Pain during Pregnancy, Prenatal & Postnatal

ProActive Chiropractic provides expert gentle chiropractic adjustments for pain surrounding pregnancy in San Francisco, California. 

  • Breech Baby
  • Neck and Back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Rib Pain
  • Hip and Pelvic Pain
  • Wrist Pain/Carpal Tunnel 
  • Bed Rest 
  • Weight Gain
  • Stress and Anxiety 

Congratulations! It is an exciting time in our patients’ life when they decide to expand their family.  

Moms – It is no secret that pregnancy is very laborious and demanding on the body. The last thing expecting mothers want to worry about is chronic aches and pains that follow them throughout their entire pregnancy, especially when common over the counter medications are off the table. Dr. Cohen has specialty training in prenatal care and is one of the few Webster Technique providers in San Francisco. That, combined with his sports specialty, we are the go-to for those mothers who want to stay active during their pregnancy. 

Chiropractors are becoming more and more popular when it comes to being a part of your birth team, next to doulas and midwives. There is significant research on how chiropractic care before, during, and after pregnancy can help both mom and baby. However, most women do not seek chiropractic care when pregnant because they are fearful of hurting their baby when in fact, gentle manipulation could make a world of a difference for all parties involving pregnancy. Here are five indications to seek prenatal care:

  1. Baby is in a breech position 

Between weeks 28 and 32, babies will start to instinctively turn so that their heads are in the pelvic cavity. If the baby is not positioned head first or head down, the baby is considered “breeched” and mom will have to consider a cesarean delivery, or C-section. According to The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, there is a 82% success rate of babies becoming unbreeched naturally when the Webster Technique is performed by a chiropractor. This means preventing a traumatic C-section. The advantages of vaginal deliveries include: quicker recovery time for mom, faster skin to skin contact and breastfeeding, decrease in breathing problems for baby by squeezing fluid out of baby’s lungs, increase baby’s immune and GI system by getting good bacteria from the mother’s birth canal, and decrease in infection and scar tissue for mom. 

Did you know that chiropractic adjustments can instantly help your baby move to an unbreeched position? Your baby is smart. It wants to protect its head. If you present with a rotated pelvis, your pelvic bowl where your baby’s head normally should sit in, becomes smaller. If the rotation of your pelvis is significant enough so that your baby’s head can’t fit into it properly, your baby will turn away from it to protect him/herself. Leveling out your pelvis allows for a maximum pelvic bowl capacity, which is a happy environment for your baby. Chiropractic care during pregnancy is a holistic approach that is evidenced-based in relieving many prenatal issues. 

  1.         Any type of pain

Pain is never normal and pregnancy should definitely not be the exception. If you are experiencing low back pain, mid to upper back pain, neck pain, feet pain, rib pain, shoulder pain, wrist pain, numbing and tingling into the glutes and down the leg, or any pain or numbness in general that does not go away on its own in three to four days, call ProActive Chiropractic! Research has shown that 75% of pregnant women experience pain relief after receiving regular chiropractic treatments. Dr. Cohen and Dr. Chu have been trained to perform comfortable, gentle adjustments and techniques to help moms with pain and distress. 

  1.         Continuing with your activity levels during pregnancy

Exercise alone has been proven to increase mood, metabolism, muscle mass, and many other bodily functions. Exercising while pregnant adds a whole new level of benefits! For mom, these include: a decreased chance of premature labor, decrease in weight gain, better circulation, and reduction in fatigue. For the baby, these include: increased fetal heart rate, decreased fetal fat without decreasing overall growth, stimulation of sound and vibration during exercise may accelerate baby’s brain development. The doctors at ProActive Chiropractic will work with the mom to create a specialized pregnancy and postpartum exercise program that will empower moms for delivery and promote postpartum recovery.  

  1.         Experiencing stress and anxiety.

Your life is about to change A LOT. Are you worried that your stress and anxiety is affecting your baby, causing more stress and anxiety? We understand and want to help! Fear, stress, and anxiety produce neurochemicals in your brain and body that is detrimental to your health and may cross the placental barrier that can directly affect your baby.  

A “wellness and quality of life” study was conducted by Dr. Robert H.L. Banks, PhD, University of California College of Medicine Professor, on 2818 chiropractic patients. In this study, it was shown that chiropractic patients experienced significant “retrospectively recalled” improvements in ability to deal with mental and emotional stress, perception of health and wellness, and overall quality of life. In this study, extremely gentle chiropractic adjustments were used. 

