An increase in aches and pains is common in pregnancy due to the hormones that are produced to relax the joints in preparation for labour. Additionally, the change of posture that is associated with a progressing pregnancy puts increased strain on the back leading to lower back pain in the later stages of pregnancy.
Equally, labour and birth can be traumatic for a new mother, resulting in tearing and stretching and the massage techniques that osteopaths employ can both speed up healing and relax tired, over-worked muscles.
Throughout your pregnancy you may find that visits to an osteopath will help to loosen any stiffness in your joints caused by a reduced exercise regime by using a variety of rotation and joint movement techniques.
SPD (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction – pubic pain) is a fairly common and uncomfortable condition which can manifest in the latter stages of pregnancy. The relaxed state of the joints leads to instability and imbalance which can cause pain when moving. An osteopath can manipulate the area and restore balance, easing the discomfort.
Oedema (fluid retention) is yet another symptom of advancing pregnancy, occurring most regularly in the hands and feet. In many cases this is unsightly rather than painful, however the appearance and any discomfort can be alleviated by applying drainage techniques to the affected area, encouraging the fluid to drain away, releasing any built-up pressure.
Other common pregnancy complaints include haemorrhoids and constipation – for which a pregnant woman once again has a massive influx of hormones to thank. An osteopath can employ various techniques to improve the functionality of different areas of the body to encourage movement and circulation, helping to restore proper function and ease or reduce the symptoms.