First and foremost, if you’re reading this I guess it’s likely that you are in fact pregnant or may have just given birth – if so, congratulations from all of us here at Pakenham Osteopathy!
There’s no doubt that pregnancy is a beautiful thing and the hormonal and biomechanical changes that the female body undergoes throughout the process are nothing short of amazing. However, sometimes these changes can contribute to the development aches and pains in various areas of the body.
COMMON COMPLAINTS DURING/AFTER PREGNANCY
- Pelvic/lower back pain: during pregnancy, the body releases hormones that relax ligaments. This allows joints to move more freely and accommodate the baby throughout the pregnancy and birth. This increased movement can predispose to joint sprains, particularly of the lumbar spine, sacroiliac joints and pubic symphysis resulting in lower back/gluteal pain. Additionally, the gradual shift in your centre of gravity towards your toes may compress the joints of your lower back, leading to stiffness and discomfort.
- Lower limb (hips, knees and ankles) pain: your legs carry you everywhere, so it stands to reason that when you and your baby are getting bigger and more weight is being placed on your legs, discomfort can ensue. Lower limb pain can sometimes be referred from another area such as the lower back, which is why it’s important to seek appropriate advice and management.
- Neck/upper back & shoulder pain: this is particularly common after birth when you begin to breastfeed and carry your baby. Your shoulders have a tendency to round inwards and your head drifts forwards, contributing to tightness in the muscles of the chest, upper back and neck. This may lead to the development of certain conditions such as thoracic outlet syndrome, headaches and postural strains.
- Muscular aches and pains: during pregnancy, the muscles throughout your body are working a bit of overtime – you’re essentially getting a little workout whenever you’re on the move! With this can come general muscle fatigue and pain which our team at Pakenham Osteopathy can assist you with.
EXERCISE/REHABILITATION AFTER PREGNANCY
General exercise and rehabilitation may seem daunting and is likely the last thing on your mind after giving birth, but it’s often an integral part of your management plan. Your body is still undergoing changes after birth and it’s our job to ease you through this process and aid you in returning to full health as quickly as possible. Our osteopaths are trained in exercise rehabilitation and will tailor a program to suit your specific needs and achieve your goals.
With all these changes, pregnancy can be a challenging time for the body. Aches and pains are common, and it’s important not to panic if you do experience a niggle from time to time. However, being proactive about any complaints you may have is important in ensuring you maintain optimal health throughout and after your pregnancy.
So, what’s an osteopath and what can we do for you?
QUALIFICATIONS & TRAINING
Osteopaths have 5 years of University training under their belt where they learn to master the difficult task of assessing, diagnosing, treating and managing musculoskeletal injury.
THOROUGH HISTORY & ASSESSMENT
Initial consultations with our osteopaths are 60 minutes long to ensure your story is heard. Every person’s pain is different, so our osteopaths take the time to understand your history and the circumstances surrounding your pain. Our questioning is thorough, ensuring we can tailor an efficient assessment to pinpoint the cause of your pain and develop an individualised management plan based on your goals.
HANDS ON TREATMENT APPROACH
Pain is often the most common reason people seek osteopathic treatment. Therefore, there’s no surprise that osteopaths continue to employ a hands on approach to help decrease pain and get you moving better. There are a vast range of hands on techniques that an osteopath will use including:
- Soft tissue massage & stretching
- Joint mobilisation
- Joint manipulation
- Rigid and kinesio taping
- Dry needling
- Shockwave therapy
INDIVIDUALISED TREATMENT PLAN
We strongly believe that your understanding of your condition or pain plays an important part in your recovery. That is why we take the time to explain your pain and provide you with a written management plan outlining your diagnosis, why it has occurred, expected recovery time and anything else that is required to reach your goals.
Here at Pakenham Osteopathy, we believe in long term success and therefore adopt an holistic approach to your injury by not only treating your pain, but also addressing the root cause of your problem. This will reduce the likelihood of pain returning in the future so that you can live a healthy and active life moving forward.
SO WHY SHOULD I SEE AN OSTEOPATH FOR MY PAIN DURING PREGNANCY?
Everyone’s pain is different and everyone has different goals they aspire to achieve. We strive to treat the person, not just the injury. Whether your goal is to run marathons, muck around with the kids or enjoy your time in retirement, we take them very seriously (whilst always having a laugh in the treatment room at the same time!). These goals help us form the basis of our individualised management plan to ensure that together we are able to get you back doing the things that you love.