An Interview With Roots Chiropractic
We here at New Mommy Pittsburgh were so excited to interview Roots Chiropractic, a family-focused chiropractic practice in Pittsburgh that focuses on pregnancy, postpartum, kids, and family wellness. Dr. Shadley & Dr. Tom are passionate about caring for pregnant and postpartum women, as well as children and all family members. See our Q & A with them below!
Q: Tell us a little bit about your education, practice, and what made you decide to go into the field of chiropractic.
A: We both graduated from Michigan State University with our Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. We then attended and graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. After that, we moved to Pittsburgh to plant our roots and open our practice in Mt Lebanon where our focus is prenatal, postpartum, pediatric, and family wellness care. We were both drawn to the holistic nature of chiropractic from an early age. I, Dr. Shadley, was exposed to chiropractic as a teenager after a soccer injury. I truly fell in love with the career and the philosophy that the body is intelligent and can heal itself naturally. Dr. Tom ultimately wanted to help people and was deciding between physical therapy and chiropractic when he met another chiropractor who inspired him to pursue this career.
Q: Why did you choose to have a special focus on treating patients who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or postpartum patients?
A: Pregnancy and postpartum care is our passion! We love being a part of their parenthood journey from the very beginning. We also feel that pregnancy is such a crucial time for parents to have as much support as possible because there are so many unknowns during pregnancy. We enjoy being a resource for the pregnant people in our office, whether that means getting recommendations for other providers/specialists, discussing birth preferences, or working on fitness modifications, nutritional recommendations, or mindfulness activities. Postpartum care is equally important solely because we aim to take care of the new parent when everyone else has shifted their attention to the new baby.
Q: Can you explain briefly how the Webster Technique works?
A: We utilize the Webster Technique in our office which is a specific sacral analysis and adjustment with accompanying soft tissue work that helps to align the pregnant person’s pelvis. The goal of the adjustment is to reduce the effects of sacral subluxation/ SI joint dysfunction. In doing so, neuro-biomechanical function in the pelvis is facilitated. Dr. Shadley is certified in the Webster Technique by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. I am also a Certified BIRTHFIT Leader, which aids in the family-focused chiropractic care we offer our pregnant/postpartum patients regarding fitness, nutrition, mindset, and connection throughout the parenthood transition.
Q: Why a focus on chiropractic for kids as well?
A: Birth is hard. It’s challenging for both parties, and we focus on making sure the baby’s nervous system is off to a great start in life by adjusting them soon after birth. The birth process puts a lot of strain on the baby’s head, neck, and spine, so our goal is to remove any nerve interference so that they can thrive. We often see families bring their babies or children in for concerns such as chronic ear infections, colic, reflux, constipation, and so much more! Your nervous system controls everything in your body, so by removing any interference in your nervous system, your body can then heal itself naturally and function optimally.
Q: What are some common reasons that women visit you during pregnancy?
A: Many people come to us for pregnancy care because of lower back pain, sciatica, pelvic pain, breech positioning, or to be proactive in making sure their body is properly aligned and prepared for birth. Because these symptoms are so common during pregnancy, we recommend and often have women coming to the office early in their pregnancy to prevent these symptoms from arising or lessening the severity if they do experience them.
Q: What are the benefits of chiropractic to pregnant patients?
A: Chiropractic care during pregnancy has been shown to reduce neck, lower back, pelvic, and hip pain, decrease labor times, decrease the rate of cesarean section, promote optimal fetal positioning, support a natural pregnancy & birth, and increase immune system function. As naturally minded healthcare providers, we also look at your lifestyle to give recommendations on things such as nutrition, supplementation, and exercises to improve your overall health while pregnant.
Q: What benefits can chiropractic provide patients who are trying to become pregnant?
A: As mentioned previously, your nervous system controls every function in your body. Nerve interference in your spine may be contributing to the difficulty conceiving. We have seen families who were diagnosed with infertility that started chiropractic care, became pregnant, and carried their baby to term. We also look at not just your spine, but your lifestyle as well, seeing what areas could use improvement to better you and your partner’s overall health to help with increasing fertility.
Q: How does chiropractic ready a patient for giving birth?
A: Chiropractic care aligns the pregnant person’s spine and pelvis to promote optimal nerve function and encourage optimal fetal positioning. A nervous system that functions at 100% is crucial when going into the marathon that is childbirth.
Q: How does chiropractic help patients who have recently given birth?
A: When transitioning from pregnant to postpartum, your posture changes dramatically in one day. With the Relaxin hormone coursing through your body, your joints and ligaments are very lax. As your joints come back together postpartum and you adapt to your new posture, it’s important to have proper spinal alignment. This will make the transition more comfortable, aid in the healing process, and help the new parent focus on themself and their recovery during this special time. As a BIRTHFIT Leader, Dr. Shadley evaluates for diastasis recti and other common postpartum concerns that can be cared for utilizing BIRTHFIT principles.
Q: What would you tell a parent who is thinking of bringing in their infant or toddler for chiropractic treatment about its effectiveness/what you can help treat and/or discover? What are some sample outcomes that you have seen?
A: Chiropractic care for infants and children is much different than what you’re used to seeing with adult adjustments. We use the amount of pressure you’d use to test the ripeness of a tomato, without any twisting or cracking. Pediatric chiropractic is a wonderful holistic option for families looking for relief with concerns such as colic, reflux, constipation, ear infections, bed-wetting, ADHD, and so much more. We regularly see kids of all ages return to a state of health and ease as a result of regular chiropractic care.
One of our first cases that we saw in our office was a 2-year-old girl who was on her 5th round of antibiotics for ear infections. The parents did not want to have tubes placed, so they sought out a more holistic approach before pursuing surgery. This young girl has not had any ear infections since starting care with us, and now she is seen regularly to keep her healthy.
Q: Why should one consider Roots Chiropractic as their preferred provider for family-focused chiropractic? What makes you unique?
A: Our specialty is family wellness. Unlike most practices in our area, our niche is pregnancy, postpartum, and pediatric care. Dr. Shadley is Webster Certified and a BIRTHFIT Leader, meaning that she is a wonderful resource for family-focused chiropractic care during pregnancy and postpartum. We are a local, family-owned business, and we try to foster the most family-friendly environment (as you’ll see since our daughter is always in the office with us). We aim to care for you like family, and we hope that you’ll consider reaching out to us to help support you during this exciting time.