Bridge to Health Blog
Bridge to Health Blog

The inextricable correlation of body structure and function: a gynaecological illustration

Written by Mathieu Rossano   Posted in:Osteopathy   March 3, 2016

The inextricable correlation of body structure and function: a gynaecological illustration
As you may have experienced yourselves, osteopaths will tirelessly and enthusiastically explain to their patients one of the basic tenets of osteopathy, namely that the body’s structure (anatomy) and its function (physiology) are indissociably interdependent: if the body-frame and organs are well “aligned” per the original design, and not over or under-stressed, the best performance can be expected of the neck, shoulders, lower limbs, digestive tract, reproductive organs, cardio-vascular system etc.

Examples abound, but one recent patient case stands out as pertinent in illustrating the point.  Caroline (not her real name) is a successful young business executive.  Four years ago, she came to visit us at Bridge to Health complaining of circumstantial lower back pain, but also confided in the course of her health history that she had had no periods (amenorrhea) for the past four years, which concerned her greatly as a newly-wed wishing at some point to start a family.

Caroline was in most respects a fit and healthy young woman, but obvious at least to an osteopath was that her pelvis was very tilted and imbalanced (tortioned), which was certainly doing no favours to the contents of the pelvic bowl – including the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries – never mind her lumbar spine, the source of her immediate complaint. A couple of treatments sufficed to realign her pelvis and put paid to the lower back pain.  More spectacularly (from Caroline’s point of view), I received an emotional and triumphant email from my patient saying that she was menstruating again – and her periods then occurred like clockwork for the next few years.

However, a couple of months ago, I received the visit of an anxious Caroline, who had again not experienced any period for the preceding few months, but was also suffering from constant urges to pass water, regardless of how little  or much water she consumed.  Interestingly, she had endured significant stress at work, simultaneously masterminding a large office move and her company’s brand re-design!  Also, her hitherto regular office and gym exercise routine had badly suffered  as a result…

And guess what – yet again her pelvis was  impressively out of alignment.  But also, a local visceral examination revealed some over-taut ligaments linking the bladder to the pelvis, and a very tender reactive bladder, as well as an over-flexed uterus leaning very markedly over to one side rather than presenting centrally.  All of these features were probably the result of an overstretched young professional leaning constantly forward over her computer, and compulsively crossing legs both as an instinctive defensive pose and a bid to limit the number of visits to the ladies…

Again, the osteopathic “miracle” occurred: a few treatments of her pelvis and local visceral organs not only restored her periods to regular occurrence again, but also normalized the function of her bladder – we also extracted a promise from our patient that she would act on “urges” without delay in the future rather than delay matters!

So what is the moral of the tale? No, sadly, amenorrhea or dysmenorrhea (painful periods) cannot always be explained away by pelvic malalignment, but can be due to a whole range of structural, vascular, hormonal or other causes.  However, if no other underlying causes can be readily imputed, sound structural assessment and realignment may be a good place to start on the path of recovery and health.

Questions? Reactions? Do not hesitate to contribute a comment or to contact us at either our Ealing Clinic on 0203 757 6544 or our Uxbridge Clinic 01895 20005

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