As your baby grows the abdomen expands causing an increase of weight placed on the front of your body. This changes how you walk, move and carry yourself especially towards the end of the pregnancy, affecting your posture and centre of gravity.
As the abdomen grows your centre of gravity moves forwards which:
- Places more weight on the front of your feet and your foot arches, causing then to widen and flatten leading to aching and swollen feet.
- Places extra stress in the long back muscles to prevent you from falling forward, keep your shoulders back and lift your abdomen so you are able to walk, leading to low back pain.
- Places more strain on the upper shoulders to keep them pulled back, alongside with the extra weight from breast tissue growth, leading to achy shoulders and the area between your shoulder blades.
- Places compressional strain on the neck as your neck falls forward, especially if you work in front of a computer all day, leading to headaches and pain behind the eyes.
- Places pressure on the sacral bone and buttock muscles as the back arches forwards, leading to a waddling posture and achy bottom muscles.
Postural problems mean that towards the end of the day you may experience aching legs and feet, headaches, neck and shoulder pain and back and buttock aches and pains.
What does Lower Earley Osteopaths do to help?
Firstly we examine:
– How is the patient standing? Has that changed with the pregnancy; does the lower back arch more, are the feet taking more of a stretch, are the shoulders slumping forward with breast growth?
– Is the pelvis balanced, twisted, rotated?
– Is the bump high up into the diaphragm, low into the pelvis, more left or right?
Posture: As the pregnancy develops and the bump grows the women’s weight pulls forward placing extra stress into the balls of the feet. Engaging the core and pelvic muscles and actively taking the weight back towards the heel of your feet, softening the knees, takes the stress off the lower back and feet.
Rollering the feet: As more weight is placed on the arch of the foot, it can cause it to flatten and become tight. Using a golf ball on the underside of the foot can help pump away the extra fluid pooling from the day and release the tension in the muscles here.
Thank you to my lovely patient modelling in the photographs who was 28 weeks pregnant and now has a happy healthy little baby boy.
This is a small list of areas that we treat during pregnancy. If you have any questions regarding your symptoms and whether you would be suitable for Osteopathic Treatment please contact Emma on 0118 9614072.
Osteopaths will always ensure that patients and seek appropriate medical advice and treatment alongside any osteopathic treatment, and will refer patients back to their GP if a problem is not suitable for osteopathic treatment.