OMT Can Improve Pain in Postpartum Women
Bonding with your newborn might be your top priority after having a baby, but it’s also important to focus on your own recovery, including managing your pain.
Focusing on preventive care, Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine , or DOs, look beyond your symptoms to consider how environmental or lifestyle factors impact your health. DOs receive additional training in osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) and use this tool to help diagnose injury and treat pain, which is one of the most common postpartum complaints among women in the United States.
Many OMT techniques help postpartum women relax contracted muscle tissue, reduce joint pain and alleviate ligamentous strain. Preliminary results of a study in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association demonstrate that OMT helps reduce acute pain in postpartum women, regardless of whether they delivered vaginally or via cesarean.
Through the use of OMT, the number of patients reporting lower back pain decreased by 30%, abdominal pain by 17% and vaginal pain by 10%, the study finds.
“A mother’s body goes through a great deal of stress, both physically and mentally, during childbirth,” says Olivia Cannon, DO, vice president of the American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “This study shows that by combining osteopathic manipulation with other pain therapies, we can help new mothers get back on their feet quicker and improve their quality of life at home with a new infant.”
Through OMT, physicians manually apply a specific amount of pressure to different regions in the body. These techniques can help:
- treat structural and tissue abnormalities.
- relieve joint restriction and misalignment.
- restore muscle and tissue balance.
- promote the overall movement of blood flow throughout the body.
Your recovery doesn’t end once you get home. Up to 1 in 7 women experience postpartum depression, according to the American Psychological Association. Learn more about the symptoms and when it might be time to talk to your physician about being screened for postpartum depression.