What is the Webster Technique?
The Webster Technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and gentle adjustment of the sacrum. As with all chiropractic adjustments, our intent is to improve the nervous system so the body can function better. As with all sacral adjustments, pelvic balance is improved. A balanced pelvis reduces undue tension in the attached muscles and ligaments. In pregnant women, if the pelvis is not balanced, the uneven pulling on these muscles and ligaments may be restricting the baby's ability to get into the best possible position for birth.
Although most frequently used with pregnant women, this analysis and adjustment can be used on any one.
Physiological/Biomechanical Causes for Dystocia: And the relationship to chiropractic care.
Dystocia of labor is defined as difficult labor or abnormally slow progress of labor. The following three reasons for dystocia are defined by Williams Obstetrics:
A- Abnormalities of expulsive forces-either uterine forces insufficiently strong or inappropriately coordinated to efface and dilate the cervix (uterine dysfunction), or inadequate voluntary muscle effort during the second stage of labor. (POWER)
B- Abnormalities of the maternal bony pelvis-that is pelvic contraction (PASSAGE)
C- Abnormalities of presentation, position, or development of the fetus (PASSENGER)
Ohm Hypothesis in Lay Language: difficult labor is caused by inadequate uterine function, pelvic imbalance, and baby malpresentation. Clinically, we are seeing that sacral adjustments in pregnancy may affect the function of the uterus, improve pelvic balance and reduce tension to pelvic muscles and ligaments. Therefore, when balance is restored to the mother's pelvis, her uterus and pelvis function better and babies may be able to comfortably assume the best possible position throughout pregnancy and for birth.
Does chiropractic care contribute to safer, easier births by decreasing the potential for the 3 causes of Dystocia (as defined by Williams Obstetrics)?
As the sacral subluxation is adjusted....
- Nerve system stress is reduced enhancing muscle function
- Proprioceptor activity is restored
- Dural tension is alleviated when working with S2
- Sympathetic activity is decreased
- Normal muscle tone and function is restored
1. Pelvic balance is optimized allowing for maximum space
- Normal tone is restored to the smooth muscles that are blended into the broad ligament (affecting round and utero-sacral ligaments)
- Aberrant tension on the lower portion of the uterus, may be eliminated.
- The baby has the physiological environment to assume the best possible position for birth.
Dr. Larry Webster created a technique in the 1980's that could create better pelvic balance and therefore easier births. The Webster Technique is to be used on pregnant women throughout pregnancy in preparation for a safer, easier birth.
In 2012, the ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association) wrote this paper to detail the history and define the technique as originally intended: https://icpa4kids.com/media/1160/webster_technique.pdf a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment to address the nervous system and pelvic imbalance. In pregnancy, it may contribute to safer, easier births.