According to a JOSPT study, “Experts estimate that anywhere from 24% to 90% of women experience low back or pelvic-region pain when they are pregnant.” I don’t know about you, but I consider those numbers to be pretty high. If you’re like so many other pregnant women experiencing pain in the lower back or pelvic regions, a physical therapist (PT) can find the source of the pain and provide relief without the need for invasive surgery or medication.
There are a few triggers that can cause pain during pregnancy:
- Lack of flexibility
- Improper joint alignment
- Inadequate strength
- Nerve involvement
A PT can help with all of the above. He or she will work with you in the clinic and give you exercises to do at home to keep your body active and strong throughout your pregnancy—and beyond. Another common ailment that women face during pregnancy is urinary or fecal incontinence. You don’t have to suffer from incontinence; physical therapy can treat and prevent the condition—again, without medication or surgery.
Childbirth is undoubtedly difficult. It changes the body and is very physically challenging. A PT can help you prepare for childbirth through massage, aquatic therapy, pilates, yoga, and other treatment modalities. If a C-section is unavoidable, a therapist can help you treat your pain—and avoid scar tissue adhesions—as you regain your strength post-surgery. Athletes get PT after surgery, so why shouldn’t you? All 50 states (the US Virgin Islands and DC, too) have some form of direct access physical therapy—meaning you can go see a PT without a prescription. A good PT will communicate with your doctors to coordinate care.
Whether you’re looking to prepare yourself for childbirth, relieve pregnancy pain, or speed up your recovery post-childbirth, PT can help. Having a hard time locating a PT in your area? Find one here.