Pregnancy can be an amazing and rewarding experience for many women. It’s an experience that is often accompanied by varying degrees of pain, but how you look at pain and how much you understand it can drastically alter your perception of it.
It is perhaps one of the most important survival systems your body has.
It used to be believed that pain was a reaction to tissue damage, but we now know that pain is predictive, it functions more like a warning of potential damage either real or imagined, and the most interesting part is that it is an adaptive system.
This might seem obvious to anyone who understands that the body is a living, learning and constantly changing organism, but unfortunately many medical professionals fall into the trap of seeing the body as a machine with simple mechanisms and unintelligent parts.
It’s too often from this view point that many medical professionals discuss healthcare with their patients. Modern science is at odds with a mechanistic view, the more we learn about pain the more we see a highly complex system capable of completely remodelling itself.
The pain we feel is influenced by many aspects our life and physiology. The unique make up of our bodies, how we move, what we eat, as well as our thoughts and beliefs are just some of things that contribute to our experience of pain.
Knowing this we can take a different approach to treatment by understanding that pain can help navigate us towards what our bodies need.
During pregnancy the body transforms dramatically and its needs can change daily, so interpreting what it’s trying to tell us becomes even more important.
Pain is multi-faceted, and so should your treatment be
As many healthcare professionals specialise in particular areas, the best care is often delivered by a team who work together to provide you with an individualised and multifaceted care plan. Your team should collaborate with you to ensure you are receiving the appropriate treatment, guidance and advice that reflects your wishes, goals and intentions. That is the philosophy of multimodal and patient centred care.
If you are experiencing pain, it is often a good idea to see a healthcare professional who specialises in musculoskeletal pain and associated conditions such as a Clinical Myotherapist.
During your consultation your Clinical Myotherapist will take the time to have a detailed discussion about all possible aspects of your life that may contribute to your health.
Then with your consent they may assess any areas of pain to help gain a better understanding of your musculoskeletal health. Using all the information collected they will then work with you to draw up a healthcare plan that can be used as a roadmap to achieve your health goals.
Your healthcare plan is tailored to your specific needs and may incorporate things such as manual therapies (massage, PNF stretching, dry needling), pain education (understanding how pain works in the body), and exercise prescription, as well as referral to other practitioners that may be better suited to different areas of care.
Your Clinical Myotherapist can be an important part of your healthcare team.
Written by Zach Hannan
Zach is a Clinical Myotherapist at Fertile Ground Health Group. He is available for in person consultations to support you through pain, through your pregnancy, through COVID and beyond. Learn more more about Zach here.