When you are pregnant and after you have given birth, you need extra care! Did you know that the changes in hormone levels can make your supporting ligaments soft and stretchy during pregnancy and for up to six months after giving birth! The tummy and pelvic floor muscles stretch as the baby grows inside the womb until the birth of your baby.
As the joints are not well supported, you might easily end up injuring your back or pelvis. Physiotherapists provide help and assistance to pregnant women with exercise. Pregnancy physiotherapy can be very effective in eliminating aches and pains from your body. It can be a useful remedy for common discomforts such as back pain or for enhancing your body’s ability to have a smoother pregnancy and childbirth. Physiotherapy not only helps recovery but can also help in doing away with pains and strengthening the body of a pregnant woman.
The aim of undergoing physiotherapy is to help the body deal with issues related to mobility, circulation, respiration and so on. Though a thorough evaluation is necessary before starting Pregnancy Physiotherapy, take a look at how physiotherapy can help deal with common issues experienced by women during pregnancy.
Lower back pain: This is one of the most common conditions experienced by women during pregnancy. It increases post the third trimester as the centre of gravity shifts due to the size of the stomach. This can be treated with passive and manual physiotherapy, back support and Pilates exercise.
Sacroiliac joint pain: These joints are in the lowest region of the lower back. The pain usually concentrates on the buttock region. Due to the excess hormone release while pregnant, the connective tissues of the body tend to relax so that the muscles can stretch easily and help in the process of delivery. This causes the sacroiliac ligaments and muscles to become more mobile which may cause extreme joint movements. Physiotherapy can help deal with this pain.
Urinary incontinence due to pelvic floor issues: As hormone changes take place, the pelvic floor muscles relax to make it ready for delivery. For this reason, these muscles weaken and get strained during pregnancy and childbirth. This leads to pelvic floor dysfunction and urinary incontinence. Physiotherapists can help by administering strengthening exercises for pelvic floor muscles. Also, a Pilates-based exercise programme can reduce weakness of the muscles that may occur, post childbirth.
Carpal tunnel syndrome: This happens due to the build-up of excessive fluids that results in swelling in the carpal tunnel in the wrist area. Some women experience swelling (common during pregnancy) in this area. You might experience symptoms such as numbness, pain and tingling sensation and lack of coordination in the hands and fingers as well. Physiotherapy techniques such as strengthening exercises, mobilisation and stretching can help in reducing such symptoms.
It is very important to stay fit during pregnancy. But it’s also important to do safe exercises that would not harm you or your baby. Taking part in antenatal classes can help pregnant women to perform exercises in a safe environment under the supervision of physiotherapists. Pregnancy physiotherapy can be an individual programme and different exercises can be administered to different people based on their health as well as the baby’s health.