Quite often, the physical changes, alongside hormonal changes, can cause aches and pains which affect daily activities.
The most common complaints are lower back pain, pelvic pain, hip pain which make simple activities like walking, sitting, turning in bed uncomfortable.
All our osteopaths are qualified to treat expectant mothers with various aches and pains.
Treatment is obviously very gentle and safety is a priority
Periodic treatment during pregnancy can also help the body adjust to the increasing weight and changing posture.
This can help prevent pain or stiffness occurring and may also lead to an easier delivery.
Similarly, after birth a check-up is useful to see if the stresses of the delivery and the changes of the body back to normal have disturbed the functioning of the pelvis or lower back.
Advice can be given on general posture with particular attention to your spine on handling the new born.
Recent studies Sandler 1996, Green 2003 have shown that pregnancy-related lower back pain and pelvic girdle pain affects over 50% of pregnant women.
Studies have shown that osteopathic treatment can help to improve or even stop lower back pain especially in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy when the baby has grown significantly putting more pressure on the spine. Other studies King et al 2003, Guthrie & Martin 1982 found evidence that expectant mothers who received osteopathic treatment improved outcomes in labour and delivery compared to those who did not.
Taking a thorough case history is important to allow correct diagnosis. As mentioned, the treatment is gentle and again safety is paramount.
Symptoms which are common and treatable include:
- Lower back pain
- Mid back and neck pain
- Pelvic girdle pain
- Buttock and groin pain
- Meralgia paresthetica (burning, tingling and numbness in the thigh)
- Pain around the pubis
- Rib cage pain
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Sandler, SE. The management of low back pain in pregnancy. Manual Therapy. 1996;1(4):1788185
Green, J. Osteopathy in pregnancy and childbirth. The Practising Midwife 2000;3(7):38843
King, HH, Tettambel, MA, Lockwood, MD, Johnson, KH, Arsenault, A, Quist, R. Osteopathic manipulative treatment in prenatal care: a retrospective case control design study. JAOA. 2003; 103(12):5778582.
Guthrie, RA, Martin, RH. Effects of pressure applied to the upper thoracic (placebo) versus lumbar areas (osteopathic manipulative treatment) for inhibition of lumbar myalgia during labour. JAOA.#1982;82:2478251