Pregnancy is a life-transforming experience with a myriad of physical, hormonal and emotional changes.
As the baby grows inside the uterus, the mother’s body needs to adapt. Each woman responds differently, depending on her previous history: past pregnancies and accidents may have affected the mechanics of the spine and pelvis. These factors along with the natural loosening of the ligaments in preparation for birth increase the chances of aches, pains and problems postpartum.
Women’s Health Osteopathy
Conditions which pregnant women commonly complain of include:
General muscular back pain
SPD (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction)
Sacro-iliac joint pain – pain in the lower back
Sciatic and leg pain associated with back pain
Rib and thoracic spine pain
Neck aches and headaches
Minor problems, especially those involving the back, may be the beginning of a lifetime of musculoskeletal difficulties. Many women with chronic back pain can often trace their own history to difficult labor and/or postpartum onset. During pregnancy, the laxity of the ligaments can produce sacral dysfunctions and pain for the woman. These dysfunctions worsen and are locked into malposition as the ligaments regain their normal rigidity postpartum.
After giving birth, the body has to recover from both the changes it made during pregnancy and from the effects of delivery. New mums may experience lower back, pelvic pain and pelvic floor trauma.
Women’s Health Conditions
Some of the most common Women’s Health Conditions we treat here at CBR Clinics are:
Piriformis syndrome is an common neuromuscular disorder that is caused when the piriformis muscle compresses the sciatic nerve. It is a common cause of buttock and posterior leg pain. Pain in these areas can begin spontaneously or after an injury. The symptoms are commonly seen in patients with other inflammatory conditions and in patients who sit for most of their work day.
How does it start?
The pain usually begins when the piriformis muscle becomes taut, tender, and contracted. This process causes a deep aching sensation in the midgluteal region that is sometimes associated with pain radiating down the posterior leg or up to the lower back. The tight piriformis may cause a nerve and vessel entrapment syndrome as a consequence of its close proximity to the sciatic nerve and surrounding vessels.
Piriformis syndrome may constitute as many as 6-8% of low back pain conditions associated with Sciatic Pain (Sciatica). Some patients experience symptoms in all five toes rather than in either lateral toes or medial toes, as is generally the case in patients with herniated lumbar discs. Pain in the gluteal area is the predominant symptom.
Pain, tingling or numbness in the buttock
Pain can run down the leg
Pain when climbing stairs
Pain while sitting for long periods
Lower Back Pain
It is more commonly seen in office workers, who sit at a desk for long hours, but it is also visible in sports people with specific under or over developed muscles. Lower back pain can originate from a weak lower back, weak or over developed abdominal muscles, tight hamstrings, weak gluteus muscles, or a combination of any of the above.
Exercise plays a great role in keeping the body strong and healthy. People who exercise have a tendency to develop or have experienced lower back pain before need to make sure they are working out all the core muscles (abdominals, upper and lower back, inner thighs, hips and gluteus) Together they keep all structures around the core healthy, supported and pain free, therefore they should be exercised evenly to avoid any imbalances.
Pilates is a great option for those wanting to strengthen their core muscles to prevent lower back pain from reoccuring. It comes from the principle that in order to attain control of your body you must have a starting place: the center (core muscles). It helps to create stability and build muscle strength, while shaping your body into better alignment.
Hip pain is not just felt in the hip itself. Some people may feel pain in the groin, lower back, or legs or from the muscle of the hip joint itself. This is ‘referred pain’, which is where pain experienced in one area of the body is actually generated in another region. It is important that referred pain is diagnosed correctly. Other related signs of hip problems, that should be reviewed by a doctor include:
Hip pain that persists beyond a few days
Hip pain that occurs at night, or while resting
Not being able to stand in one place for too long
Swelling of the hip or the thigh area
Pain from the hip joint is often felt in the groin. This may feel like a tightening or throbbing in the inner thigh. Pain over the outside of the hip is usually not caused by a hip joint problem, and is more commonly related to Trochateric Bursitis or a trapped nerve in the lower region of the back, causing lower back pain as a consequence.
Stiffness and grinding in the hip are typically symptoms of hip arthritis, which is a wearing away of the normal smooth cartilage within the hip joint. This can leave bone to grind against bone. Stiffness can also be experienced by patients who have childhood conditions that cause an abnormally shaped hip joint, such as Congenital Hip Dislocations (Dysplasia), or Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease.
A limited motion of the hip in normal activities can result from a damaged or deformed hip joint. For example, the degenerate bone and subsequent related pain from hip osteoarthritis often makes it painful for a person to carry out the full range of hip movements. Some people may have trouble bending their hip to put on their socks or shoes, or lifting the leg to walk upstairs.
More commonly seen in people who participate in such sports as ice hockey, football, golf and ballet are at higher risk of developing a hip labral tear (rupture of the ring-like structure that helps to hold the femur in place). Structural abnormalities of the hip also can lead to a hip labral tear, accompanied by cyst formation. Symptoms include hip pain or a “catching” sensation in your hip joint. Initial treatment may include pain relievers and physical therapy. Using arthroscopic techniques, surgeons can remove loose fragments from within the joint and trim or repair the hip labral tear.
Although sciatica is a relatively common form of lower back pain and leg pain, the true meaning of the term is often misunderstood. Sciatica is a set of symptoms rather than a diagnosis for what is irritating the root of the nerve, causing the pain. This point is important, because treatment for sciatica or sciatic symptoms often differs, depending upon the underlying cause of the symptoms and pain levels. It can be caused by a compression of the sciatic nerve roots caused by a herniated (torn) or protruding disc in the lower back.
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