A study published in the July/August 2002 issue
of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT) shows
that a chiropractic technique known as the "Webster Technique" for managing
the musculoskeletal causes of intrauterine constraint, is effective in cases
of pregnancy with women experiencing breech presentation which can lead to a
cesarean section birth.
According to the published study, "Intrauterine
constraint is defined as any force external to the developing fetus that
obstructs the normal movement of the fetus." Intrauterine constraint can
prevent the developing fetus from moving into the normal head-down position
needed for a normal vaginal birth. When this happens this is called a
"breech presentation". This situation plays a critical role in how the
mother delivers her baby. According to the statistics published in the
article, in the United States 86% of all infants with breech presentation
are delivered by cesarean section.
According to the JMPT article, the Webster
Technique is a chiropractic technique designed to relieve the
musculoskeletal causes of intrauterine constraint. This technique is also
known by names such as as Webster's In-Utero Constraint Technique or
Webster's Breech Turning Technique. The Webster Technique was developed by
Dr. Larry Webster in 1978. Dr. Webster was often referred to in the
Chiropractic profession as "The Grandfather of Chiropractic Pediatrics."
Additionally, the technique is presently taught in many chiropractic
colleges and postgraduate chiropractic education seminars.
The study was done by surveying a large number
of doctors of chiropractic who use the technique to see the percentage of
results they obtain on real patients. The survey required detailed
information to verify the accuracy of the responses. The results showed that
82% of the doctors surveyed reported a high rate of success when using the
Webster Technique. The results from the study suggested that it may be
beneficial to perform the Webster Technique in the 8th month of pregnancy,
if it has been determined that the child is in the breech position. This
timing is important because from the 8th month on, a breech presentation is
unlikely to spontaneously convert to the normal head down position.
The study concludes by saying, "when successful,
the Webster Technique avoids the costs and risks of cesarean section or
vaginal trial of breech. In view of these findings, the Webster Technique
deserves serious consideration in the management of expectant mothers
exhibiting adverse fetal presentation."