, 26 August 2005 20:06

icpaDuring June 16-18, 2005, the World Federation of Chiropractic and the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research co-sponsored their biennial research conference in Sydney, Australia. Joel Alcantara, D.C., presented a paper, written by himself and Linda Mullin, D.C., entitled "Patients with Malposition and Malpresentation Pregnancies Cared for with the Webster In-Utero Constraint Technique: A Retrospective Analysis."

Dr. Alcantara is Research Director of the International Chiropractic Association, in Media, PA, and is in private practice in San Jose, CA.

Dr. Mullin is in private practice in Marieta, GA, and an instructor at Life Chiropractic College.

In the introduction of their paper, Drs Alcantara and Mullin observed that the miracle of birth is preceded by a myriad of biomechanical and physiologic changes for both mother and fetus. With growth of the fetus, the mother’s abdominal muscles are stretched and tone is diminished with the abdominal muscles losing their ability to contribute to neutral posture. As the mother’s production of the hormone relaxin increases ten-fold, the hormone creates arthrodial laxity, which allows for the pelvis to accommodate the enlarging uterus. However, it also weakens the ability of static supports in the lumbosacral spine to withstand forces that may lead, from a chiropractic perspective, to vertebral subluxations.

Given that perinatal morbidity and mortality are increased in malposition/malpresentation pregnancies1,2 and that Caesareans, with their inherent risks to both mother and fetus, are the common medical approach for such patients3, the authors suggested that it is important that conservative alternative approaches be investigated. Removal of vertebral (sacral) subluxations in women with malposition/malpresentation pregnancies (i.e., breech pregnancies) using the Webster In-Utero Constraint Technique4 have led practitioners to observe the malposition/malpresentation fetuses to correct to the vertex position, thus allowing for vaginal delivery. To further investigate this chiropractic practice phenomenon, they performed a retrospective analysis of patients with malposition/malpresentation pregnancies under the Webster In-Utero Constraint Technique.


A retrospective analysis of patient files in one private chiropractic practice was performed. In addition to outcome of care (i.e., correction of malposition/malpresentation pregnancy), the following were noted: the number of weeks of gestation when care was initiated, the number of patient visits as well as the period of care, and the types and frequencies of malposition/malpresentation.


A total of 30 patient files were examined. The average age of the patients was 30.93 years (age range, 20-46 years). Patients, on average, were in their 34.4 weeks of gestation (range, 29-39 weeks of gestation). Fetal malposition/malpresentation consisted of one in the facial position, four in the transverse position, 11 in the posterior lie position and 14 were in the breech position. The average number of visits was 3.7 (range, 1-9 visits) within an average of 8.6 days (range, 2-28 days). All malposition/malpresentation pregnancies were corrected using the Webster Technique as verified by ultrasound.


This retrospective analysis provides supporting evidence on the effectiveness of the Webster Technique in correcting malposition/malpresentation pregnancies.

The results of this paper are encouraging and additional projects are in process to further explore the importance of chiropractic care throughout pregnancy. All doctors of chiropractic are invited to visit our website,, and explore the opportunities to participate in our research projects.


1. Olds SB, London ML, Ladewig PA eds. Maternal Newborn Nursing. 6th edition. Prentice Hall Health, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 200: 606-65.

2. Thorpe JA. Malpresentations and special situations. In Creasy RK, ed. Management of labor and delivery. Cambridge, MA 1997:620

3. Hofmeyr GJ, Hannah ME. Planned caesarean section for term breech delivery. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2003;(3):CD000166.

4. Pistolese RA. The Webster Technique: a chiropractic technique with obstetric implications. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2002 Jul-Aug;25(6):E1-9.

Dr Jeanne Ohm instructs internationally on the topic "Chiropractic Care for Pregnant Women and Children". She is executive coordinator of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and can be reached via their website at

The Importance of Occipital Care in the Newborn
Written by Jeanne Ohm, D.C.   
Tuesday, 26 July 2005 18:30

happybabyHaving worked with infants for many years and being continuously frustrated by the effects of birth trauma to their delicate nervous systems, I have been drawn to deeper levels of analysis and correction. For many years, I relied on gentle, specific, segmental adjustments of the spine. The extent of these injuries, however, led me to observe their spines from a more global perspective, looking for the effects of dural stress in the cranium and spinal column. I began doing gentle dural stretch releases focusing on the occiput.