Chiropractic adjustments can literally help your body adapt better to stress. Less stress is important for a healthy mom and baby. At ProActive Chiropractic, we believe that both mind and body need to be well balanced for optimal results. 

  1.         Can’t sleep or feel nauseous

There are two main pathways in our autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for the unconscious or involuntary functions of the body . They are the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Both of these pathways serve a significant purpose in our survival. Our sympathetic nervous system is great in small doses, but can be detrimental to our health if sustained in long periods of time. Chiropractic adjustments have been proven to turn off the sympathetic pathway (“flight or fight”) response that we experience when we are stressed, and turn on the parasympathetic (“rest and digest” or “feed and breed”) functions. This will promote better sleep and digestion. 

Dads – We have not forgotten about you! When people think of pregnancy, it is often synonymous with mom and baby. But at ProActive Chiropractic, it’s often a family affair! We make sure to take care of the entire family so that everyone can genuinely enjoy and appreciate their time with one another without physical and mental stresses.  

Bring the entire family in to find lasting benefits provided by ProActive Chiropractic! 


Since the causes of pregnancy pain are numerous, experience counts in making the correct diagnosis. Knowing the difference between diagnosing wrist pain as a result of  neck strain and wrist pain caused by a Vitamin B deficiency is essential for a fast and complete recovery. It is also important to note whether a pain stays local or is traveling. The doctors at ProActive Chiropractic received their Doctor of Chiropractic from the prestigious Palmer College and are well versed in differential diagnosis. 

Another important diagnostic tool is to consider your lifestyle patterns. Do you sit at work all day? Have you been in an automobile crash and this pregnancy is aggravating an old injury that was never fully treated? Finally, a complete exam helps nail down the diagnosis. For instance, properly examining your shoulders and back might give a clue to the exact cause of your neck pain. 

Only by thoroughly evaluating your symptoms and carefully examining your body can an accurate diagnosis be made. Effective treatment depends on diagnostic accuracy. If necessary, x-rays or other imaging tests might be needed.


Sometimes the root of your condition is not structural. Inflammation, allergies, or deficiencies in our chemical make-up can keep us from recovering fully or quickly. We never want our treatments to plateau until you’ve reached your goals.   

Our office is conveniently partnered with LabCorp and Cyrex Laboratories to help better understand your diagnosis when needed. If our doctors believe that a blood and/or urine analysis will benefit your health, they will order these labs at generally a lower cost than what your insurance can. Our goal is to get you the most affordable and efficient comprehensive assessment possible to save you time and money.   


Whether your pregnancy pain is a result of constant poor posture, repetitive motion during an activity, altered biomechanics, prolonged computer/phone/tablet use, whiplash, prior contact sports, or blunt force trauma, our doctors successfully treat all types of complaints every day. 

Treatment can include gentle chiropractic adjustments and soft tissue work. Since not all neck pain is the same, your treatment will be specific to your complaint based on your history and exam findings. 

Obviously, you wouldn’t want your pregnant body to be treated by inexperienced hands. For this reason, our seasoned doctors, graduates of Palmer College, personally evaluate, examine, and treat your neck discomfort. This means that you will spend the entire duration of your time in our office with hands-on care from our chiropractic clinicians. 

Chiropractic Manipulative Therapy (CMT):

Scientific evidence proves that chiropractic techniques help patients by restoring joint mobility to provide proper functional movement patterns and balance out the nervous system. This decreases spasms, stiffness, and pain while promoting optimal health. 

We have many options to address the structural components that contribute to your pain. We always consider our patient’s preferences first, so when it comes to corrective adjustments, we provide a variety of methods to achieve this goal. Our specialty is manual adjustments. We are experienced in high velocity, low amplitude manipulations to the joints of the body in order to deliver the most comfortable and effective adjustments.  

Our one-of-a kind chiropractic tables fit special pregnancy pillows and feature an automated drop piece that utilizes an air compressor to address the joint in both directions in a gentle way. It allows the doctors to adjust front to back and back to front. The drop piece is maneuvered by foot so there are no extra knobs at the side of the table allowing patients to move around comfortably.

Sometimes we discover smaller yet specific adjustments need to be made. For this, we use an innovative device, called the Activator, delivering a small impulse to the appropriate joint. Whether you love or are intimidated by the “cracks,” the doctors at ProActive Chiropractic will adjust to your preference while still administering the adjustments needed.  

