Pregnancy should be a time of joy and excited anticipation for expectant mums. Unfortunately, many suffer from severe back or pelvic girdle pain, turning the experience into a ghastly nightmare. In fact, back or pelvic pain during pregnancy is so common that some obstetricians even consider it normal. Thankfully, I don’t.
I believe that with careful assessment, treatment and advice I can help you enjoy the most wonderful, beautiful, and fulfilling, time of your life. By rebalancing your pelvis and lumbar spine with gentle osteopathic techniques, supplemented when required with acupuncture, I can help alleviate many of the symptoms allowing you to enjoy, not endure, this very special time.
Throughout the term of your pregnancy, your body will undergo tremendous transformation to accommodate the developing foetus. Apart from the obvious physical changes like weight gain and your expanding tummy, there will be other changes that are much more subtle. For example, your centre of gravity will move forwards, causing your pelvis to tilt, which in turn will increase the stress placed on your lower back. Even more inconspicuous will be the effect of the circulating hormone relaxin, which will soften the ligaments of your pelvis. As a result you may experience any of the common problems associated with pregnancy, including; low back pain, sciatica, neck, shoulder and upper back pain, pelvic girdle pain or pubic symphysis disorder. All of which can affect your daily functioning.
As your pregnancy progresses, the shape of your pelvis will perceptively change. Towards the end of the third trimester your sacrum will tip backwards which will widen the pelvic inlet allowing your baby to ‘engage’ and during labour your sacrum will tip forwards widening the pelvic outlet in preparation for birth. Osteopathic treatment during pregnancy supports these natural processes by ensuring the pelvis and lower back hold as little tension and restriction as possible, allowing your baby to descend naturally through the birth canal.
Osteopathy is both safe and gentle. Techniques are carefully chosen to minimise any risk or discomfort to you and your baby. For example, when lying on your back during pregnancy, the weight of the foetus can press on the aorta, reducing the blood supply to the uterus thus starving it of oxygen. For this reason, most treatments will be performed with you either in a side lying or a semi-recumbent position.
The evidence from Systematic Reviews finds a strong association between pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain and altered pelvic joint mechanics and/or altered muscle motor control. It is here that osteopathy can be of real benefit to any expectant mother, helping to make both the pregnancy and the birth as gratifying as possible.
If you have enjoyed reading this Blog, you will hopefully look forward to reading my next one which will be looking at the role of acupuncture during conception, pregnancy, labour and birth.