Back Pain and pelvic girdle pain during Pregnancy

Osteopathy is an effective non-invasive (non-drug) treatment for back and pelvic pain during pregnancy

osteopathy and the pregnant woman

Osteopathic treatment through pregnancy is a wonderfully gentle way of helping the body adapt to the changes which are taking place. The safety of mother and baby is the osteopath’s first concern. At a time when medication is not recommended, the osteopathic hands-on treatment provides the answer to many women’s back pain.

After a thorough assessment, osteopathic treatment may help to relieve the aches and pains caused by growth in size of the baby and the accommodation of the mother’s body to this. The osteopath employs a variety of gentle techniques to ease supporting muscles and ligaments.

Osteopathic treatment decreases the inflammation of ligaments and muscles that can cause pain during pregnancy. The osteopath gently improves mobility of the spine. This can be done successfully by soft-tissue massage, gentle articulation and mobilization of the joints of the spine and stretching of the muscles in spasm surrounding the spine.

Osteopathic treatment enables the patient to get back on their feet quickly. The gentle manual treatment provided by the osteopath reduces the muscle spasm, inflammation, and nerve pressure, the primary pain producers.

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pelvic pain in a pregnant woman

The Role of Osteopathy in the Management of pelvic girdle pain (Symphysolysis) in Pregnant Women

Pelvic girdle pain, also known as symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD), is a condition characterized by pain and instability in the pelvic region, specifically the symphysis pubis joint which is above the pubic bone. This condition can significantly impact a pregnant woman’s quality of life and ability to carry out daily activities like walking. With pain experienced on every step.

Causes of pelvic girdle pain:

During pregnancy, the body undergoes numerous hormonal and biomechanical changes to accommodate the growing fetus. One of these changes involves the softening of ligaments due to the hormone relaxin, which allows for increased flexibility in the pelvic joints. This enables the baby’s head to pass through the mother’s pelvis. However, in some cases, this increased mobility can lead to excessive movement and misalignment of the symphysis pubis joint, resulting in pelvic girdle pain. Therefore whenever there is a shearing force through the pelvis eg with every step during walking, the mother experiences excrutiating pain.

How Can Osteopathy Help Pelvic Girdle Pain?

Osteopathy is a form of complementary medicine that emphasizes the importance of the skeleton and musculoskeletal system in maintaining overall health and well-being. Osteopaths utilize their extensive knowledge in anatomy and orthopedics to evaluate and treat pelvic girdle pain in pregnant women.

Here are several ways in which osteopathy can assist in the management of this condition:

1. Comprehensive Assessment: Osteopaths conduct a thorough biomechanical assessment to identify the underlying causes and contributing factors of pelvic girdle pain. They consider factors such as postural imbalances, joint misalignments, muscle imbalances, and altered biomechanics. This comprehensive evaluation enables the osteopath to develop an individualized treatment plan to cure pelvic girdle pain.

2. Manual Techniques: Osteopathic treatment typically involves a range of gentle, hands-on manual techniques to restore joint function and reduce soft tissue tension in the body. Osteopaths may use techniques such as soft tissue massage, myofascial release, joint articulation, and gentle stretching exercises to relieve tension and improve joint function in the pelvic area. The osteopath minimizes the shearing force around the symphysis pubis; thereby relieving the pain experienced during walking.

3. Local to the pelvic girdle pain: The osteopath promotes pelvic stabilization: Osteopaths focus on stabilizing the pelvic region to reduce pain and increase stability. They may use techniques to address muscle tighness, strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, and provide support to the ligaments surrounding the symphysis pubis joint. These approaches can help alleviate strain on the joint and improve overall pelvic biomechanics.

4. how will an osteopath take into account the surrounding interconnected joints?

When treating pelvic girdle pain, an osteopath understands the importance of considering the surrounding interconnected joints in the pelvic region. The symphysis pubis joint, where symphysolysis occurs, is just one component of a complex network of joints that work together to support pelvic stability and function. Taking into account these interconnected joints allows the osteopath to provide comprehensive and effective treatment.

Here are some ways in which an osteopath considers the surrounding joints:


a. Sacroiliac Joint (SIJ) Assessment: The sacroiliac joint is located between the sacrum (the triangular bone at the base of the spine) and the ilium (part of the pelvic bone). Dysfunction or misalignment in the SIJ can contribute to symphysolysis or exacerbate its symptoms. Osteopaths assess the SIJ to identify any imbalances or restrictions that may be affecting the pelvic region. They employ techniques such as gentle mobilization, manipulation, or muscle energy techniques to restore proper alignment and function of the Sacroiliac joints.Restricted Sacroiliac joints will cause and increased shearing at the symphysis pubis as a compensation. It is therefore essential that the SI joints function well.

b. Lower back Evaluation: The lumbar spine, which consists of the lower vertebrae, plays a crucial role in providing stability to the pelvic region. Osteopaths assess the lumbar spine for any misalignments, restrictions, or imbalances that may be contributing to pelvic instability or impacting the symphysis pubis joint. By addressing any issues in the lumbar spine, osteopaths aim to restore overall pelvic biomechanics and alleviate strain on the symphysis pubis joint.

c. Hip Joint Assessment: The hip joint is another integral part of the pelvic region that can influence the function and stability of the symphysis pubis joint. Osteopaths evaluate the hip joint for restrictions, that may contribute to symphysolysis. They use techniques such as joint mobilization, muscle stretching, and strengthening exercises to optimize hip joint function and alleviate stress on the symphysis pubis joint.

d. Knee and Ankle Joints Consideration: While not directly connected to the symphysis pubis joint, the knee and ankle joints can indirectly affect the overall biomechanics of the lower extremities, including the pelvic region. Osteopaths assess these joints to identify any issues that may impact pelvic stability. By addressing any dysfunctions in the knee and ankle joints, osteopaths aim to restore proper alignment and function, which can positively influence the symphysis pubis joint.

e. Whole-Body Integration: Osteopathy recognizes the interconnectedness of the body as a whole. Osteopaths understand that dysfunction in one area can have repercussions throughout the body, including the pelvic region. They take a comprehensive approach to treatment, considering the interplay between the pelvis, spine, and other regions of the body. By addressing overall posture, movement patterns, and structural imbalances, osteopaths aim to restore balance and promote optimal functioning not only in the surrounding joints but also throughout the entire body.

f. Postural Education: Osteopaths play a crucial role in educating pregnant women about optimal posture and body mechanics during daily activities. They provide guidance on maintaining proper alignment while standing, sitting, lifting, and engaging in exercises. This education empowers women to adopt strategies that reduce stress on the symphysis pubis joint and alleviate symptoms.

Pelvic girdle pain can significantly impact the quality of life of pregnant women, affecting their mobility, comfort, and overall quality of life. Osteopathy offers a holistic approach to address this condition, providing comprehensive assessment, manual techniques, pelvic stabilization, postural education. By focusing on the musculoskeletal system and restoring balance in the body, osteopathy can help pregnant women manage pelvic girdle pain, reduce pain, improve function, and enhance their overall experience of pregnancy without the use of drugs or injection. It is essential for individuals experiencing pelvic girdle pain to consult with a qualified osteopath for guidance and care tailored to their specific needs.

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