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Benefits of Osteopathy during Pregnancy

Osteopathy can be a valuable therapy for women experiencing musculoskeletal problems during pregnancy. As the body changes during pregnancy, many women experience discomfort, pain, and restricted mobility. Osteopathic treatment can help address these issues by using gentle, manual techniques to improve the body's structure and function.




How can osteopathy help pregnant women?


One common issue that osteopathy can help with is back pain. The added weight of the growing baby can cause strain on the lower back, leading to pain and discomfort. Osteopathic treatment can help relieve this pain by reducing muscle tension, improving joint mobility, and addressing any imbalances in the body.


Another common issue during pregnancy is pelvic pain, which can be caused by a variety of factors including hormonal changes, joint laxity, and pressure on the pelvic floor. Osteopathic treatment can help address pelvic pain by releasing tension in the surrounding tissues, improving circulation, and supporting healthy pelvic alignment.


Osteopathy can also be helpful for women experiencing hip pain, which can be caused by changes in gait and posture during pregnancy. Osteopathic treatment can help improve joint mobility and muscle function, reducing pain and improving overall mobility.




Can osteopathy be helpful for birth preparation?


Yes, in several ways. Here are a few examples:


  1. Improving pelvic alignment: Osteopathic treatment can help optimize pelvic alignment and balance by releasing restrictions in the pelvis and surrounding muscles, ligaments, and connective tissue. This can help improve the mother's comfort during pregnancy, facilitate fetal positioning, and reduce the risk of complications during labor and delivery.

  2. Supporting optimal fetal positioning: Osteopathy can help support optimal fetal positioning by improving the mother's pelvic alignment and creating more space for the baby to move and align properly for birth. This can reduce the risk of complications during labor and delivery and improve the likelihood of a smooth, uncomplicated birth.

  3. Reducing tension and stress: Osteopathy can help reduce tension and stress in the mother's body, which can be helpful for both mother and baby during labor and delivery. A relaxed and calm mother can help facilitate the birth process and reduce the risk of complications.

  4. Promoting relaxation: Osteopathic treatment can help promote relaxation and reduce anxiety levels, which can be helpful for both mother and baby during labor and delivery. A relaxed mother is more likely to have a positive birth experience and a quicker recovery.

  5. Enhancing mobility and muscle function: Osteopathy can help improve joint mobility and muscle function, which can be helpful during labor and delivery. An optimally functioning body can facilitate a smoother and more efficient labor and delivery process.

In addition to these physical issues, osteopathy can also help address emotional and mental stress during pregnancy. Many women experience anxiety, stress, and mood changes during pregnancy, and osteopathy can help promote relaxation and reduce stress levels by improving overall wellbeing.


What does the science say?


Several studies have investigated the effects of osteopathy on pregnant women, with varying results. Here are a few examples:

  1. Reduction of pain: Several studies have reported that osteopathy is effective in reducing pain in pregnant women. For instance, a systematic review and meta-analysis of six studies on the effects of osteopathic manipulative treatment for low back and pelvic girdle pain during and after pregnancy found that OMT was effective in reducing pain intensity (Pohl et al., 2016). Similarly, a study on the effect of osteopathic treatment on chronic low back pain in pregnant women reported significant improvements in pain intensity and disability following osteopathic treatment (Lisi et al., 2013).

  2. Improved mobility: Osteopathy has also been found to improve functional mobility in pregnant women. For example, a randomized controlled trial on the effect of osteopathic manipulative treatment on pregnancy outcomes in women with pregnancy-related low back pain found that OMT was effective in improving functional mobility (Franke et al., 2015). Another study on the effect of osteopathic manipulative treatment for pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy reported significant improvements in functional mobility (Lalanne et al., 2020).

  3. Reduced need for medication: Osteopathy has also been found to reduce the need for medication during pregnancy and delivery. A study on the effects of osteopathic manipulative treatment on pregnancy and delivery outcomes reported a reduced need for analgesia during labor in the group that received osteopathic treatment (Sahin et al., 2017). Similarly, a randomized controlled trial on the effect of osteopathic treatment and standard obstetric care for pregnant women found that OMT reduced the use of analgesics during labor and delivery (Sherman et al., 2013).

  4. Improved pregnancy outcomes: Some studies have also reported improved pregnancy outcomes following osteopathy. For instance, a randomized controlled trial on the effect of osteopathic manipulative treatment on pregnancy outcomes in women with pregnancy-related low back pain reported a shorter duration of labor and fewer complications during delivery in the intervention group (Franke et al., 2015).


Conclusion


Overall, osteopathy can be a valuable therapy for women experiencing different problems during pregnancy. By improving the body's structure and function, osteopathy can help reduce pain, improve mobility, and promote overall health and wellbeing during this important time.


It is important to note that while osteopathy can be a helpful treatment option for pregnant women, it is not a substitute for prenatal care and should be used in conjunction with regular medical checkups and care from a qualified healthcare provider.


If you are pregnant and experiencing pain or discomfort, you may want to consider contacting us to receive help.










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