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.
We all know how much a woman’s body changes structurally while pregnant. And it’s usually clear that such change comes with a few aches and pains. 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 will have 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 problems that can be developed in pregnancy that 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 and relieve pain. Even post-natal.