Our simple do’s & don’ts during pregnancy.


Continue with your exercise programme until advised to stop or modify your routine – the fitter you are the easier your pregnancy and delivery will be!

Exercise to strengthen the back and pelvis and to open the ribs.

Lift carefully by bending your knees and limit the amount of weight you carry.

Keep your pelvis above your knees when sitting.

Lie on your side when relaxing on the couch.

Put a pillow between your legs and under your bump when lying in bed.

Take walks after dinner and have small meals in the evening if you are suffering from heartburn.

Get someone to look at your ergonomics if you work in an office.


Stand in one position for too long, stick your bump out or wear high heels.

Cross your legs when seated.

Lift and twist putting additional strain on your back.

Sit for more than 20 minutes at a time.

Slouch when sitting on the couch.

Get a massage if you are in pain. Specialist help will be much more beneficial.

Drink coffee, tea or eat red meat, oranges or tomatoes if suffering from heartburn.


A Tingly Feeling

milada-vigerova-45368With the joy of pregnancy all mums-to-be will be no doubt ‘tingling’ with excitement! Not all tingling sensations are so pleasant however and many expectant mothers also experience painful tingling (paraesthesia) at some stage throughout their pregnancy.

In pregnancy blood volume and interstitial fluid volume in the body increases by around 50%! Fluid retention (oedema) is therefore common and a lot of women will report that their feet, ankles, legs, hands and face feel and appear to be swollen. This swelling along with postural changes in pregnancy can cause nerve compression (peripheral nerve entrapment) and a variety of associated symptoms such as tingling, burning, pain, numbness and muscle weakness.

The most common entrapment neuropathies are:

Sciatica: compression of the sciatic nerve that passes from the lower back to the feet (causing symptoms in the leg and foot).

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: compression of the median nerve as it passes through an area of the wrist known as the Carpal Tunnel (causing symptoms in the hand).

Brachial Plexus Neuropathy: compression of the nerves supplying the arm and hand.

Meralgia Paraesthetica: compression of the lateral cutaneous nerve as it passes beneath the inguinal ligament in the groin (causing symptoms in the thigh).

Gestational diabetes or vitamin deficiencies are among many other systemic causes of paraesthesia in pregnancy. It is therefore important to have a full assessment to find out the cause of your symptoms.

How Can Osteopathy Help?

The National Institute for Health Care and Excellence advises the use of physical therapy as a non-pharmacological treatment of neuropathic pain (NICE, 2017) and recent evidence suggests that techniques used by osteopaths and other manual therapists can help moblise fluid and reduce intraneural oedema (Boudier et al., 2017).

At Kane and Ross we use a combination of osteopathic mobilization techniques, acupuncture and exercise to improve fluid dynamics, muscle tension and posture. This can help to reduce compression and alleviate symptoms.

If you would like a full assessment with one of our osteopaths please call the clinic on 020 7436 9007.


Boudier-Reve ret, M., Gilbert, K.K, Alle gue, Dr., Moussadyk, M., Brisme, E jr., Feipel, V., Dugailly, P.M., Sobczak, S. (2017) Effect of neurodynamic mobilization on fluid dispersion in median nerve at the level of the carpal tunnel. Musculoskeletal Science and Practice 31 (45-51) 

National Institute for Healthcare and Excellence (NICE) Guidelines. Available at: https://pathways.nice.org.uk/pathways/neuropathic-pain#content=view-node%3Anodes-principles-of-care



Pelvic Girdle Pain

Pelvic girdle pain – local tenderness over the pubic bone or pain down the inside of your legs – usually occurs after 20 weeks.

It is due to instability and inflammation at the pubic symphysis joint.

Causes include current or previous lower back or sacra-iliac joint problems, ligament loosening due to the hormone relaxin, hyper-mobility or underlying issues such as scoliosis or unequal pelvic height.