For anatomical review, the occiput is composed of four separate pieces:  the vault, the base and the two lateral portions where the condyles are.  Together, they form the foramen magnum.  At birth, these portions are separate and moveable, connected by the membranous dura matter.  The compressive forces of even normal, natural births, slide and frequently misalign the occipital bones.

Deep in the cranium, the base of the occiput forms the foramen magnum with its articulation to the sphenoid. The sphenoid is considered the “keystone” bone of the skull, because it connects with almost all of the major bones of the skull.  Occipital distortion, therefore, can adversely affect the entire cranial alignment. Additionally, the flexion/extension motion of the entire cranium depends on the mobility of the sphenobasilar joint.  This important, rhythmic motion allows the cerebral spinal fluid to circulate freely, providing vital nutrients for the central nervous system.

Birth, as we know it today, with its many operative and unnatural interventions, causes an undo amount of compression on all of the cranial bones. Left uncorrected, this causes a lifetime of cranial distortion.

One study examined more than 1,200 “normal” newborns.  88% manifested some sort of cranial faults.  Of the 88% examined, 94% had been born under anesthesia, resulting in greater use of obstetrical operative devices.  Of this same 88%, 95% manifested a disturbance of the occipital condyles, with 75% demonstrating bilateral compression of the condyles.

The occipital condyles are the “footers” which line up the atlas and, therefore, affect entire spinal alignment.  Additionally, distortion of the dura from cranial misalignment has a torsion effect on the entire spinal column. Addressing the occiput and, consequently, the dura in our care, facilitates a deeper, more significant correction. I encourage all doctors of chiropractic to continue to explore avenues of knowledge, which will further enhance the invaluable service we provide.

Dr. Jeanne Ohm instructs internationally on the topic “Chiropractic Care for Pregnant Women and Children”. She is executive coordinator of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and can be reached via their website at

Educating the Public
Written by Jeanne Ohm, D.C.   
Wednesday, 22 June 2005 17:01

Doctors of chiropractic have been working with children since the early days of chiropractic, over 100 years ago. Their reliable services have offered parents a safe option for natural health care. The founder of chiropractic, D.D. Palmer, D.C., had this to say in 1910: “The principles of chiropractic should be known and utilized in the growth of the infant and continue as a safeguard throughout life.” Truly, the importance of chiropractic care for the family was recognized and practiced since the onset of the profession.

Over the years, the practice of chiropractic became known by many as merely the treatment of bad backs and necks. When I began care, in 1976, I went to a doctor of chiropractic because of spinal injuries. Within several months of regular care, my back pain resolved but, even more significantly, my migraine headaches went away, my allergies subsided, my bouts of asthma disappeared and my menstral cycle became regular. My doctor of chiropractic explained that chiropractic care was the restoration of normal nerve function. Since all body functions are dependent on a healthy nerve system, many health changes can occur under regular chiropractic care. Thus began my revelation about true health and wellness and my pursuit of chiropractic as a career.

When we first opened our office, 24 years ago, my husband and I discovered that most people, like ourselves, begin care because of spinal injuries and/or pain. And when we take the time to explain the essentials of chiropractic to our patients, they, too, understand the role chiropractic plays in the family wellness lifestyle.  

Today, we have parents coming to our office drawing the natural conclusion that, since doctors of chiropractic are working with the nerve system, their children need care as well. Just a few weeks ago, a mother made an appointment for her son in our office. In our initial consultation she revealed that her son had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and, since ADHD was determined to be a dysfunction of the nervous system, the logical steps for her son should include care that addressed interference to the optimal function of his nerve system. Based on speaking with other parents and researching the role of chiropractic on the internet, she chose to bring her son in for an initial exam to determine if her child had any spinal subluxations that may be affecting his ability to concentrate.

Today is, fortunately, the age of information, where parents are privy to knowledge previously kept from the public. The internet has allowed parents to explore and research information on their own—affording them the ability to make informed decisions for their families’ well-being. Additionally, parents are talking with other parents, sharing success stories about their children’s health, and opening new doors and options they were not previously aware of. The importance, safety and efficacy of chiropractic care for children is reaching more and more parents, and whole families are participating in wellness lifestyle changes that are making a huge impact on their families’ present and future well-being.

It is truly an exciting time of movement and change as parents are taking active responsibility for their families’ health. We are proud to play our role in offering information that supports the chiropractic family wellness lifestyle on our public website, We respect and appreciate parents’ right to choose wellness, and we will continue to provide parents with perspectives that offer families the solutions they are seeking.

