Physiotherapy in Pregnancy – How Useful is It?

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Dr. Priyanka Kalra (Obstetrician and Gynaecologist)
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Physiotherapy in Pregnancy - How Useful is It?

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Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful phases of a woman’s life, but it does come with its own share of pain and struggles. Pregnant women complain of several pains and aches, backache being the most common with close to 70% of pregnant women complaining of the same. Physiotherapy is your best bet in such cases.

Is Physiotherapy Safe During Pregnancy?

Firstly, you should know that physiotherapy is a medical treatment that involves solutions like massages, heat therapy, exercise, and electrotherapy. It does not include any kinds of medicines and surgery. This makes it a perfect approach to treat ailments during pregnancy, since taking medicines or undergoing surgery at this time can be dangerous to the health of your unborn child.

Common Structural Problems Occurring in Pregnancy

Pregnancy is different for each woman. While some complain of a sore ankle, others complain of severe backache. And then there are some women who complain of both. Here are a few common structural problems that occur during pregnancy its causes –

1. Lower Back Pain

One of the most common aches that a woman faces during pregnancy is lower back pain. As the foetus grows, so do a woman’s abdominal muscles. These muscles expand towards the front, thereby, causing pressure on the lower back muscles. Throughout pregnancy, the stomach grows bigger, stretching the abdominal muscles, and increasing the pressure on the lower back. Physical therapy for pregnancy back pain is something you really should consider if the backache is impacting your movements.

2. Wrist and Hand Pain

With pregnancy come hormonal changes. Wrist and hand pain is usually a result of your hormones causing a sort of laxity or looseness in your muscles. If your wrist and hands are aching, it could be the hormones.

3. Hip and Groin Pain

As mentioned above, pregnancy causes the abdominal muscles to stretch. In addition to this, ligaments and muscles in the pelvic region get stretched as well, causing hip and groin pain.

4. Ankle Pain

Ankle pain is usually observed towards the end of the pregnancy. Owing to the mother’s growing belly, the weight of the body tends to rest excessively on the feet and ankles. Also, walking becomes difficult, and this affects the ankles as well.

Physical therapy for sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy is also recommended to relieve pain and provide comfort.

Ankle Pain

Why Pregnant Women Should Visit a Physiotherapist

Pregnant women should never ignore pain. Here’s why you need to visit a physiotherapist during pregnancy.

1. Physiotherapy Can Help Alleviate Pain

One of the most effective and safe ways to deal with the common structural pains felt during pregnancy is undergoing physiotherapy treatments. This is especially recommended if you have a history of injuries. The massages, heat treatments, and exercises that come along with physiotherapy can relax the strained muscles and ligaments, and help in strengthening bones and joints.

2. Physiotherapy Can Help with Bodily Changes

Your body is constantly changing at a rapid pace during pregnancy. In just nine months, the amount of changes it undergoes is unthinkable – right from hormonal to structural changes. With the help of physiotherapy, you can ease into all these changes. With the help of physiotherapy’s core stability training, you can cope with these changes as well as prepare yourself for them.

3. Physiotherapy Can Prepare You for the Big Day

You can ask your physiotherapist to introduce you to the several exercises that help you to push effectively at the time of labour. Preparing your body for this can reduce any chances of a pelvic floor trauma by a great deal. Plus, it will give you enhanced stamina for the labour process.

4. Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation

Pregnancy has a great impact on the pelvic floor. With the right training and exercises that come with physiotherapy, you can reduce strain on the pelvic muscles, nerves, and connective tissues.

Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation

What Treatment Options Are Available?

Here are a few treatment options that are available for you:

  • Physiotherapy to treat back pain
  • Pelvic floor muscle training
  • Core stability training
  • Posture training programs
  • Physical therapy electrical stimulation during pregnancy
  • Joint alignment programs
  • Training to improve flexibility
  • Massages to relieve stress and muscle strain

How Physiotherapy Helps During Pregnancy

All in all, physiotherapy has proven to be one of the best options to avoid or treat pain and discomfort during pregnancy. The best part about this form of treatment is that it helps in prepping you for post-pregnancy issues as well, thereby, making it easier for you.

Physiotherapy has been used for long to treat pain and aid muscle repair. Opting for therapy during pregnancy can surely help you get rid of some of that nagging pain. While there are also therapeutic ultrasound options, the low frequencies used in the physical therapy ultrasound during pregnancy may harm a developing foetus.

Also Read: Sciatica while Pregnant

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