Naturopaths, Massage, Nutritionists, Acupuncturists & Osteopaths in Brisbane

Osteopathic treatment for Pregnancy Pain

Osteopath Brisbane - Pregnancy & Babies

 

Having a baby is one of the most intense experiences your body can go through. You might constantly feel like you have just run a marathon, or been hit by a bus!

Our Osteopaths are experienced in assisting pregnant women, babies, and children with gentle techniques to balance the musculoskeletal system.

During and post pregnancy, your body will experience rapid changes that will place increased stress on your muscles, ligaments and joints. Many women believe pain and discomfort go hand in hand with pregnancy and believe they must wait until after the birth of their child to experience relief. But this is often not the case.

Looking for an Osteopath for your baby? Visit our Osteopath for babies page.

Pregnancy Pain usually presents in one or more of the following forms:

  • Pelvic and pubic painOsteopathy treatment for Pregnancy Pain
  • Muscle and ligament pain
  • Hip pain and sciatica
  • Low back pain
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and heart burn/reflux
  • Difficulty taking a full breath
  • Digestive problems
  • Neck and shoulder tension
  • Chest heaviness
  • Ankle pain and swelling
  • Abdominal tightness

Why do we get pregnancy pain?

Pain arises during pregnancy due to the increased demands on joints, muscles and ligaments to accommodate the growing baby2. During pregnancy, the body releases numerous hormones to accommodate the physical changes that are required to support the growing embryo and to prepare the mother for labour. One of which is the hormone known as Relaxin. As the name suggests, Relaxin causes ligaments to relax in order to help the body’s posture to change to accommodate the growing baby. Problems can occur throughout this process as the ligaments surrounding joints become more lax, meaning muscles must contract in order to keep the joints stable. Relaxin helps the pelvis to become more relaxed to allow for an easier birth, however it doesn’t just affect the pelvis. It affects every single ligament and connective tissue in your body from your fingers right down to your ankles.

What is happening?

The pelvis is the foundation which the whole spinal column balances upon. However, with pregnancy comes a forward tilting of the pelvis to allow the belly to expand outwards as the baby grows and develops. This tilting must be counterbalanced by an increase in low back spinal curvature. The alteration in this curve causes the supportive ligaments and disc structures to be used less, instead being replaced with the muscular system. This role reversal can be used effectively for a short period of time, but with the ever growing baby demanding more room, the abdomen must continue to distend, reducing the muscular ability to counterbalance. This can sometimes lead to a break down in the muscular system’s capacity to be used effectively and result in excessive tension, discomfort and pain1.

How may Osteopathy help during pregnancy?

osteopathic care for pregnancy and babies

 

Osteopathic care throughout pregnancy is designed to help women with painful symptoms adjust and adapt to the structural changes the spine and pelvis is making for the demands of the growing baby,  with the goal of minimising pain or discomfort1. There is also some evidence to suggest this can assist the body to recover more effectively from the trauma of labour2.

Osteopaths are university trained to assess the musculoskeletal and nervous system. If you are experiencing painful symptoms, an Osteopathic pregnancy assessment and treatment may help to identify the cause, relieve painful symptoms, and help you manage pain throughout your pregnancy and beyond. Depending on your individual case, Osteopathic treatments, particularly throughout the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy, may help the body to better cope with structural changes in the spine and pelvis resulting in potentially less discomfort and pain throughout pregnancy.

 

Birth preparation

Benefits from Osteopathic treatment for birth preparation are limited to ensuring there is no excessive musculoskeletal tension or dysfunction which may cause additional pain or contribute to a difficult labour. Child birth is hard enough! Birth preparation typically occurs from the 32nd week of pregnancy, as the baby is growing and musculoskeletal pain can become more prominent.

The aim is to assess and identify any structural problems, and ensure good functional movement of the pelvis and surrounding muscles. This will be done using a range of hands on techniques such as soft tissue massage, stretching, and moving joints through their ranges of motion. By relieving tension and musculoskeletal related pregnancy pain, Osteopathic treatment may have the additional benefit of having a positive and calming effect on the nervous system.

Tips to help manage pain during pregnancy


  • If you are stretching regularly, for example in yoga, be careful not to push yourself too far. Instead hold a comfortable stretch to prevent over stretching and causing an injury
  • Have a gentle exercise program during your pregnancy to strengthen your back and core muscles to prevent them from weakening and causing pain
  • Cat and Cow yoga stretches help to keep the spine moving freely and also help in cases where the baby is in a breached position
  • Elevate your legs above your heart to help with swelling in the legs
  • Ensure you have good posture when sitting for long periods of time – roll your shoulder blades down and into your back, draw your belly button in towards your spine, tuck your pelvis up and under your spine and keep the chest in a neutral position instead of lifting upwards
  • Use a pregnancy pillow when in bed
  • Wear supportive shoes instead of thongs and high heels
  • Use heat to reduce muscular tension

Osteopathic treatment uses a combination of hands-on techniques to improve the structure and function of your body, help alleviate pain and discomfort, and get your body moving the way it was designed to. Your baby can also experience these benefits, helping them to adjust to the changes their bodies make as they grow and develop. You can find more information on our Osteopathy for Babies page

Book now - Vibe Natural Health - Pregnancy Osteopath Brisbane

New patients - please select an initial consultation with our Osteopath Emma Kopcikas at our practice in Grange, Brisbane.

Emma-kopcikas-osteopath-brisbane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

1. DiGiovanna, Eileen L, Stanley Schiowitz, and Dennis J Dowling. An Osteopathic Approach To Diagnosis And Treatment. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2005. Print.

2. Stone, Caroline. Visceral And Obstetric Osteopathy. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingston/Elsevier, 2007. Print.