Typical symptoms during the pregnancy result from the gradual changes in posture as the pregnancy advances and these include low back pain, pelvic pain, indigestion, heart- burn and joint swelling. Post-birth, osteopathy can help the body to return to normal and to resolve any issues that may arise in caring for the new baby.
During pregnancy, your body undergoes tremendous change to accommodate the growing foetus. Apart from the obvious physical changes like expansion of the abdominal region, hormonal releases can affect the function of your body’s internal systems. As your pregnancy progresses, the extra weight creates a shift in your body’s centre of gravity. Your supporting ligaments also soften.
These factors can add stress to your body, causing problems like neck or back pain, sciatica, pelvic pain or joint pains.
The two pubic bones meet at the front of the pelvis at the pubic symphysis. This joint is held together by ligaments. In pregnancy all ligaments soften and this can lead to a painful stretching or separation of the pubic symphysis, especially when the weight on the pelvis increases with the growing baby.
During the pregnancy, the stress on your sacrum (the triangular bone at the base of the spine between the 2 hipbones), increases. This can result into stiffning of the sacrum which can lead to symptoms like buttock pain, sciatica, leg pain, groin pain, pelvic pain and low back pain.
During the osteopathic treatment we will release the tension on your sacrum with very gentle techniques and we will examine all the muscles and joints surrounding to balance out your pelvis and low back as much as possible and bring you back to a pain free state. We will also show you some basic excercises to prevent recurrent symptoms.
Your posture also changes during pregnancy. The curve in your low back might increase with the changing of your body’s centre of gravity resulting in increased compression of the lowest lumbar vertebra. When standing for a long time or sitting for a long period, the stress on the low back increases even more and a complete restriction of the low back joint can occur. This will cause low back pain with possibly pain in 1 buttock and even leg pain.
During the osteopathic treatment we will examine your back and mobilise and/or manipulate the restricted joints and muscles.
As the baby gradually fills the abdomen the intestines are pushed upwards, and the lower ribs flare outwards to create more space. This changes the tension and balance in the muscle of the diaphragm. It also requires adjustment to the physical position of related organs such as the stomach, liver and lungs. We as osteopaths work on the diaphragm to reduce the tension and we work on improving the mobility of the surrounding fascia to the stomach, liver, bowel and lungs.
Osteopathic treatment to release tension and help the body to make the necessary postural changes more easily often makes the pregnancy much more comfortable.
Our aim is to assist the natural process of pregnancy and birth – maximizing your body’s ability to change and support you and your baby with a minimum of pain and discomfort.
During your first visit we will take a detailed case history about the onset of the problem, your medical history, your pregnancy…etc.
This is followed by examining your body: we observe your posture, we asses some movements in standing position and we palpate your spine looking out for joint restrictions and tension in the surrounding soft tissues. We also palpate your sacrum, we check the mobility of your hips and pelvis and we check the tension at the level of your diaphragm, thorax, neck and craniosacral system.
We then explain our findings, make a provisional diagnosis and outline our proposed treatment plan.
The following techniques may be used during the treatment: