Osteopathy recognises and facilitates the important link between the body’s structure and the way it functions. This concept is of particular importance during pregnancy. The nine transformative months highlight changes to the mother’s body, ranging from enlargement of the uterus, shifts in the centre of gravity and alterations in gait patterns. While these physical changes are normal, for many women this results in pain.
• 1 in 4 pregnant women experience pelvic girdle pain (PGP).
• 60% of pregnant women experience mild to moderate pain.
• 20% of pregnant women experience severe pain.
• 1 in 10 women continue to experience PGP after birth.
“[The pelvis] is the crossroads of the body, the architectural centre of the body, the meeting place of the locomotive apparatus, the rest place of the torso, the temple of the reproductive organs and the abode of the new life’s development”
– Dr Fred Mitchell Senior.
The main postural changes occurring during pregnancy are highlighted in the diagrams below:
Early and late postural changes during pregnancy. Visceral and Obstetric Osteopathy p. 289 by Caroline Stone
Common conditions our Osteopaths treat during pregnancy include:
• Back pain
• Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) including Sacroiliac Joint + Pubic Symphysis Pain
• Neuralgias including Sciatic Nerve + Pudendal Nerve Pain
• Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
What to expect from Osteopathic treatment during pregnancy
At Kinematics, we treat women throughout all stages of pregnancy and assist in preparing your body for an arduous labour. How we help:
• Pain education
• Address cavity dynamics + promote fluidity of movement
• Address + support alterations in gait patterns
• Home Exercise Program targeting mobility + building strength throughout your pregnancy + to prepare you for labour
• Education on pelvic floor + safe lower abdominal exercises antenatal + postnatal
• Education on sleeping + breastfeeding ergonomics
• Provide ongoing support throughout your pregnancy + postnatal journey
Is it safe to have Osteopathic treatment during Pregnancy?
Our osteopaths are knowledgeable with routine antenatal and postnatal appointments for women across the private and public system. They work alongside other health care professionals to ensure you are feeling supported, informed and empowered during your pregnancy.
Evidence to support the use of Osteopathy during pregnancy:
• Osteopathic manual treatment in conjunction with exercise + education significantly reduces disability, improves lumbo-pelvic pain + improves physical function.
• Osteopathic treatment is effective in reducing pain + improving function for postnatal women.
• Osteopathic treatment for back pain + related symptoms during pregnancy is safe for the entire pregnancy + prevents worsening of low back + pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy.
Postnatal Osteopathy Services
Though the physical and hormonal changes to the mother’s body persist well after birth, the postnatal period is essentially a time for bonding and connecting with your baby. The postnatal period can be a challenging time for mothers and partners as they try to find some routine in their daily lives amongst all the chaos and with little sleep. “Eat, (baby) sleeps, poop repeat”.
Our osteopaths at Kinematics assist women recovering from both vaginal and cesarean deliveries. After your delivery, our osteopaths will undertake a comprehensive assessment of your musculoskeletal alignment. Through gentle hands-on treatment, we will continue to help your body adapt to the changes throughout this recovery period.
We will also educate mother’s on optimal breastfeeding ergonomics, gentle stretches and pelvic floor re-training exercises.
While it is usually recommended to wait until your six week Obstetrician check up before returning to physical activity, it is safe and encouraged to have a postnatal Osteopathic assessment within the first month after delivery, especially if you are in pain.
Common conditions our Osteopaths treat during the postnatal period include:
• Persistent Lower Back + Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP)
• Breastfeeding related postural pain including neck, shoulder, upper back + rib pain
• De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis (Inflammation of the tendon sheath)
• Biomechanical compensations as a result of abdominal separation (DRAM)
We understand that everyone’s pregnancy journey is different. For further information regarding treatment throughout your pregnancy, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Rachel would love the opportunity to work with you at Kinematics.
By Rachel Natoli
Osteopath, Women’s Health + Pilates Instructor | Kinematics Health + Performance
Rachel is at Kinematics Monday – Thursday with both early morning and after hour availability. She is currently undertaking her Masters of Women’s Health at the University of NSW.