Why Do We Need Physiotherapy During Pregnancy?
The primary aim of physiotherapy during pregnancy is to help the body deal with musculature, mobility, circulation, and respiration issues. A physiotherapist guides you through a set of exercises during and after pregnancy to help your body prepare for birth and recover post-delivery.
The most standard misconception about physiotherapy is that it is a remedy only for people who have sustained an injury after an accident or sports-related injuries. But that is only one aspect of physiotherapy. Far from that, physiotherapy is also an excellent remedy to alleviate and manage the symptoms of a diverse range of conditions in pregnant women.
Which Issues Can Antenatal Physiotherapy Deal With?
While most pregnant women complain of lower back pain, there are other areas that physiotherapy can help you with.
Some common problems physiotherapy can help deal with during pregnancy are:
- Lower back pain
- Upper back pain
- Stiff Joints
- Sciatica (pain that extends from lower back through hips and buttocks to the leg)
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (a condition in which there is numbness, tingling, or weakness in your hands)
- Pelvic floor pain (pain in front and back of the pelvis)
- Bladder issues (Diastasis Recti)
Importance of Physiotherapy During Pregnancy
Pregnant women and new mothers’ benefit from a series of physiotherapy sessions by preparing their bodies for childbirth and ensuring smoother delivery. Physiotherapy is important for pregnant women in multiple ways. Some of which are as follows.
Relieves Lower Back Pain
The most common condition experienced during the pregnancy period is lower back pain. While both men and women produce the hormone relaxin, this hormone is mainly produced in pregnant women. The production of relaxin shoots up during the second trimester. This hormone aims to loosen the birth canal and prepare the body for childbirth. Besides the birth canal, high relaxin levels result in the loosening of other ligaments in the body. This transitory loosening during pregnancy can make the muscles and ligaments weak for an extended period, which is the fundamental cause of lower back pain.
Physiotherapy during pregnancy is beneficial in dealing with the pain resulting from an increase in relaxin. This practice can assist in alleviating muscle pain through specific exercises and massages. These targeted exercises not only help in reducing pain but also maintain the strength of muscles.
Helps with Urinary Incontinence due to Pelvic Floor Weakness
A weak Pelvic floor can lead to urinary incontinence, pain, and pelvic organ prolapse. Physiotherapists help you with specially designed exercises based on your pelvic condition. These exercises help strengthen the pelvic muscles and reduce the chance of injury. Women who take physiotherapy during pregnancy are 80 percent less likely to get affected by urinary incontinence after labor.
Sciatica is a pain that develops along the sciatic nerve path, which extends from the lower back through the hips, buttocks, and down the leg. Sciatic pain symptoms include occasional or constant pain in one side of your buttocks or leg, numbness, weakness, and tingling in the leg or other associated areas. Physiotherapists use different stretching exercises and manual therapy to relieve the patient from the symptoms.
Relieving From Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs due to the contraction of the median nerve in the wrist because of increased blood volume levels in the body during pregnancy. This compression causes pain, numbness, weakness, and tingling sensation in the hands. Physiotherapists recommend exercises for the consistent flow of blood and reducing pain.
Helps with Posture changes during pregnancy
During pregnancy, as the baby grows, the lower back muscles gradually start to curve more creating room for the belly to grow. This increased pressure on the lower back causes your uterus to move slightly forward. The transition in the position of these muscles causes changes in your posture. Physiotherapy helps in correcting posture changes that occur during pregnancy.
Loosens Tight Joints and Muscles
A woman’s body undergoes several changes over a brief time during pregnancy. As a result, the joints and muscles become stiff. Physiotherapy targets these specific areas of pain and helps loosen the stiffness of the muscles and joints.
Minimizes Diastasis Recti
Diastasis is the separation of abdominal muscles and is common after pregnancy. It happens when the abdominals stretch due to the growth of the baby. This separation leads to bloating of the tummy. Physiotherapists recommend exercises to strengthen the abdominal muscles and help you recover from diastasis faster after giving birth.
Eases Labor and Delivery
Your body requires high strength and flexibility to induce labor and smooth and natural delivery. Physiotherapists make their patients engage in exercises and activities that help them keep their bodies active and build their strength. This has proved beneficial for women during labor, as it helps ease the delivery process by a considerable degree. Research shows that women who opt for physiotherapy during pregnancy have claimed to have a smoother delivery than those who have chosen not to.
Trimester wise physiotherapy
In the first three months, physiotherapy focuses on your posture and pre-existing musculoskeletal problems (if any). Your physiotherapist also makes you and your partner understand everything about maternal and fetal changes and what to expect. They assist you in correcting your posture at the workplace and home. They will offer you techniques for safe lifting and mobility and treat any musculoskeletal problems you have been suffering from.
In the second trimester, physiotherapy focuses on stretching techniques to improve flexibility, mobility, and strengthening exercises for the abdomen and spine. Here the main aim is to enhance fitness and emphasize pain management.
In the third trimester, physiotherapists emphasize labor coping strategies such as breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, positioning to facilitate labor, and techniques to use in the pushing stage.
It is essential to practice physiotherapy during and after pregnancy, but even more important to do the exercise safely under the expert supervision of physiotherapists who can help you plan an individualized exercise program for your pregnancy. Apollo Homecare provides professional physiotherapy services for pregnant women at your doorsteps.
For personalized guidance and care, feel free to reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or log onto: www.apollohomecare.com.