For the majority of pregnant women, back aches, hip pain, and tail bone soreness are common complaints. Thanks to chiropractic care, however, this no longer has to be the case.
An often misunderstood and underutilized science, chiropractic work seeks to maintain the health and wellness of your body through adjustments to align joints in the body. During pregnancy, these joints – particularly in the spine and pelvis – can twist and torque due to the increased amount of the hormone relaxin your body produces to allow your pelvis to widen and stretch during childbirth.
Why is this a problem?
When your body is misaligned, it can cause the ligaments that form the symmetrical supportive structure of your uterus to twist and turn. This can result in variety of conditions and complaints, including back and hip pain, pubic bone discomfort, poor fetal positioning, sciatica, increased labor duration, groin pain or pulling, and more.
What can I do?
See a chiropractor!
We sat down with Dr. Andrino Flevotomos, the leading prenatal chiropractor in the region, to ask a few questions. Trust us when we say if you’re looking for chiropractic support during your pregnancy, this is the man to see. Named 2013 Chiropractor of the Year by Northern Virginia Magazine, Dr. Andrino is an expert in his field whose incredible knowledge of the female body is only outmatched by his wit and charm. His office is located in Arlington, VA, but he is well worth the drive no matter where you live in the DMV. See for yourself below in our exclusive interview with Dr. Andrino.
We’d love to learn a little about you and your background – where you’re from, etc.
So I was raised on the Lower East Side of New York City at a time when living more naturally, a trend that had begun to pick up new momentum in the 60’s, seemed to be peaking. Things like yoga, organic nutrition, natural birthing, homeschooling, breastfeeding were being discussed with an enthusiasm that hadn’t been seen before. I grew up in a household that while very financially poor was rich with knowledge and culture.
I pretty much ran loose through the streets of New York City, even at a very young age, observing and learning as I enjoyed freedoms that would probably be too risky for any child of today. My memoirs are really ridiculous. Maybe they’ll make for a good read someday.
How long have you been a chiropractor and what drew you to this career?
I became a Chiropractor through a bizarre sequence of events. So before this I was an unhappily, yet gainfully employed Wall Street guy. I worked with a pretty low frequency, degenerate group of people. I felt like it wasn’t real because I would move invisible stuff around, buying from one person and selling to another without ever seeing any material proof that I’d done anything for anyone except for myself in the numbers on my paycheck. I couldn’t figure out how I’d one day answer a grandchild, for example, that might ask me: “Grandpa what kind of job did you do?”
But I didn’t know what else to do, and I didn’t want to throw away a lucrative profession and become homeless because that didn’t seem like a good idea either. I knew I wanted to do something that helped people, but beyond that I had no idea. My first university schooling was in music composition so I started going back to school at night because I felt that I might need a different degree if I were to ever escape the financial sector. Oh yeah…I guess it’s obvious that I wound up on Wall Street by a fluke, but that’s a different story.
Anyway, I began going back to school in the evenings for Human Biology and continued my crappy job. Then I suddenly developed vertigo. It got so bad that I could hardly make it to the bathroom. This went on for months. I went to different doctors but nobody could help me. Finally, I went to a Chiropractor even though I was terrified of them and thought they were unskilled haphazard spinal manipulators that could, and probably would, kill me. After 4 visits I was 80% better. At that point I was so disturbed that nobody recommended I go to a Chiropractor that I had to investigate what they did and how, and also why they were not part of the mainstream. The more I read the more interested I became. I gave my notice and moved to Missouri for Chiropractic college. It just so happened that the human biology work I had been doing was necessary for me to gain entrance and without it I would have been looking at 7-9 years of schooling. I probably would not have done it.
So now I’ve been caring for people since 2004 and in private practice since 2006.
Your practice focuses a lot on pregnant women – what led you to serving this demographic?
I went to the school where prenatal Chiropractic was developed. One of my professors was THE GUY when it came to prenatal work. I told him I didn’t want to learn the material because it would be a waste. I felt that I was a sturdily built, brutish looking man that no pregnant women would come to. The upshot was that I was forced to take on every prenatal that came in to the clinic from that day forward.
The first case is to date still the most difficult I have ever had. She was a Mormon girl. Mormons like to have kids, they communicate well with their brethren, and they do not like hospitals. Every possible complication that could happen during her pregnancy did. She breeched twice, had placenta previa, and other co-morbidities. I had to use every bit of skill that I had which actually wasn’t very impressive at that time. In the end…she had a beautiful natural, vaginal home birth. It was the first I ever attended. Two days later when I showed up for my shift there was a flock of pregnant Mormon chicks waiting for me at the clinic. It turned out that I had a particular aptitude for the work and I also had fallen in love with the work. The prenatal population is my favorite demographic to care for. I love caring for pregnant women. They are amazing.
What % of your practice is pregnant women and families?
My practice is about 80% prenatal and the balance is pediatric, postpartum, and general population.
How does Prenatal Chiropractic differ from traditional/general Chiropractic care?
In almost every way. It looks different and has completely different methods and protocols. It is gentle and focused on making sure that: the pelvic inlet is as patent as possible, that fetal positioning is optimal, and that the soft tissues that influence the baby’s ability to descend are well prepared. There are other applications like helping with breeches or people that are overdue, but those three goals are the core of the work.
If you could give a tip or recommendation for us to share with our readers/a pregnant woman, what would it be?
I would recommend the following:
- Be judicious in choosing your facility and provider.
- Get a Doula.
- Do a real birth class.
- Find a kick ass prenatal Chiropractor
To learn more or schedule an appointment, visit his website at http://www.chirogroup.net/ or call the office at 703.933.8686