Osteopathy is a safe form of manual therapy that can be utilised to help alleviate musculoskeletal complaints during and post pregnancy. Throughout pregnancy many changes occur to the body, including a shift in weight, increased pressure on the pelvis, ligament laxity, swelling and general load on the spine, neck, and shoulders. Lower back and pelvic pain being amongst the most common complaint in pregnant women, with approximately 60% of women reporting lower back pain at some stage during their pregnancy. As many pain-relieving medications are contraindicated during pregnancy, Osteopathy can be drug free alternative approach.
Osteopaths take a thorough medical history and consider all aspects of the individual including general health, previous injuries, surgeries, and lifestyle factors that may be relevant to their presenting complaint. Osteopaths work alongside Obstetricians, GPs, midwives, Acupuncturists and other allied health professions to provide a patient centred approach to care. Treatment is tailored to the individual, it may include stretching, massage, mobilisation and manipulation, appropriate patient positioning and use of a pregnancy pillow can ensure the patient is kept comfortable throughout.
Yes! Osteopaths are qualified to provide education on bracing and support (if appropriate), sleep posture and health, lifting, exercise and rehab advice for pregnant women.
Post birth, mothers may sometimes experience discomfort caused by repetitive postures and movements, such as lifting, feeding positions, sleeping positions and post birth musculoskeletal complaints. Whilst it is only natural for them to put their focus on their newborn, it is also important for them to recognise that they too need care.
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Fitzgerald, C. M., Bennis, S., Marcotte, M. L., Shannon, M. B., Iqbal, S., & Adams, W. H. (2022). The impact of a sacroiliac joint belt on function and pain using the active straight leg raise in pregnancy‐ related pelvic girdle pain. PM&R, 14(1), 19-29.
Licciardone, J., Buchanan, S., Hensel, K., King, H.,Fulda, K., & Stoll, S. (2010). Osteopathic manipulative treatment of back pain and related symptoms during pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 43.
Origo, D., & Tarantino, A. G. (2019). Osteopathic manipulative treatment in pudendal neuralgia: A case report. Journal of bodywork and movement therapies, 23(2), 247-250.
Moloney, S., Talsma, J., & Pierce-Talsma, S. (2019). Osteopathic manipulative medicine considerations in pelvic pain. Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, 119(11), e42-e43.
Morimoto, K., Harrington, A., Nelson, C., & Loveless, B. (2022). Osteopathic approach to sacroiliac joint pain in pregnant patients. Journal of Osteopathic Medicine.
Wang, S.-M., Dezinno, P., Maranets, I., Berman, M.,Caldwell-Andrews, A., & Kain, Z. (2004). Low Back Pain During Pregnancy: Prevalence, Risk Factors, and Outcomes. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 65-70.
Further information regarding osteopathy can be found at https://www.osteopathy.org.au