Whoever said pregnancy is a joy clearly wasn’t describing a woman’s discomfort caused by an expanding uterus, the displeasure of a baby’s foot pushing up against her ribs or the awkwardness of leaking when she laughs too hard. Oh the bliss! Reassuringly, physiotherapy is a perfectly safe and very effective treatment to help ease those pregnancy related aches and pains (and a solution to those bladder woes).
Feeling achy during pregnancy? Physiotherapy can help ease the discomfort
It’s any wonder women feel oodles of aches and pains throughout their pregnancy: hormones are running rampant to relax the ligaments in preparation for the birth, her growing belly puts pressure and strain on her muscles and the extra fluid produced to support the baby’s growth results in unpleasant swollen feet.
Pelvic pain and backaches are among the most common complaints from pregnant women. It’s not surprising when you consider that the body is releasing hormones that help the ligaments and joints in the pelvis to loosen which is felt in the form of aches and pains. Then, as the belly gets bigger, the weight of the uterus puts pressure on the lower back and spine and causes further pain and soreness.
Then there is that embarrassing dilemma of leaking when you sneeze, cough or even laugh because of the pressure on the bladder.
Fortunately, physiotherapy can help manage all of these conditions – even pregnancy incontinence.
Pain relief: how can physiotherapy help?
It’s not all bad news for pregnant women. Physiotherapists can recommend massage, exercises and stretches to help manage the body aches, relieve the discomfort and strengthen the muscles so you can enjoy your pregnancy.
Physiotherapy treatments includes:
- Manual therapy techniques to release muscle tension and relieve back pain
- Gentle stretching of the connective tissue of the abdomen, back, hips and pelvis, and
- Pilates based exercises to strengthen the pelvic support muscles
A physiotherapist can also offer valuable advice on good sleeping positions to prevent pain, as well as other treatment options such as pregnancy belts that support the pelvis and stabilise the joints.
Sometimes it takes a village
Some women opt for a support team to rally around her during labour and the birth. Why not include a physiotherapist to the mix to help you get through the pregnancy?
A physiotherapist can advise the best exercises to relieve aches and pains, those that will help the body prepare for labour and others that can even address issues after childbirth. And they can guide you on how to modify these activities as your body changes and grows.