Graston Technique and Fibroblaster Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) Tools :

When joints get stuck, the soft tissue structures around them suffer as well. When the muscles and connective tissues around the joint are not moving and gliding along each other, scar tissue and fascial distortion occurs. We have multiple tools of different sizes and shapes to help address these issues.  

Graston is a patent protected, innovative instrument that assists in soft-tissue mobilization, improving flexibility and decreasing pain by effectively breaking down fascial restrictions and removing scar tissue between muscles. Proactive Chiropractic is Graston certified and a Preferred Provider®. 

Fibroblaster IASTM Tools help our doctors diagnose and treat patients by providing controlled microtrauma to break scar tissue and fascial restrictions to restore full range of motion to keep you in the game.  

Functional Custom Orthotics, Sandals, and Shoes: 

There are three main arches of the foot: the medial longitudinal arch, the lateral longitudinal arch, and the anterior transverse (metatarsal) arch. These three arches work together as a strong and supportive tripod, called the “plantar vault,” that helps evenly distribute our weight to obtain the maximal shock absorbency throughout our body to protect our bones, nerves, and joints.  During pregnancy your ligaments relax and feet tend to flatten. 

The “righting reflex” or the “labyrinthine righting reflex” automatically corrects the orientation of our bodies so that our eyes are always level. The feet are the foundation in all of our weight-bearing activities so when they are not level, we subconsciously tilt different structures in our bodies to keep our eyes level. This results in overcompensations and under-compensation in various muscle groups. For example, if one arch is collapsed, that knee will internally rotate, which externally rotates the hip, rotating the pelvis, forcing the shoulder to drop on that side, resulting in our head tilting. This domino effect starts at the feet, but directly affects all the other joints of our bodies. This is why leveling out your feet is so essential in overall body health.  

In our office, we have paired up with the world’s leading provider of individually designed custom orthotics to use state-of-the-art technology to analyze the three arches of the feet, making sure the forces you put on them are distributed properly. If the 3-D foot scan detects an unleveling in any of the arches, customized orthotics will be manufactured just for you to rebalance your entire body. They fit a variety of shoes depending on your activity level, how much your feet sweat, and the kind of shoes you want them in.   

We never want to sell you anything that does not serve you. If your custom orthotics need to be tweaked to your liking or you do not like them for any reason after wearing them for 45 days, we will remake your orthotics or give you a full refund. Put your best foot forward and try them out! You have absolutely nothing to lose!    

Custom Pillows:

Sleep is absolutely crucial in recovery. We do our best healing when we are sleeping. Setting a good nighttime environment to get 7-9 hours of sleep helps to boost your immunity, promote muscle growth, balance hormones, and increase mood. A promising nightly ritual includes turning off anything rectangular (phones, television, tablets, etc…)and dimming lights at least an hour before bed time, choosing the right temperature (usually between 60-67 degrees), reduce noises that have changing tones and replace it with consistent white noise, putting on a diffuser or candle with a relaxing scent, and choosing the right mattress (Youtube link), sheets, and pillows that are comfortable to you. 

At ProActive Chiropractic, we exhaust all techniques to get you feeling better and provide the best products to expedite the process. Are you worried that your pillow is causing your neck pain? We offer customized pillows to provide alignment while you sleep to ensure a best night rest. 

Therapeutic Exercises:  

Our journey to improve your health and wellness does not stop when you leave the office. At ProActive Chiropractic, we honor a mutual collaborative effort by our doctors and you, our patients. While in our office, we believe it is our job to manually correct the underlying source of your pain by adjusting and performing techniques that you would not be able to do on your own. We then encourage you to perform customized rehabilitative exercises at home, in the office, or at the gym to better hold the adjustments made. We believe in a team approach where the doctors will align and balance patients on the table, and patients do their part in building the right habits, muscles, and strength to hold those adjustments. These specific exercises help relax painfully tight muscles and build strength to key muscles groups which are imperative for spinal support. 

We understand that educating our patients on their condition and teaching them how to prevent it is key to success. We want our patients to know when to come into the office and when they can fix ailments on their own. Our goal is always to save you time and money.   

