Pregnancy is experienced differently by all expecting parents. Sometimes pain can be associated and the below are common presentations Osteopaths can help with during pregnancy.
There are many causes of headaches and most people will have experienced a headache prior to falling pregnant. In relation to pregnancy headaches may be caused by (but not excluded to) hormonal changes, increased blood volume, dehydration, stress, fatigue, nausea and vomiting. Headaches may also be a symptom of pre-eclampsia (elevated blood pressure) so it is important to seek advice if you are experiencing headaches during your pregnancy.
Pelvic Pain (Pubic Symphysis or Sacroiliac Joint)
Hormone changes cause softening of joint cartilage and increased laxity of ligaments which support our joints. This is necessary to for joints to widen and create space for the growing uterus, however it does place more stress through our joints, particularly the pelvic joints. Increases in weight can further add to this stress.
For more information read our previous blog https://parkdaleosteo.com.au/2021/12/09/pelvicpainandpregnancy/
Upper back/rib pain
Postural changes are more common during the later stages of pregnancy due to the shift in centre of gravity and the compensatory changes that occur to make you more stable when upright. As the size of the uterus grows and the breasts enlarge the upper back becomes more rounded placing more pressure on the ribs (front and back) as well as the joints and muscles of the spine.
Wrist pain (Carpal Tunnel)
During pregnancy the body increases fluid retention through vasodilation and changes in hormones. The median nerve travels from the neck, through the upper limb and into hand via the carpal tunnel to supply local tissues. Increased fluid within this area can lead to tissue edema which can cause compression of the median nerve and therefore pain.
Foot Pain (Plantar Fasciitis)
Increased body weight and ligamentous changes (as mentioned) often lead to a reduction in arch height within the foot. This can change how forces are spread across the foot and lead to increased pressure and pain.
Hip Pain (Greater Trochanteric pain Syndrome)
This refers to pain originating from structures around the hip including tendons and bursa. Pain in these structures again arises from hormonal changes, changes in pelvic anatomy and increased weight that caused more stress on local tissues.
If you are experiencing any on the above reach out! Osteopathy is a safe and effective form of treatment during pregnancy, we would love to help. Stay tuned for part 2.