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The role of Chiropractic on the often-overlooked problem of Pelvic Dysfunction?

The Chiropractic profession is the third largest medical profession in the U.S.A. after medicine and dentistry, with over 3 million visits per year being recorded recently. Here in the U.A.E. we are about 30 chiropractors in total, serving mainly Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Chiropractic is best known for its treatment of back pain, although this may be 60-70% of a chiropractors patient base, many other problems, such as neck pain and headaches, shoulder pain and upper limb disorders form the base of the other patients in our practices. Chiropractors are primary portal of entry physicians specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of many kinds of neuromusculo-skeletal pain syndromes and disorders including back pain.

Types of back pain chiropractors treat range from the simple mechanical, e.g. lumbar strain sprain injury to complex repetitive strain of sedentary workers; lumbar facet syndrome, degenerative joint disease, spinal stenosis, scoliosis related muscle imbalances and of course lumbar disc herniation. Along with the lumbar spine disorders we are able diagnose and treat the various pelvic dysfunctions, which range from sacro –iliac joint fixation to hypermobility of the pelvic joints and pubic symphysis dysfunction.

Many of these disorders occur both singly, but more often we see combinations of more than one problem occurring in a patient on presentation. Sometimes, one problem has been ignored and has eventually led to a complex and painful situation. Since the sacro-iliac joints function in harmony with the lower lumber vertebral motion units, it is likely that problems of movement in one of these sets of joints leads to overuse of the others. We cannot ignore the close relationship of the pelvis and the lumbar spine, or indeed the lower limb structures effect on the pelvic biomechanics.

When a strong bio-mechanical imbalance is present in the pelvic girdle, pain medications only temporarily mask the problem, which tends to recur again and again if not properly corrected by some form of spinal manipulative therapy.

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Treatment may involve:

  • Work on the soft tissues (muscles / ligaments)
  • Ligament release techniques
  • Diaphragmatic release
  • Blocking techniques (using wedge-shaped blocks placed under the pelvis to relieve the pressure on the joints)
  • Activator techniques (non-manipulative techniques for the dysfunctional joints)
  • Webster’s technique
  • Application of ice
  • Ultrasound and laser therapy
  • Exercise advice
  • Supply a sacroiliac (pelvic joint) stability belt.

The majority of women who receive chiropractic treatment for Pelvic Dysfunction, will experience a positive response, particularly if the cause lies in pelvic misalignment. Chiropractic treatment aims to address the root cause of the problem instead of addressing only the symptoms.