Pregnancy can be a wonderful time in a woman’s life. Not only does it herald change to your family life, but it can be a time of great reflection. The physical side of pregnancy can vary. You hear about those who go through pregnancy with no morning sickness and no pain, the whole thing is just a breeze. Lucky them. Most pregnancies will bring both positive and some negative physical symptoms.
As an osteopath, the most common condition that presents in pregnant women would have to be pelvic or sacroiliac (SI) instability. This is characterised by persistent pain at either the sacroiliac joints in the lower back or pain at the pubic junction. The cause of this is generally twofold. Firstly, during pregnancy a woman’s hormones will change, with the release of one in particular called relaxin, which as its name suggests, relaxes ligaments so that the body can make room for the growing baby by pushing out the pelvis and hips, which eventually will allow the baby through the birth canal and in the meantime gives that characteristic pregnant waddle. This hormone peaks at around 14 weeks and clinically women will seek treatment at around 16-20 weeks.
Secondly, different forces placed upon the pelvis can also have an effect. These can be due to everyday activities, such as lifting a young child or carrying shopping bags, even from getting out of your car incorrectly. With the ligaments of your pelvis and spine being more relaxed, these simple activities that never caused you pain before, can now cause problems. Left untreated, this condition can continue to be a problem throughout the whole pregnancy and lead to the pregnant woman to being bedridden.
So how can osteopathy help? Firstly, it’s a big help to understand the number of conditions that pregnancy can cause. Then, depending on your condition, your osteopath should be able to help with instability be realigning your pelvis and spine, prescribing exercises to strengthen these areas and maybe suggest wearing a brace to help support the pelvis.
If you would like a chat, feel free to contact Inlign Osteopathy.