The Webster Technique

This taken from the ICPA website at as written by Dr. Jeanne Ohm, DC.

Chiropractic care benefits all aspects of your body’s ability to be healthy. This is accomplished by working with the nervous system–the communication system between your brain and body. Doctors of Chiropractic work to correct spinal, pelvic and cranial misalignments (subluxations). When misaligned, these structures create an imbalance in surrounding muscles and ligaments. Additionally, the resulting nerve system stress may affect the body’s ability to function optimally.

The Webster technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and diversified adjustment. The goal of the adjustment is to reduce the effects of sacral subluxation/ SI joint dysfunction. In so doing neuro-biomechanical function in the pelvis is improved.

Dr. Larry Webster, founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association discovered this adjustment as a safe means to restore proper pelvic balance and function. This specific sacral analysis can be used on all weight bearing individuals to determine S/I joint dysfunction/ sacral subluxation and is therefore applicable for the entire population. The assessment includes heel flexion to buttocks, with restricted flexion indicating the affected SI joint. Correction is made with a diversified, sacral adjustment. It is used on all weight bearing individuals presenting with this biomechanical restriction. Common symptoms include (but are not limited to) low back pain, sciatic neuralgia, and symptoms associated with sacral subluxation and/ or S/I joint dysfunction.

The ICPA recognizes that in a theoretical and clinical framework of the Webster Technique in the care of pregnant women, sacral subluxation may contribute to difficult labor for the mother (i.e., dystocia).  Dystocia is caused by inadequate uterine function, pelvic contraction, and baby mal-presentation.32 The correction of sacral subluxation may have a positive effect on all of these causes of dystocia.

In this clinical and theoretical framework, it is proposed that sacral misalignment may contribute to these three primary causes of dystocia via uterine nerve interference, pelvic misalignment and the tightening and torsion of specific pelvic muscles and ligaments.  The resulting tense muscles and ligaments and their aberrant effect on the uterus may prevent the baby from comfortably assuming the best possible position for birth.

In regards to pregnant mothers, Dr. Webster reported that when a mother sought care and her baby was in a breech position, the restoration of pelvic neuro-biomechanics with this adjustment also frequently facilitated optimal fetal positioning.  There are cases published in the chiropractic literature that support this theory. More research is needed and is currently underway by the ICPA.

The obstetric literature has determined that correct positioning of the baby in-utero affect birth outcome and decrease the potential for undue stress to the baby’s developing spine and nerve system. Obstetric literature has determined the importance of normal pelvic neuro-biomechanics including uterine function and pelvic alignment for the prevention of dystocia (difficult birth). It has also determined that correct positioning of the baby in-utero affects birth outcome and decreases the potential for undue stress to the baby’s developing spine and nerve system. Chiropractic literature has determined the significance of sacral adjustments in normalizing pelvic neuro-biomenchanics.

It is therefore considered prudent that this specific sacral analysis and adjustment be used throughout pregnancy to detect and alleviate sacral imbalance and optimize pelvic neuro-biomechanics in the mother. Because of the particular female adaptations from the increase of hormones, weight gain and postural adaptations, pregnant mothers have a greater chance of sacral subluxation and neuro-biomechanical imbalance than the general population. Additionally, because of the effect the chiropractic adjustment has on all body functions by reducing nerve system stress, pregnant mothers may have significant benefit by having their spines checked regularly throughout pregnancy, optimizing health benefits for both the mother and baby.

My Success Story…. 🙂

On Tuesday, one of our patients was asking about care for his pregnant wife. She is due within the next month and has been battling pre-eclampsia symptoms over the last week or so. She has been to her OB several times and was admitted to the hospital for treatment. She has had all the symptoms that goes with pre-eclampsia, which include swelling, protein in the urine, and high blood pressure, but never all 3 at the same time. During her stay at the hospital they did an ultrasound and found the baby in the breech position. The doctors told her as of Tuesday afternoon that they were looking at inducing labor on Friday and if baby hadn’t changed position by then she would most likely need to have a manual eversion which is extremely painful for mom and has several possible consequences which could end up in c-section anyway. She really does not want to have a c-section.

She came with him to his appointment on Tuesday so I got the opportunity to tell her about Webster Technique and she was willing to try anything at this point. I did my exam on her and she had several indicators that her pelvis was misaligned so I began my adjustment. As I was working through the different steps of the technique there were several areas that were tender for her (mainly her right round ligament) and baby even responded with some movement as well. Once I competed my treatment she sat up and baby really started to squirm around. In our office we also do acupuncture and use moxibustion when needed. I showed her husband how to use the moxibustion and which points to treat and told him to do it several times that evening. I had text him later that evening to check on her and he reported that she was sore on the right side. I had explained earlier that she may be a little sore even though everything I did was very little pressure. The next morning she had a doctor appointment and another ultrasound was performed. Guess what they found? Baby was now head down in the correct position!

Moral of the story?????

Always look at all of your options! When you don’t like what you are hearing get a second opinion. She may have gone through an extremely painful procedure for no reason. We may have saved her from having an unwanted c-section. Either way her labor and delivery will be a better one now that her pelvis is ready to do what it needs to do. Our bodies know what to do! All we need to do is remove the interference and let them do it!

I am so thankful that I took the Webster certification course and this one story alone makes it worth it! I wish that OB’s were required to take this course just imagine how outcomes would change for hospital births!


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