Osteopathy and pregnancy

We regularly treat pregnant women at The Bower Mount Clinic with a variety of symptoms ranging from low to mid back pain to pelvic girdle pain (including sacro-iliac and/or pubic symphysis dysfunction), rib pain, sciatica as well as the general discomfort of later pregnancy.  As the baby grows in the womb, the extra weight can mean pregnant women are more likely to be prone to lower back pain. As breast weight increases, a woman’s upper back may also give her cause for complaint. Many different and gentle  treatment techniques can be used including soft-tissue massage, joint articulation, muscle energy techniques and Cranial Osteopathic approaches. The summer months seem particularly busy as many babies are born at this time of year.

The National Council for Osteopathic for Osteopathic Research (NCOR) report discussed the Osteopathic management of patients during pregnancy.(see link below)   The key findings of the report were:


  • One of the most frequently cited symptoms of pregnancy seen by osteopaths is low back pain.
  • Other symptoms include heartburn (for which there is acknowledgement of benefits of osteopathic treatment but currently little evidence), carpal tunnel syndrome, sacroiliac pain, mid thoracic pain and gastrointestinal symptoms.

Osteopathic Studies

  • One study has found evidence that pregnant patients who received osteopathic care experienced improved outcomes in labour and delivery compared to those who didn’t.
  • Another study has shown that osteopathic manipulative technique may help to improve or stop the deterioration of back-specific functioning in the third trimester of pregnancy.
  • Non-supine positions during labour and delivery have been found to have clinical advantage

There are a number of other interesting points raised in the NCOR report. Click on the link to access it in full – https://www.ncor.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Osteopathy-and-Pregnancy.pdf

Many mothers who have benefited from osteopathic treatment at The Bower Mount Clinic bring their babies in for treatment too. Gentle cranial osteopathic treatment tailored to the babies needs seems to help soothe and relax babies – a benefit for both child and mother alike!