Rost Therapy: Treatment for Pelvic Girdle Pain developed by Cecile Röst
Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) affects many pregnant and postpartum women and affects function and quality of life. It is also under-recognized and under-treated, and many women are told that back, pubic and/or hip pain is just a normal part of pregnancy, which will most likely improve after delivery. In fact, in one study, 71% of the pregnant women with self-reported lumbo-pelvic pain told their health care professionals about their pain, and only 25% received any type of treatment for their condition. Pierce 2012. The reality is that PGP can be significantly improved in pregnancy and postpartum, allowing pregnant women to function well and enjoy their pregnancies.
Rost Therapy consists of an assessment which identifies asymmetry and/or muscle imbalance of the pelvic girdle and unhelpful movement patterns and postures. Treatment includes therapist hands-on treatment to improve pelvic girdle symmetry and muscle support, followed by a home exercise program to properly balance the pelvic girdle joints and muscle patterns. Postural and movement advice for daily activities is an important part of the program. Because the home program is simple to do, adherence is extremely high: women have less pain when they follow the exercises and advice, and are only too happy to lead a 'normal' life with less pain and restrictions! A small number of treatments sessions are needed for treatment and to learn the program. This active approach gives women back control of their symptoms and function.
Effects of Rost Therapy
Rost Therapy is a very effective treatment program with quick and lasting results, with effectiveness tested in a large follow-up study (Röst et al 2006). Within a few weeks, women with PGP using Rost Therapy could function normally, and return to work and exercise. In fact, 98% of 430 women treated with Rost Therapy in pregnancy reported benefit from the treatment (Rost et al). Only a small percentage of Rost patients required additional treatment after delivery. In the last twenty years, there has been a continuous demand for Rost Therapy training in Holland, Europe and North America. Many treated patients have educated other women about the method and have encouraged their health professionals to become trained in Rost Therapy.
With conventional treatment, 35 percent of women with PGP were symptom free within a month after birth, but 7 to 18 percent had serious complaints up to eighteen months after delivery (Ostgaard et al. 1991). However, less than 2 percent (n=7) of women treated with Rost Therapy (Röst et al.) during pregnancy had serious complaints eighteen months after delivery, of whom five were at the end stage of a next pregnancy or had recently delivered. The sixth woman experienced postnatal depression, and the seventh had stopped the treatment and home exercises after two sessions.
Within weeks or months, most women, even with prolonged pelvic pain, can function normally again and (depending on the stage of pregnancy or maternity leave) can go back to their work and sports. Only a very small percentage of the patients required additional treatment elsewhere.
Many of the Rost patients who were treated while they were pregnant had since become pregnant again. Some of these women started developing symptoms of PGP in subsequent pregnancies, and so they came in for a refresher Rost Therapy session to review the exercises needed to restore pelvic symmetry. They went on to have great pregnancies with their PGP symptoms under control. These women were able to then exercise and participate in daily activities.
How do I get Rost Therapy?
Treatments are given by Rost Therapy trained physiotherapists, osteopaths, and manual therapists. All registered Rost Therapy therapists are located on our Therapist Listing on this website.