Pregnancy Pains: Causes, Solutions, and Comprehensive Relief
Pregnancy can be an exciting and joyous experience for many women. However, it can also sometimes come with discomfort and health concerns, such as issues affecting posture, flexibility, and muscle strength.
A physical therapist can help you to understand the cause of your discomfort and pain, and educate you about available treatment options.
Common Causes for Discomfort During Pregnancy
A woman’s body undergoes incredible changes during pregnancy, both mental, emotional, and physical. As a result, a mother may encounter joint, bone, and muscle aches. For example, the hip and pelvic areas are expanding in different directions, and the added weight of the baby can cause additional discomfort. This is especially true in the later stages of pregnancy. Here are a few areas this can affect:
- Joint alignment
- Muscle strength
Relief With a Physical Therapist Treatment Plan
Your physical therapist can develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your specific needs, such as joint alignment and posture, and explain underlying issues and what you can do to find relief. Physical therapists also can teach pain management techniques through prescribed stretching and exercises.
By targeting areas such as the hips, back, and abdomen, a physical therapist can help an expectant mother build strength and endurance in these critical areas, which can lead to significant pain relief, metabolic improvements, a boost in energy, and a speedier recovery after pregnancy.
Physical therapist treatment may include:
- Exercises. Exercises that focus on the cardiovascular and muscular systems can be very beneficial. Swimming is particularly excellent. The aerobic benefits are incredible and the water will help support the baby and take the pressure off your back and joints. Similarly, Kegel exercises can help you build the pelvis muscles essential to pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Walking or running are also beneficial. Be sure to consult with your physical therapist prior to beginning a program to learn the exercises that are right for you.
- Stretches. Stretching regularly can help you build strength in your joints and muscles. There are many yoga poses that you can practice to alleviate pain, build your strength and endurance, and simply relax.
Health Center for Women
Authored by the Ohio Physical Therapy Association.