Osteopathy and Pregnancy
Our Touch2Heal clinics in Ashford, Chatham and Dover successfully treat a large number of pregnant women suffering pregnancy related pain. It’s an unfortunate fact but more than two thirds of expectant mothers will suffer lower back and pelvis pain, both during and after pregnancy. For many the pain is quite severe.
So why is this and what can our osteopaths do to alleviate it?
Pain During Pregnancy
First, let’s look at the causes of pain. There are two main reasons. Firstly, accommodating the expansion in the womb as the baby grows requires the mother’s abdominal wall to stretch. However the abdominal muscles are forced to stretch beyond their normal state so reducing their ability to perform their primary role; maintaining body posture.
This lower back is forced to take on an abnormal amount of weight which puts it under great stress and causes pain. In fact 14kg (30lb) or more. Imagine strapping the equivalent of 14 bags of sugar around your waist. No wonder expectant mothers suffer back pain.
The second cause, due to pregnancy, is a tenfold increase in the hormone Relaxin. Relaxin is good in that it prepares the body for childbirth. By relaxing the joints in the pelvis the baby has sufficient room to pass through the birth canal.
Unfortunately Relaxin is indiscriminate in that it relaxes all the other joints in the body as well. This gives rise to abnormal physical motion leading to inflammation and pain elsewhere.
Osteopathy – Pain Free Treatment
Osteopathy is an ideal treatment as it doesn’t involve drugs for pain relief. Instead we use manual therapy to work the underlying muscles and joint restrictions causing the pain. In addition we can advise on some simple exercises that will help also.
Our osteopaths treat a variety of pregnancy related problems. Neck and shoulder pain is common (brought on by postural changes and breast development). We’ve already discussed lower back pain but Sciatica (the pinching of the sciatic nerve in the spine) can also occur due to the increased weight bearing.
Fluid retention can cause aching hands and feet whilst digestive issues are common too. These are brought on by pressure in the abdomen as the baby grows causing heartburn and nausea. Breathing difficulties are caused by the expansion of the uterus applying pressure on the diaphragm. This frequently leads to pain in the chest and ribs.
The good news is osteopathy can help to address all of these symptoms.
I got away with it with my first daughter but second time round I was in agony with my back and legs from quite early on. However my weekly visits to Cecile were pure morphine from then on and made a fantastic difference to me.
With six weeks to go I really suffered with my breathing to the extent I was having panic attacks which made things worse. My GP recommended Touch2Heal in Ashford and I have to say Sharron made a massive difference. After two sessions I felt more relaxed and I certainly didn’t get any more attacks.
I went to see Sharron in Ashford because both my ankles were swollen like balloons and really painful. Once she started working on them the swelling reduced considerably and was far less painful. It didn’t go completely but I found the pain much more manageable and I didn’t have to take any pain killers which was a bonus.
From month five everything was hurting me. My friend Hannah suggested I see Cecile Kiener at The Mason Clinic. What a transformation! Cecile made such a difference to me in just a few sessions. She also suggested a few exercises I try between sessions and they really helped too. If your expecting and are in pain, do yourself a favour, go and see Cecile.