The human bodies ability to cope with change never ceases to amaze me. There is no better example of this than pregnancy. Though women are perfectly designed to carry children, more often than not it, pregnancy comes with a few aches and pains.
Osteopathy is a holistic manual therapy that recognises the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions. For this very reason, it is an ideal therapy for helping women cope with the pregnancy symptoms and physical challenges of pregnancy.
Whenever I treat a mum-to-be, my goal isn’t just to provide pain relief. My goal is to help each woman’s body be adaptable and dynamically balanced throughout pregnancy. This approach has the effect of minimising pain and discomfort but it also optimises the structure and function of the body in preparation for labour.
The most common conditions that pregnant women seek relief for are back pain, neck pain and pelvic pain. But osteopathy can help address a huge range of pregnancy symptoms including the mechanical strains that may develop in pregnancy and can contribute to reflux, shortness of breath, carpal tunnel syndrome and fluid retention.
I’m often asked ‘when is the best time to commence treatment?’ The answer is ‘the earlier the better’, and that means even prior to conception if possible. Pregnancy aches and pains are most likely to arise in areas of the body that have been previously strained or areas that already aren’t functioning at an optimum level. By addressing these areas prior to the mechanical changes of pregnancy occurring, we have the best chance of minimising pain and discomfort. It is then simply a matter of maintaining a good pattern throughout the pregnancy, rather than trying to fix a bad one already under increased strain.
That said, no matter at what stage you start treatment, there is always something we can do to increase mobility, relieve pain and improve function.