Bassinet or crib? Jungle or forest animal décor? Eagerly awaiting baby’s arrival or struggling to cope with back pain?
Expectant moms have a lot of decisions to make when preparing for a new baby but choosing to live with debilitating pain doesn’t have to be one of them. It’s common knowledge that pregnant women can expect some degree of pain and discomfort during pregnancy. For the safety of the growing baby, these moms are also limited in what home remedies they can use to treat their symptoms, which can make it even more frustrating. If you are dealing with this, you are not alone: nearly 70% of pregnant women will experience significant lower back and pelvic pain.
However, there are therapeutic treatment options available that can provide relief for your lower back and pelvic pain more effectively than a not-too-warm bath and time with your favorite body pillow. Osteopathic manipulation treatment (OMT)—which is safe for mom and baby—is offered at In2it Medical, and it can help reduce your pain and improve your body’s function during pregnancy and may even improve post-delivery recovery so you can focus on your new bundle of joy.
What is causing your pain during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, the mother’s body undergoes a number of structural and physiological changes to accommodate a growing baby. These include:
· The hormone relaxin is produced, which (among other things) allows your ligaments to stretch, placing more pressure on your muscles and joints.
· The position of the pelvis changes, causing extra stretching of related muscles and the sacroiliac joints, leading to lower back and pelvic pain.
· Your stomach grows with the baby, changing your center of gravity and adding weight to your frame, which adds stress to your joints and muscles.
· Blood production increases, along with water and sodium retention, and blood pressure can decrease.
· Sciatic pain can also develop as the baby moves lower into the pelvis and adds pressure to the surrounding structures and nerves.
Although these changes are a normal part of pregnancy, they can also seriously limit your daily activities, especially when paired with the fatigue, gastrointestinal complaints, and reduced mobility that often accompany pregnancy as well.
How can OMT help?
This is where OMT comes in. According to an article published in The Journal of the America Osteopathic Association, “The application of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) may improve and optimize physiologic function, which can alleviate somatic dysfunctions and improve quality of life for pregnant women. If OMT is applied from the beginning of pregnancy through delivery, these hemodynamic changes can be controlled so that they may continue to provide benefits to the fetus but also be cultivated to avoid harm to the pregnant patient.”1 In short, OMT can help make all the pregnancy-related changes manageable rather than debilitating.
So, what exactly is pregnancy-related osteopathic manipulation treatment? It is the therapeutic application of manually guided forces by an Osteopathic Physician to improve physiologic function and/or support homeostasis that has been altered by your pregnancy. Your doctor will move your muscles and joints using techniques including stretching, gentle pressure, and resistance. For additional information about general osteopathic manipulation, click here.
As Osteopathic Physicians, both Dr. Chappell and Dr. Edwards at In2it Medical are specially trained in osteopathic manipulation treatment. Dr. Edwards—who is an Assistant Professor of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine at Rocky Vista University in Ivins, Utah, when not seeing patients—also has extensive experience in providing OMT for pregnancy-related pain and discomfort. Early on in his practice, Dr. Edwards noted that many of his patient referrals came from a nearby OB/GYN clinic:
“Being pregnant results in similar complaints that I was seeing in my elite athletes. I have had great results providing natural and safe treatment for pregnant women in pain. I have also had the opportunity to provide postpartum care, immediately following labor and delivery, with excellent results while still in the hospital.”
Your pregnancy should be all about your excitement and anticipation as you prepare for your new baby, not struggling to make it through each day as you suffer from pregnancy-related back or pelvic pain. If pain is clouding your journey to parenthood, let In2it Medical help you find relief so you can focus on what matters the most.
1. Lavelle, John M. “Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment in Pregnant Women.” The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, June 2012, Vol. 112, 343-346.