Poor blood circulation

Osteopathy & Poor blood circulation during pregnancy, London Osteopath


  • Haemorrhoids
  • Heavy legs
  • Difficulty climbing stairs, kneeling
  • Cramps
  • Swollen legs
  • Migraines/headaches
  • Varicose veins


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Why do I have Poor blood circulation during pregnancy?
The blood circulation undergoes a severe strain during the pregnancy. In fact, all blood vessels are dilated and the blood volume of the expectant mother increases around 1litre and half more in order to bring all the nutrients for the good development of the foetus.

However, some women will suffer from poor blood circulation, which is explained by baby growing more and more and its growth sometimes bothering a good circulatory return from the lower limbs to the heart. Thus, the legs are swollen and some varicose veins* can appear
(*Dilatation of the superficial veins).

This phenomenon of dilatation occurs for all the veins in the body.  The pelvic area undergoes important modifications within ligament, muscular and vascular areas. We can then see a pelvic congestion/ venous stasis resulting in haemorrhoids forming.

The head can also be a concern since the vessels undergo a modification of pressure and an important dilatation. Some women experience headaches during the pregnancy mostly during the first trimester when there is also an enormous hormonal change that amplifies the phenomenon.

Notes: Attention, women who have repeated headaches (mostly at the end of pregnancy) associated with buzzing in ears, visual problems, and oedema must consult their GP. In fact, it could be a sign of pregnancy toxaemia *. It is the same for women who are subject to headaches with vomiting and/or fever, it is important to consult your doctor.

*The pregnancy toxaemia translates a bad kidney function. It needs to be treated because of serious complications for both mother and baby.

Can osteopathy help me for poor blood circulation during pregnancy?

Yes. Osteopathy will promote a better drainage of the venous system by releasing the tensions present on the pelvis area and will then, reduce the venous stasis and therefore the haemorrhoids.
Your osteopath will work on your diaphragm in order to improve its pumping function and again promote a good venous return at vena cava* level.
* Vena cava is a big vein that routes all the venous blood of the lower limbs and digestive system towards the heart.

By acting on both pelvis and diaphragm, this will allow to reduce the local effects of the blood stasis at lower limbs.

This is the same principle for the head. The osteopath will use cranial techniques to rebalance the tensions by promoting a good drainage of the venous system and will help to limit the onset of headaches.


Your osteopath will give you some advices, which will help you to improve the benefits of osteopathy such as:

  • Daily physical exercise (example: ½ walking)
  • Lymphatic drainage, massage with physiotherapist
  • Sleeping with legs elevated
  • Avoid static positions for too long
  • Put some cold water from below to the top of your legs at the end of the shower
  • Avoid shower/bath too warm
  • Avoid sunbathing for too long
  • Wear larger size clothes
  • Wear support stocking for some cases with medical advice

article by James Turgis Chartered Physiotherapist

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