Women's health

Considering all that it does, the female body is a wonderfully efficient and highly creative system. However it is also very complex, often requiring special attention and support.

Here are some common health problems we work with:

  • Pain and symptoms associated with PMS and the menstrual cycle
  • Pain and symptoms associated with endometriosis
  • Back pain associated with large breasts
  • Swollen ankles
  • Urinary tract symptoms
  • Assisting recovery after surgery

The treatment experience
As the treatment experience is very gentle, the patient usually leaves feeling much more relaxed, and aligned.

PMS

Premenstrual syndrome is a common female complaint during reproductive ages. It is due to changes in the hormonal, psychological and metabolic systems. It usually starts between 2 and 14 days before the period is due. Symptoms include headache, bloating, irritability, fatigue, food cravings, anxiety, and mood swings. Usually those symptoms decrease rapidly with the onset of a period. Usual standard of care looks at balancing the nutritional, hormonal systems and surgery if there is a pathology.

From an osteopathic perspective, PMS is often accompanied by midback tightness, a hyperirritable nervous system, some cranial dysfunctions and pelvic muscular spasms. Osteopathic treatment can gently work on those restricted areas and decrease the congestion to improve the PMS symptoms.

Endometriosis

Women who have endometriosis have very severe period pain which can greatly affect their quality of life. It is usually diagnosed quite late or sometimes, when women have difficulties with fertility. Currently, it is managed by the contraceptive pill or surgery. Osteopathy can complement the medical treatment to help decrease the chronic pelvic pain. By working on the pelvis and spine to ensure the spine is kept upright and flexible enough to maintain good posture, it can help the pelvic organs affected by endometriosis. This is because such organs have a close relationship with the spine mechanics. This can also improve the lymph flow and circulation, thus decreasing the inflammatory chemicals.

Back Pain from large breasts

Women who have large breasts can suffer from chronic thoracic/upper back pain. This can also lead to headaches, neck and jaw dysfunctions. Osteopathic treatment can look at improving the range of motion in the thoracic spine and make sure there are no decompensation patterns further up into the cervical spine and head. It is also important to work on the musculature, i.e. starting a stretching program for the pecs muscles at the front and increasing the strength of the back muscles to better compensate for that excess strain.

Swollen Ankles

Sometimes, women can have puffy ankles before their period or during pregnancy due to poor lymphatic drainage and change in hormone levels. Osteopathy can increase the potential for drainage by improving the pumping mechanism, i.e. working on both abdominal and pelvic diaphragms to assist in the movement of fluid with respiration. Also, restoring normal sacral function can reduce the accumulation of pain-generating chemicals and thus decrease inflammation.

Urinary Incontinence

Women can experience a variety of lower urinary tract symptoms, for instance, urinary incontinence, overactive bladder or nocturia (loss of urine during sleep). There are different reasons for this: postmenopausal changes, smoking, number of children delivered, poor obstetric care, abnormalities of the urogenital system, removal of the uterus or an increasing body mass index (BMI). Difficulty emptying the bladder and urinary retention is also a common phenomenon in the immediate post-partum period. The treatments are usually medications, surgery or conservative treatment such as osteopathy. Osteopathic treatment will look at the whole picture and can decrease dysfunctions around the urinary bladder and connected ligaments, uterus, pelvic floor, and pubic symphysis. Treating the the head and different parts of the spine (mostly thoracic spine and the sacrum) can also help.

Recovery After Surgery

After surgery, most patients will need a few weeks to recover or go through a rehabilitation program. Having osteopathic treatment during that time can improve patients' overall comfort, reduce pain, stress and anxiety. In the case of abdominal surgery, treatment can decrease the risk of chronic constipation and shorten hospital stays for pancreatitis or postoperative ileus. For lower back surgery, osteopathy can decrease post-surgical lower back pain and medications.

As for abdominal hysterectomy (removal of uterus), osteopathy combined with morphine has been found to enhance postoperative pain management. Overall, patients recover and move better.

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Research:


Riepler-Reisecker, I

On the basis of the statistical results it has been proven beyond any doubt that it is possible to influence hormonal dysbalances of women by givingthem osteopathic treatment. Function of organs in the lesser pelvis is improved by a harmonisation on the structural, cranial and visceral levels and congestive pain symptomatology is considerably reduced.

von Schneider-Milo, U

The present study shows a significant change in the perceived pain and in some domains of health-related quality of life indicating that osteopathic treatment can be an acceptable tool in the treatment of endometriosis-related pain. Nevertheless, more research to understand the connection between pain in endometriosis patients and osteopathy is needed.

Daraï C , Deboute O, Zacharopoulou C, Laas E, Canlorbe G, Belghiti J, Zilberman S, Ballester M, Darai E

Published in European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology Volume 188, May 2015, Pages 70–73 doi:10.1016/j.ejogrb.2015.03.001

Our results support that OMT can improve QOL of patients with DIE and colorectal involvement. Moreover, this pilot study can serve to determine power calculations for future randomized trials.

Franke H, Hoesele K.

Published in J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2013 Jan;17(1):11-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2012.05.001. Epub 2012 Jun 17.

The findings of this systematic review and meta-analysis are promising and encouraging to conduct larger, rigorous osteopathic intervention studies for female urination disorders. Future studies should compare the osteopathic treatment with established standard procedures in the control group.

Bertelli DF, de Oliveira P, Gimenes AS, Moreno MA.

Published in Am J Phys Med Rehabil Aug 2013;92(8):697-703

The treatment protocols promoted reductions in volume values, suggesting that both techniques could be used to help reduce lower limb edema among this population. Nevertheless, the best results were obtained with MLD.

Kim BJ, Ahn J, Cho H, Kim D, Kim T, Yoon B

Published in the International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine November 2014

Post-surgical physical disability improved more with OMT rehabilitation than the exercise programme. Residual leg pain decreased with OMT and exercise. Post-operative low back pain decreased in the OMT group and the exercise group. Patients in both groups required less frequent use of medication and were highly satisfied with the rehabilitation interventions. No side effects or complications from any intervention were reported.

Crow WT, Gorodinsky L,

Published in the International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine Vol 12 (1) pages 32-37, 2009

OMT patients had a significantly shorter length of stay than the no treatment group

Baltazar GA, Betler MP, Akella K, Khatri R, Asaro R, Chendrasekhar A.  

Published in the J Am Osteopath Assoc Mar;113(3):204-9, 2013

Osteopathic manipulative treatment applied after a major gastrointestinal operation is associated with decreased time to flatus and decreased postoperative hospital LOS.

Goldstein FJ, Jeck S, Nicholas AS, Berman MJ, Lerario M

Published in the J Am Osteopath Assoc Jun;105(6):273-9, 2005

Administration of postoperative OMT enhanced pre- and postoperative morphine analgesia in the immediate 48-hour period following elective TAH, demonstrating that OMT can be a therapeutic adjunct in pain management following this procedure.

Jarski RW, Loniewski EG, Williams J, Bahu A, Shafinia S, Gibbs K, Muller M

 Published in the Altern Ther Health Med Sep;6(5):77-81, 2000

Patients receiving osteopathic manipulative treatment in the early postoperative period negotiated stairs earlier and ambulated greater distances than did control group patients.