What is osteopathy and why is it important for mums and babies?
A letter to you from James Rowland, Osteopath at Edge Healthcare Orchard.
Congratulations, you’re amazing. Pregnancy and childbirth is a magical journey and is a time of numerous changes and transformations within the female body which often affects daily activities. These changes, although completely natural and normal, can often be extremely taxing on the body and it is common through the course of your pregnancy, to develop some aches and pains. Over 50% of pregnant women will experience some lower back pain at some point during or postpartum.
However, even though it is extremely common, it doesn’t mean that you have to suffer - or for the discomfort to be affecting your daily life. Osteopathic treatment aims to assist the changes throughout this journey so you can experience minimal pain and discomfort, and improve your quality of life throughout the different stages of pregnancy. It creates structural balance through touch, physical manipulation, stretching and massage to relieve muscular tension and help the body’s own healing mechanisms.
Osteopathic treatment has been shown to be beneficial for women in reducing or stopping neck pain, shoulder pain, lower back and pelvic pain throughout pregnancy. Osteopaths do this by using a multitude of techniques such as soft tissue, joint articulation and mobilisation, myofascial release, muscle energy and craniosacral therapy.
One major effect on the body during pregnancy is from a hormone called relaxin that prepares for labour by slightly increasing the elasticity of ligaments. Relaxin is extremely important as it will enable the pelvis to promote the shape of the baby’s head by increasing the space of the pelvic outlet during delivery. Unfortunately, this hormonal effect on the ligaments can contribute to altered stability and induce pain in the lower back/pelvic region during pregnancy.
Osteopathy is a gentle, safe form of treatment that is particularly effective for babies as well as children. The birth of a baby can be one of the most stressful events of life; this process, along with the positioning during development inside the womb, can inflict stresses and strains on a baby’s body. If these strain patterns remain unresolved, they may result in discomfort for both baby and mum and possibly have long term effects on the development of the baby. Paediatric osteopaths, in combination with a detailed case history, use a non-invasive, gentle approach to treatment which is often called craniosacral therapy, with an aim to release any restrictions found within a child’s body.
Common paediatric presentations include colic and reflux, irritability, feeding issues, sleeping issues, plagiocephaly (uneven head shape), neck restriction, behavioural issues, postural and developmental issues, uneven walking gait and scoliosis (a curved spine).
Take care of your self and I look forward to meeting you.
James Rowland | Edge Healthcare Orchard
James is an extremely passionate structural and craniosacral osteopath who specialises in treating prenatal and postnatal women, babies and children. He prides himself in being able to offer an accurate examination and diagnosis, thereby allowing him to tailor treatment for each individual, offering the best possible care for his patients. James’ passion in osteopathy started when he was a teenager. James used to run a successful multidisciplinary clinic in Cardiff, Wales (UK) before continuing his profession in Singapore.
The Osteopathic Centre
Founded in 2008 by Dr Paul Bell (D.Health), he and his team of highly qualified and experienced practitioners, Greg, Iqra and Laura, aim to achieve optimal, pain free function by managing a broad range of musculoskeletal issues in all age groups. The journey into motherhood can be both exciting and daunting. By supporting and working closely with other health care professionals during pregnancy, such as obstetricians, GPs, midwifes, lactation consultants and paediatricians, his team are able to provide the best care possible for your family.
Conditions often seen in clinic include pelvic, lower back, neck and wrist pain in both pre and postnatal mums; and latching/feeding problems, gastric issues, problems with head shape and head positioning, sleep disturbance and altered bowel function in newborn babies. The team uses a mix of very gentle and more direct techniques depending on age and the symptoms presented.
Contact the clinic (three locations) at www.theosteo.com.sg. (1) 20 Siglap Drive, 01-02 Bowmont Centre, Singapore 456192, 6446 7236. (2) 11 Collyer Quay, 06-05 The Arcade, Singapore 049317, 6221 4064. (3) Park Avenue Rochester, 24th Floor, 31 Rochester Drive, Singapore 138627, 6221 1977.