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Valentina Carlile Osteopata
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  • Writer's pictureValentina Carlile DO



Pregnancy can be a truly wonderful time for the expecting couple. During pregnancy, a woman's body goes through many structural and physiological changes. Often, however, pain is associated with these changes and can persist for several months after giving birth. Fortunately, most pregnancy-related low back pain resolves within 3 months of giving birth. Many medications that would commonly be used to manage these problems are not considered safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding. In addition to this, it must be considered that the pregnant woman or already a mother may not want to take drugs for the safety of the child's development. Prevention and conservative care including physical exercise therefore become a very important aspect in this period and mothers can turn to natural treatment methods including massage and acupuncture.

Osteopathic Treatment is an important treatment option for patients with lower back pain and other pregnancy-related disorders since it is a non-invasive approach that works to maximize the body's dynamics. Since its inception in the 1800s, osteopathy has been of great help with pregnancies. At that time, osteopaths were used to working in this sector, for example with techniques for very strong morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum), or for postpartum depression and other disorders that are widely described in the osteopathic literature.

Working for some time in the United States, I had the opportunity to treat several pregnant patients, even in the labor room, which is currently prohibited by us. Many of these pregnant patients came for pain. Osteopathic treatments have the ability to also focus on prevention, to maintain the right flexibility that allows for less stress development.

This allows the body to adapt more effectively to the changes associated with pregnancy, especially structural ones. In addition to this, it should be noted that some of the patients required osteopathic intervention during labor to help them not feel the pain, but above all to help their hips change their position so that the baby could take his path through the birth canal.

A 2010 study (others followed later) observed Osteopathic Treatment during pregnancy and demonstrated that it can have significant benefits in slowing or stopping lower back pain in the third trimester of pregnancy. In most cases, the lower back pain that worsened in the untreated group did so much less in the group that received Osteopathic Treatment. It should also be noted that there is empirical evidence that Osteopathic Treatments can reduce labor times, medications used during labor, the incidence of forceps use, and nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

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