So many woman are frustrated as they start having issues that they never had prior during their pregnancy. It’s also frustrating to have your go-to workouts taken away from you. That’s not always the case. To complete your workouts, you may be using their muscle groups improperly and when you were your old weight and size your body could compensate but now it can’t.  These workouts are often complex and work on the big “show-me” muscles that are usually overcompensated anyways. When the doctors at ProActive Chiropractic break these big muscle groups apart and muscle test each individual muscle, these athletes are often surprised at how “weak” their muscles are when separated from another. 

The exercises given at ProActive Chiropractic are designed to focus on the smaller, undercompensated muscles that support the joints, ligaments, and deep muscles that help with posture and overall performance. The truth is that new workouts emerge for purposes of more certifications to promote the fitness business. They consist of complex movements that people cannot efficiently achieve without going back to the basics. You crawl before you walk, right? Same concept.  

Sure, you can perform these complicated exercises, but are you using the right muscle groups to perform them, or are you creating more of an imbalance and thus pain? Are you breathing correctly and can your brain connect to all the different muscles of your body so that one muscle group is not taking the brunt of the work for another muscle group? The doctors at ProActive Chiropractic will let you know! They will literally show and teach you the tools to perform these exercises properly, leaving you pain-free and even improve your posture.  

Understand that these are not glamorous, complex exercises you see at your workout class or on the newest feed on your IG or TikTok account. However, they are needed, effective, and present a challenge in that you have to rehabilitate your brain to connect to muscles that it has been neglecting for a long period of time. Check out some of our favorite therapeutic exercises on our YouTube channel!  

We are excited to help you get back to the movement you love, and by performing the prescribed exercises given by our doctors, we will get you there in no time! 

Kinesiology Tape: 

Kinesio Taping is a rehabilitative taping technique to increase stability around hypermobile joints. Additionally, the tape offers better circulation to the injured area, reduction of swelling and inflammation, speedy recovery of overused muscles, and reduced muscle cramping. 

We use different types of kinesiology and medical tape to suit your needs. When using tape as a brace, the doctors at ProActive make sure to give you the support you need while also allowing the surrounding muscles to properly engage so that your own muscle and body becomes a natural brace for itself as a result. Depending on allergies, sport, and how much you sweat, the doctors will use their expertise to know which tape and style of taping is needed for you!  


Come check out the most advanced rehab and recovery solution in just one small package! Whether you are trying to maintain a healthy workout routine or training for the Olympics, the NormaTec is your go-to to decrease inflammation and soreness. NormaTec’s cutting edge compression systems are the ultimate in recovery to fit your needs.   

NormaTec sleeves have been scientifically proven to enhance the body’s natural ability to recover, increase circulation, reduce pain, rejuvenate muscles, boost flexibility, and clear out lactate and metabolites. The benefits of NormaTec are so significant that 97% of professional teams rely on its technology to train harder and achieve more. 

At the end of the day, this device feels like a nice massage. Our patients usually find time in their busy schedules to come in, kick up their feet, relax, and meditate or look over emails while receiving all the great benefits of NormaTec.   

Posture Pointers: 

“Sit up straight!” “Stop slouching!” “Chin up, chest out, abs in!” We have all heard these cues from our parents, partners, coaches, personal trainers, fitness instructors, and doctors. Being conscious about the way you sit, stand, and perform exercises is a start, but what if the structures of your body simply will not allow you to get in that perfect posture position? What is perfect posture anyway?!  

The doctors at ProActive Chiropractic take the time to educate patients on proper posture and how to achieve it. We analyze patients’ posture and functional movement mechanics, address the under and overcompensated muscles and structures to allow for proper range of motion and movement, and give patients the correct postural exercises to address the deep muscles that support the skeletal system.  


Each new patient in our office will receive a comprehensive posture evaluation and 3-dimensional foot scan, revealing potential hidden problems that could go unnoticed. In addition, we offer virtual ergonomic assessments at a much lower cost than a traditional in-office ergonomic assessment with a full printout of findings and recommendations for you to keep.  

Equally important to diet and exercise, understanding how your body is commonly positioned againsseasoned doctors personally evaluatet gravity can help doctors find the underlying issue with chronic pain.

Proper ergonomics allows for better productivity, promotes great posture during pregnancy, lessens fatigue, and decreases the pain that comes from repeated movements. 

Get expert prenatal and post natal treatment in the San Francisco Financial District area. Call 415-762-8141 or schedule an appointment online now.

San Francisco SF Chiropractic Chiropractor for pregnancy pain adjustment injury treatment San Francisco SF CA