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Osteopathy in Pregnancy

Osteopathic treatment is safe and effective in pregnancy.
Key messages from the National Council for Osteopathic Research Summary Report 2012:

  • 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 osteopathic treatment but currently little evidence), carpal tunnel syndrome, sacroiliac pain, mid-thoracic pain and gastrointestinal symptoms. 
  • Differential diagnosis for carpal tunnel syndrome should include diabetes and thyroid disease. 
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 advantages including increased perineal integrity, reduced vulvar oedema and reduced blood loss. 
  • It is still not established if higher levels of relaxin relate to a higher incidence of pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy; more studies have shown that there is no positive relationship. 
  • There is still a large gap of evidence in this subject area. 
For a comprehensive discussion of osteopathy in pregnancy download the following article (PDF):

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Copyright The General Osteopathic Council

Copyright The General Osteopathic Council