New Mothers Find Pain Relief with Osteopathic Manipulation

As if hours of childbirth aren’t grueling enough, pain is one of the most common postpartum complaints from women in the United States. However, New York-based physicians found that osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) eases pain and treats tissue abnormalities in this population.

As if hours of childbirth aren’t grueling enough, pain is one of the most common postpartum complaints from women in the United States. However, New York-based physicians found that osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) eases pain and treats tissue abnormalities in this population.

OMT works by a doctor manually applying pressure to different parts of the body. The technique has shown to help people with migraines and menstrual pain, as well as other conditions such as asthma, sinus disorders, and carpal tunnel. The latest research, published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, talked about how OMT is beneficial for women after giving birth.

“A mother’s body goes through a great deal of stress both physically and mentally during childbirth,” Octavia Cannon, DO, vice president of the American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said in a news release. That stress can continue after childbirth and, therefore, strategies are needed to improve the mother’s wellbeing.

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A total of 59 women with somatic dysfunction from a hospital in the Bronx were recruited for the study. The participants filled out a screening questionnaire as well as the McGill Pain Questionnaire. OMT was given for about 25 minutes to manage the impaired functions of the body framework, including structural abnormalities, joint restriction and misalignment, muscle and tissue balance, and overall blood flow throughout the body.

The average visual analogue scale (VAS) scores decreased from 5.0 to 2.7 after OMT. The findings showed the number of patients with lower back pain decreased by 30%, abdominal pain by 17%, and vaginal pain by 10%. Thirteen patients said that they were pain free after the treatment.

“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 with their new infant,” Cannon continued. OMT is a powerful tool and can replace medications and surgery in some cases. However, the authors pointed out that additional studies are needed to make such claims since this one did not include a control group for comparison.

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