Jeanne Ohm, DC, has practiced Family Chiropractic since 1981. She is currently Executive Director of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and is the instructor on Perinatal Care in their 360-Hour Diplomate program. She can be contacted via their site at

Chiropractic and the Family Wellness Lifestyle
Written by Jeanne Ohm, D.C.   
Sunday, 22 May 2005 15:52

familyHealth care today is going through a paradigm shift from a symptom disease based system to a function performance based system. Emphasis for care is being placed on the individual’s ability to regain and maintain a state of well being. Practitioners who are in this paradigm respect the body’s own natural ability to be healthy and whole. Consumers are actively seeking providers who are working within this new paradigm.

The following quote by Ronald J. Glasser, M.D., sums up the health crossroads we now face. This  former Asst. Prof. of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota says, “It is the body that is the hero, not science, not anti-biotics…not machines or new devices. The task of the physician today is what it has always been:  to help the body do what it has learned so well to do on its own, during its unending struggle for survival—to heal itself.  It is the body, not medicine, that is the hero.”

True wellness includes all aspects of your life: good foods, adequate body movement, positive mental attitudes and a nerve system functioning at its peak. It far surpasses the old thought process that the mere elimination of symptoms equals health. Achieving true wellness includes practices that address your body’s ability to function at peak performance, and the trust and commitment in your body’s ability to be well.

Chiropractic care plays a vital role in the Family Wellness Lifestyle. As leaders in this health care paradigm shift, chiropractors offer families the means to achieve the true wellness parents are now seeking. The very basic philosophy on which chiropractic was founded includes a deep respect for the body’s inherent ability to heal and be well. The science of chiropractic is based on the importance of a functional nerve system—the vital key to health and well being. The art of chiropractic is the specific adjustment that restores function, allowing the body to express itself fully.

As our society makes the shift into this paradigm of wellness, we, as chiropractors, will be in greater demand to fulfill the needs of these families seeking wellness. It is important that we acquire the skills to care for more children and pregnant women, as these specific groups often present with challenging cases. Working and growing together, as a profession, to meet the consumer’s needs will insure our greater service and success as doctors of chiropractic.

Jeanne Ohm, DC, has practiced Family Chiropractic since 1981. She is currently Executive Director of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and is the instructor on Perinatal Care in their 360-Hour Diplomate program. She can be contacted via their site at

Identifying Causes for Spinal Stress in Children
Written by Jeanne Ohm, D.C.   
Friday, 22 April 2005 14:24

Physical trauma to the spine and the result of back pain caused by heavy backpacks has been receiving national attention. Parents are becoming aware of the reality of spinal stress in their children. In addition to the backpack dilemma, there are numerous overlooked causes of children’s spinal injury not as well known.  Simply put, any trauma to the spine can cause misalignment of the vertebrae resulting in immediate or delayed spinal problems.

Traumas are in the form of micro or macro. Macro-traumas are the obvious falls, bumps, crashes we know children frequently experience. Micro-traumas are those positional/postural repetitive traumas that we do not frequently associate as an onset to spinal distortion and, therefore, future pain. Trauma may cause immediate pain; however, many sources of back and neck pain are the result of previous injuries and then repetitive postural habits exacerbating the original trauma.

babyfirststepSome causes of Macro-traumas in infancy are:

• Operative deliveries (c-sections, forceps, vacuum extraction, and, even, hand deliveries);
• Falls from beds and changing tables;
• Learning how to walk, and falling 25 times a day on buttocks;
• Auto-accidents (even minor fender benders);
• Tossing babies into air (causes whip lash).

Some causes of Micro-traumas in infancy are:

• Keeping babies in infant carriers and not allowing enough belly time;
• The use of walkers and jolly jumpers;
• Encouraging babies to stand before they are ready to;
• Improper diapering skills.

childinjurySome causes of Macro-traumas throughout childhood are:

• Playground injuries;
• Falls from play activities (roller blading, sledding, bikes, etc.);
• Sport tumbles, jolts and jars;
• Auto accidents, even minor fender-benders.

Some causes of Micro-traumas throughout childhood:

• Too many seated hours—regardless of chair;
• Sitting on floor with their feet straight out in front;
• Lying on their backs with their heads propped up with pillows, to read or watch TV;
• Sleeping on their stomachs.

Jeanne Ohm, DC, has practiced Family Chiropractic since 1981. She is currently Executive Director of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and is the instructor on Perinatal Care in their 360-Hour Diplomate program. She can be contacted via their site at


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