Is Osteopathy ‘Safe’ in the Early Stages of Pregnancy?

Seeking Osteopathy during all stages of pregnancy is very common, due to the many musculoskeletal and biomechanical changes that occur throughout the body. 

During the different stages of pregnancy, your body grows and changes as it adapts to your growing bub. A hormone called Relaxin is released, which allows the ligaments in your body to stretch and accommodate your growing foetus. Sometimes, the body is able to adjust to these changes, and minimal pain or discomfort is felt. In other cases, the body can struggle to keep up with these fast changes, and you may start to feel some tension, stiffness, or pain in various areas of the body. Any pre-existing musculoskeletal problems may worsen due to the increasing load on your body, or you may notice new aches and pains that you haven’t had before.

Common complaints throughout pregnancy that can be treated by an Osteopath:

  • Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (otherwise known as ‘PRPGP’, which includes sacroiliac joint pain and anterior pubic region pain)
  • Headaches
  • Neck and upper back tension 
  • Rib pain
  • Lower back pain 
  • Carpal tunnel
  • De Quervain’s (wrist tenosynovitis) 
  • Reflux associated pain

Is Osteopathic treatment safe for me when I’m pregnant?

Yes, absolutely Osteopathic treatment is safe for you while you’re pregnant. Osteopathic treatment during pregnancy often involves soft-tissue massage, gentle joint mobilisation, stretching, muscle energy techniques (MET), and indirect gentle techniques – all with the aim of gently improving your range of motion, and easing the levels of pain and tightness you may be experiencing. We also may tape you using rock-tape – most pregnant women love this as an adjunct to our hands-on treatment!

There are other firmer hands-on techniques that we won’t do in the first trimester of your pregnancy (such as high-velocity low-amplitude, otherwise known as “cracking of the joints” through the spine), as they come with higher risks in every individual and less risk put onto you and your bub, the better. 

Once you are in your second/third trimester, these techniques are much safer to perform however if you would prefer not to have them, that’s ok! There are plenty of other techniques we can use to get you pain-free. Osteopaths always take into consideration your safety before treating you with any hands-on technique, especially with the techniques which are of higher risk. 

I can’t lay on my stomach, how will my Osteopath treat me?

During your early stages of pregnancy, before your belly begins to grow, it is still safe to receive treatment when laying face down, as long as you are comfortable to do so. Osteopaths will avoid placing too much pressure through your mid-lower backs to avoid any discomfort. Usually, the 10-12 week mark is the timeframe for when women are able to lay face down for treatment, however, this may change depending on the size of your belly. Many women prefer to avoid laying face-down from the very beginning of their treatment. This is absolutely fine, as we can treat you side-lying, face-up, and even seated if you prefer. 

Here at Total Balance, we also have a pregnancy pillow that has a cut-out in it for your growing bump, which allows you to lie face down without any discomfort and without putting your baby in danger. 

Osteopathic treatment can be a great way to ease any aches or pains that you may be experiencing during your pregnancy. If you have any questions about how we can help you during your pregnancy journey, give us a call on (03) 97738085. 

Dr. Sarah Duggan (osteopath at Total Balance Health)

DISCLAIMER: THIS BLOG POST IS AN EDUCATIONAL TOOL ONLY.  IT IS NOT A REPLACEMENT FOR MEDICAL ADVICE FROM A REGISTERED AND QUALIFIED DOCTOR OR HEALTH PROFESSIONAL.

ANY OTHER QUESTIONS NOT ANSWERED HERE? GET IN TOUCH WITH US! PHONE (03) 97738085.

 

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