We’re often asked: ‘How do you treat pregnant women…….What do you actually do?’
The answer is simple; we treat pregnant women the same way as all the rest of our patients, with a few alterations. Pregnant women respond quicker to our techniques, due to the chemical and hormonal changes, so we listen to the tissues so as not to over-treat and alter a few technique positions as the bump grows. During pregnancy we see the abdomen grow as the uterus expands, this places extra stresses and strains on the body from the change in body shape and posture. Osteopathy is a safe treatment involving no drugs; instead it works to relieve the underlying muscle and joint restrictions causing the pain.
Aches and pains are common during pregnancy, we treat a variety of complaints including:
– Neck and shoulder tension; from postural changes and breast development.
– Low Back Pain including Sciatica; from change in weight bearing.
– Sacro-iliac and symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD); from postural changes and the release of Relaxin.
– Digestive issues, nausea and heartburn; from abdominal pressure during growth spurts.
– Breathing difficulties including chest and rib pain; from diaphragm tightness and compression as the uterus expands.
– Aching hands and feet; from fluid retension.
The body not only undergoes physical changes but also hormonal changes, one key hormone is Relaxin which as the name suggests relaxes and softens ligaments. This allows the uterus to expand and prompts the joints in the pelvis to relax and open for delivery. Unfortunately Relaxin is not specific and softens other joints besides the pelvis making the body more vulnerable to strain and injury during pregnancy. On the plus side Relaxin increases pregnant women’s ability to heal quicker, we help utilise this during our treatment plan and offer advice on stabilisation.
We also provide monthly maintenance appointments to treat and discuss any concerns that arise during treatment. We offer advice on relaxation techniques leading up to and including the birth and work with you to loosen the pelvis and tensions in the lower back and abdomen to help you relax and prepare for labour. We provide realistic advice with exercises and supports to make pregnancy the enjoyable process it should be.
For further information on Relaxin and the body’s development through each trimesters check out our Pregnancy Newsletter and Blogs in the side bar of our Pregnancy page, or contact Emma on 0118 9614072.