Advice

Osteopathic treatment of the pregnant woman – by osteopath Dr Amelia McDonald

By Eliza Gleadell
June 22, 2021
A woman’s body goes through a lot of physical changes during pregnancy to make room for the growing baby. Osteopathy may help during pregnancy to assist the mother as she adapts to the continual changes her body is experiencing. Osteopathic treatment provides gentle, safe, carefully selected techniques to ease any pain or discomfort experienced during pregnancy. A tailored approach is taken to ensure the patient’s needs are addressed and comfortability maintained. Osteopaths are able to treat patients at any stage during their pregnancy, as well as post birth.
 
Pregnancy may sometimes exacerbate existing conditions and cause unusual aches and pains. The body is often put under stress in the spine, hips and pelvis as it adapts to an increase in weight, ligament laxity and changes to the centre of gravity.

Common complaints during pregnancy

Common complaints include pain in the low back and buttocks, neck, shoulders, upper back, rib cage and groins. Headaches, discomfort whilst sleeping and pelvic floor weakness are also frequent. Over 70% of pregnant women experience low back pain at some point during their pregnancy or post-partum (Katonis et al., 2011). While these symptoms are common during pregnancy, osteopathic treatment may help provide pain relief.

Osteopathic Treatment

Osteopathic treatment during pregnancy is aimed at assisting overall function and providing pain relief. Treatment often includes soft tissue massage and mobilisation targeted at the muscles and joints of concern. Gentle home exercises may be advised to assist with management of symptoms, as well as preparing the mother for birth and life afterwards.
 
We have a special pregnancy table attachment at both our clinics, which allows pregnant women to be able to lie on their tummy safely and comfortably. All techniques can be applied in a variety of positions, including lying on your front, back, side, or seated and is dependant on the stage of pregnancy and how comfortable you may be.
 
If you are experiencing any pain or stiffness during your pregnancy just pop into either of our Sandringham or Mordialloc clinics to see one of our osteopaths today.
 
 
Katonis, P., Kampouroglou, A., Aggelopoulos, A., Kakavelakis, K., Lykoudis, S., Makrigiannakis, A., & Alpantaki, K. (2011). Pregnancy-related low back pain. Hippokratia, 15(3), 205–210.
 

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