Pain with Pregnancy
Pain can occur during pregnancy due a number of different issues. Including mal-alignment in the pelvis as the joints of the pelvis loosen in preparation for childbirth. Sometimes the baby growing inside the mother places pressure on the low back or pelvis which can cause pain and muscle tension. Our physical therapists can help re-align the pelvis and teach you or a friend to treat yourself at home should your pelvis become malaligned. We can also teach rest positions that can help reduce the pressure of the baby on the pain provoking site. Maintaining good trunk or “core” stability and strength throughout the pregnancy can reduce episodes of pain and malalignment.
It is best to begin exercises early in the pregnancy, or even better before becoming pregnant, so the body has a chance to adapt to the exercises before the body starts changing in size and shape and these new variables must be adapted to. If you are anticipating becoming pregnant, call us for a fitness assessment and tips on where to start.
It is a commonly thought belief that beginning a new and intense exercise regimen part way through your pregnancy is not advised; however, research by James F. Cladd III, MD outlined in his book Exercising Through Your Pregnancy indicates that exercise can be initiated at safe levels throughout a healthy, low risk pregnancy. Your physical therapist is the most highly trained person in this area, and if you are considering exercising during your pregnancy take advantage of our expertise in the do’s and don’ts based on most current research. We can accurately determine what level of fitness and health you are currently at in order to determine the level at which you should safely exercise.
Back Pain with Pregnancy
Among the many changes you may feel during pregnancy, it’s common that increased levels of the relaxin hormone may cause low back pain as a result of joint instability. In addition, as the infant grows back muscles begin to compensate for the loss of support from stomach muscles, which are now used to support the uterus. Physical therapy can help to reduce this muscle guarding and spasm by maintaining proper alignment and decreasing pain.
After a thorough assessment of the musculoskeletal system, therapy may include both hands on treatment that restores mobility and relaxes muscles and instruction in light self-care exercises.
Post-pregnancy low back pain can also be addressed, including instruction and education in body mechanics, lifting strategies, and safe exercise programs in order to help accommodate the new tasks associated with infant care, including, but not limited to lifting and holding newborns. C-section patients also need to re-learn how to use their abdominal muscles properly in order to protect and reduce low back pain.