To help reduce and avoid pain…

  • Limit any heavy lifting or carrying.
  • Avoid stairs when possible.
  • Do not cross your legs & keep your legs together.
  • Avoid long walks – it may not be painful at the time, but pain can occur later in the day.
  • Use a maternity belt if on your feet for long periods of time.
  • Avoid exercises that load the pelvis like squats, lunges and stretches with the legs apart.
  • Inform your exercise instructor about your PGP.
  • Use a sidelying position during sex.

KEY TIP: Get treatment as soon as symptoms arise to prevent pain increasing throughout your pregnancy.

S x

Rib pain

Rib pain is most likely to occur at 20-40 weeks.Ribs need to flare to accommodate the increasing size  of your abdomen.

Stiffness in the mid back or a history of long periods of sitting can prevent this from happening, leading to rib pain.

Stand upright, raise arm towards the ceiling & side bend to 1 o'clock to the left & 11 o'clock to the right.

Stand upright, raise arm towards the ceiling. Side bend to 1 o’clock to the left & 11 o’clock to the right.

Pain can also be due to inflammation of the softer rib tissue; costo-chondritis.

Ice applied three times a day may help alleviate or lessen your pain.

Stretch ribs as shown to the right to help ribs flare and alleviate pain.

KEY TIP: Treatment to the mid back, ribs and diaphragm often helps to ease rib pain.

S x

Second to Third Trimester change

Weeks Twenty to Thirty Two.

You may be experiencing difficulty in your body adapting to “pregnancy posture”, resulting in pain.

The hormone relaxin, which is released in early pregnancy, may cause instability in the joints, making them more vulnerable to INJURY and STRESS.


The back exercises in this blog may help lessen or alleviate you pain. If back exercises do not help and you experience pain more than THREE TIMES PER WEEK or pain is DISTURBING YOUR SLEEP, then you should seek help from a specialized health professional as early as possible.


The earlier you receive treatment, the earlier it can be resolved or managed. If untreated, pain may continue and increase as your weight and size increase.

Take care.


Photograph: Dani de Pablos.

Twelve to Twenty


Your body may be finding it difficult to adapt to changes in posture resulting in pain.

Mid back curves increase due to an increase in breast size.


If sitting for long periods of time, get up and walk EVERY 20 MINS. If working at a computer ensure the computer and keyboard are directly in front of you. Do not ‘slouch’ in front of the computer. If possible, tilt the base of your chair TO ENSURE YOUR KNEES ARE BELOW YOUR PELVIS. Continue to exercise as normal or begin an exercise programme such as yoga or pilates for pregnancy (unless this aggravates your symptoms).


Photograph: Katie Collins/PA


Seek help from a health professional to alleviate current pain and avoid future pain and problems. The earlier you seek help, the greater chance you have of avoiding worse back pain later on in your pregnancy.


Stay Back!

Remember: Back pain in pregnancy also includes sacro/iliac pain, two joints either side of the base of your spine.


Although your posture is starting to change at this time, it is more likely that pain is caused by a previous injury.

Mild back pain may be aggravated by morning sickness.


Early pain is more likely to be a ‘normal’ joint or muscular strain rather than related to your first trimester of pregnancy. Treatment during pregnancy is usually safe if given by an osteopath or physiotherapist who specializes in this area.

If you do have a history of back pain it is wise to see an osteopath prior to your posture changing. During your pregnancy do not start any new exercise programme unless it is specific exercise for pregnancy such as yoga or pilates for pregnant women. Try to maintain good posture.

Image: Area Yoga Brooklyn

“All the pregnant ladies”

So throughout pregnancy your body must adapt to the increase and changes in weight distribution.

If you have:

-previous back problems

-previous injuries

-long hours of sitting

your pain may be exacerbated by your new posture during pregnancy.

Common areas of pain are:




Over the following weeks, I will give you a week-by-week guide to the various types of pain that occur during pregnancy and you will find out why each pain occurs.

You’ll get recommendations for how to alleviate or at least manage the level of pain you feel, so it doesn’t worsen week-by-week as your body begins to carry more and more weight.


It is common but not normal to have pain during pregnancy. Make sure you inform your midwife, obstetrician or GP about your pain and ask to be referred for treatment.


Until next time,

S x