Answers to Questions about Chiropractic:
Can Adjustments Reduce Hip Size after Childbirth?

Samuel Homola, D.C.

Question

A friend told me that her chiropractor could "re-adjust" her hips after childbirth; that is, put them back where they were before they spread out. Is this fact or fiction?

If that is the truth, approximately how many adjustments would it take? Would it be necessary to take x-rays? It's obvious that my hips are now wider after childbirth, so I don't need any proof of that. Does it matter how long ago you had your children?

Answer

Don't waste your time and money going to a chiropractor who claims he can use spinal adjustments to reduce the width of your hips after childbirth.

During the last trimester of pregnancy, the ovaries produce a hormone (relaxin) that relaxes the sacroiliac ligaments so that the pelvis can expand during childbirth. Sometimes these relaxed ligaments will result in strain or displacement of the sacroiliac joints, which can benefit from spinal manipulation. After childbirth, the ligaments tighten back up, restoring the joints back to normal. No chiropractic adjustment that will alter the width of the hips.

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Dr. Homola is a second-generation chiropractor who has dedicated himself to defining the proper limits on chiropractic and to educating consumers and professionals about the field. His 1963 book Bonesetting, Chiropractic, and Cultism supported the appropriate use of spinal manipulation but renounced chiropractic dogma. His 1999 book Inside Chiropractic: A Patient's Guide provides an incisive look at chiropractic's history, benefits, and shortcomings. Now retired after 43 years of practice, he lives in Panama City, Florida.

This page was posted on August 27, 2002.