Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Chiropractors and Infertility: Whodo Voodo or a Valid Alternative Option?

I've had a request to post how going to a chiropractor could help with infertility. Honestly, I had to take some time to figure that out myself. Let me preface that I am a chiropractic skeptic. I have never been to one before, until yesterday. I thought I'd also wait until I actually went to an appointment as well that way I'd have some first hand knowledge before making statements.

So according to the doctor (who I grilled with questions) the theory is that in our lives events can occur that cause our spine to compress against our nervous system. This compression can occur as early as during birth when our little bodies are twisted and pulled in an effort to bring us out of our mother's womb. Not only that but significant falls and impact activities, such as running, can affect our spine in different areas. The compression of the nervous system can prevent or muddle the messages that our brain sends to our organs to perform their regular functions. Conversely our organs send messages back to our brain and if the route is blocked then the brain does not get or only gets part of the message. So the theory is that our bodies could be telling us things about our organs or our hormones but these roadblocks are affecting the right messages from getting through; it's like one bad game of telephone that goes horribly wrong.

In my particular case I have compression in two major areas: the first cervical vertebrae that my brain stem sits in and my sacrum which is the last set of vertebrae above my tailbone. Here is a photo of the spinal column so you can visualize what I'm referring to.

So the chiropractor believes that my cervical vertebrae was probably damaged at birth. He said that its twisted and tilted to the right. A main issue with this is that since it's the first vertebrae the main messages from my brain are being affected before they can reach the majority of my body. From the photo you can also see that the sacrum sits right at my pelvis area. It is tilted in the opposite direction of my cervical vertebrae. This type of problem is, in his words, a major contributor to infertility. The reason is that compression in this area can prevent messages from my reproductive organs from reaching my brain. So basically I'm not getting my brain's messages effectively to my body and whatever gets down to my reproductive organs may be muddled as well and vise versa. I'll see if I can post my spinal scan to show you where my issues are at but I'll warn you that just because it's full of pretty colors does not meant that is a good thing.

The thing that bothered me was that at our initial meeting Dr. Troy appeared, to me, to be cocky about the number of people he's helped get pregnant. But he never asked about MFI or my FSH, TSH nothing. I would think this would be important things to consider in addition to making our spines 'healthy.' Especially since some of these things are not fixed via the spine.

Now, that being said, I had my first appointment with his wife, Dr. Heather. (Yes, they are a husband/wife chiro team) I liked her better than Dr. Troy. She was much more realistic and her view was let's get you as healthy as possible and even if we cannot help you get pregnant before IVF this may help make IVF more successful. Now doesn't that seem more appropriate? So she helped me be more open to the process and tear down a few walls I had up. I was also absolutely terrified of the neck-cracking technique. But they don't do that here, instead use a spring loaded tool-thing-y they call an 'activator' (pictured below).

They assessed my spine and noted that my right leg was 1/2 inch higher than my left. Not that I'm lopsided but that something is causing my spine and muscles to compress and tighten. I'll go with that; I can confirm that when I run my right hip bothers me and I have additional pain down my sciatic nerve on the right side. Plus I did notice a change in my gait on the right side over the last few years. I will being going three times a week for two weeks, then two times a week for 4 weeks, and then one time a week for a total of about 5 months. I'm a little worried about feeling very sore with this schedule. After yesterday my neck hurts and my left shoulder hurts

As for our testing? If Aunt Flow comes on time I'll be doing my FSH on Monday. If she's late I'll have a major issue because I'm going out of town for another business trip and won't be anywhere near a lab. I have never wanted to see the old red hag so much in my whole life.


osuraj said...

My best friend is a chiropractor and she uses activator on me and I LOVE it! It's so much better than the severe cracking that seems to be the more common method. I hope that at the least, you'll start to feel better by going.

Hoping for our own Peanut said...

come oooooooon af, pay mrs. hammer a visit!!!

Hillary said...

Thanks for the explanation! Very interesting, and I agree, I like Dr. Heather's approach. :)

NeNe said...

I work for a chiropractic/sports med facility with local athletes and can testify to the fact that there have been a good number of infertile patients that get pregnant after treatment. I think it all works together- eating well, supplements, de-stressing, and taking care of your nervous system. YAY that AF is here!

Jesse and Mandy Peterson said...

I tried so hard to comment on this the other day, but it just wouldn't work! I just wanted to tell you that I appreciated your recent comment on my blogs despite the fact that I haven't been so good at responding to your blogs. I don't know how chiropractics can physically aid you in conceiving, but the relaxation should only help. And, getting your body aligned properly should help when you DO get pregnant. I wish you the best and look forward to seeing what happens. Keep us updated!