Medical Musings, Health Hypotheses & Therapeutic Thoughts
Dr. Edmund Bruce-Gardner
Apart from the constant tiredness, morning sickness, cravings, swelling, mood swings, and breathlessness, some not-small percentage of expectant mothers will also suffer from various aches and pains. These are most commonly experienced in the low back and pelvis, but (particularly in the later stages) will often be reported in the mid/upper back, thoracic cage (i.e. ribs), shoulders and neck.
To understand some of these issues, it is helpful to go back to a beginning. Not the beginning, of course!
I allude to this in my blogs on the shoulder, and the knee, in explaining why they so often develop similar issues in people all over the world, with very different lifestyles.
This is exacerbated by the increase in head size (due to our wonderful, complex, massive brains) that human babies developed over the course of our evolution.
The implications of some of these changes are more obvious, especially with regards to giving birth. However, what does this all mean with respect to pain and pregnancy?
The majority of breast changes also take place in the first half of pregnancy, and the increased weight can pull forwards, increasing the roundedness of the shoulders and upper back curve, and of the inwards curve in the bottom of the neck.
TL:DR pregnancy is a time of massive changes throughout your whole body.
How well you cope with these shifting stresses and strains determines how much discomfort you are likely to suffer.
Some of the structures in the body have been adapted on-the-fly to cope with the transition from walking on all fours to two legs.
Unfortunately the areas where this is most true are also fundamentally involved in pregnancy and childbirth.
By assessing just how your structure and function are compensating for each other, your osteopath can help to make this wonderful, exciting - but potentially uncomfortable - time as easy as possible.