Women’s Health: Pregnancy and Physical Therapy

By: | Tags: , | Comments: 0 | June 27th, 2018

Many women experience back pain during pregnancy. In fact, studies show that 50% to 70% experience back pain during pregnancy. While the pain goes away for many women after pregnancy, more than 33% of the women still experience pain a year after pregnancy. Lower back pain during pregnancy is caused from the uterus and baby growing causing the center of gravity to move forward. This gravity pull causes a woman to slump forward. This slumping forward creates poor alignment and over time the shoulders roll forward and creates stress on the neck, mid-back and shoulder.

Pain in the pelvic girdle, hips and lumbar region are most commonly experienced during pregnancy. Sandi Gallagher, PT, of Oregon Health & Science University in Portland states that “In pregnancy, women are more predisposed to these conditions because of the ligamentous laxity that results from hormonal changes, and because a woman’s center of gravity and body mass are changing,” Gallagher further explains. “So, any muscle weakness or joint instability that she had coming into the pregnancy increases her difficulty meeting the increased demands of her body’s changes.”

Treatment for lower back pain due to pregnancy consists of exercise therapy, braces, manual therapy, education and/or a combination of these treatments. The pain can be reduced and eased by learning new and proper ways to perform regular daily routine activities.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week throughout the pregnancy is recommended. Research suggests that successful exercise programs include a combination of the following:

  1. Abdominal strengthening
  2. Aerobic activity
  3. Pelvic floor muscle exercises

The benefits of exercising during pregnancy are as follows:

  1. Alleviate pain and discomfort during pregnancy
  2. Faster recovery
  3. Lose weight quicker
  4. Reduced pregnancy and labor risks
  5. Babies tend to be healthier

At Oklahoma Physical Therapy our trained women’s health physical therapist can help relieve back and pelvic pain during and after pregnancy. We will partner with you to create a customized treatment plan that may include:

  • Stabilization exercises that include pelvic floor muscles and core muscles
  • Aquatic Therapy
  • Heat and Ice treatment: used cautiously
  • Therapeutic exercise: tones muscles, improves metabolism and decreases fatigue

Contact Oklahoma Physical Therapy today via phone at 405-749-6281 or online at http://oklahomaphysicaltherapy.com/make-appointment/.

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