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  • Pregnancy
  • 09.12.21

5 ways a physio can help during pregnancy

Did you know that physiotherapy can help you overcome pain and discomfort during pregnancy?

The changes your body experiences during pregnancy are nothing short of miraculous, however, for some women these changes can bring about all kinds of aches and pains. Thanks to hormones, stretching of ligaments, different sleep positions, the position of your baby, changes to your posture and an altered centre of gravity, your body can experience a number of associated symptoms including:

  • lower back pain
  • sacroiliac joint pain
  • pelvic floor weakness
  • difficulty lifting legs
  • pain when standing or sitting
  • discomfort when transferring weight
  • hip pain or restriction of movement in hips
  • nerve pain in legs
  • urinary incontinence
  • pelvic girdle pain,
  • public symphysis dysfunction
  • rib / thoracic pain
  • carpal tunnel
  • neck and shoulder pain
  • headaches.

5 ways a physiotherapist can help during pregnancy

You may think that all these aches and pains are just part and parcel of being pregnant, but there are ways to minimise the discomfort, so you can enjoy this time before your little one arrives. Regular visits to a physiotherapist can not only give you relief from these aches and pains, but they can guide you through your pregnancy and can help you during each trimester – and beyond.

At Grace Private our women’s health physiotherapist Debra Miller offers a holistic approach to caring for women and will ensure your wellbeing throughout your pregnancy. They have years of experience helping women thrive during and post-pregnancy

A women’s health physiotherapist can:

1. Help you increase your pelvic floor strength

It’s never too soon to start working on strengthening your pelvic floor muscles. During pregnancy your pelvic floor muscles work seriously hard as they support the weight of your growing baby and are affected by pregnancy hormones. Pelvic floor muscles can weaken during pregnancy and childbirth (yes, even if you have a caesarean), leading to pelvic floor dysfunction and incontinence problems. Our physiotherapists have post-graduate qualifications in this area and will demonstrate exercises to help you strengthen these pelvic floor muscles to support you throughout your pregnancy and after childbirth.

2. Prescribe pregnancy exercises

During pregnancy your body is adapting to a vast number of hormonal changes. You may feel tired and nauseous, so exercise may be the last thing on your mind, even when you know it’s important to stay fit and healthy.

A physiotherapist can recommend gentle exercises and training that will help you stay active during every trimester of your pregnancy. They will work with you to discover what types of exercise suits you best, depending on your pregnancy and individual needs.

3. Reduce pregnancy pain

If you’re experiencing aches and pains due to lower back problems, ligament stretching or postural issues, don’t suffer in silence. Through exercise, stretching and massage, a physiotherapist can help you throughout every stage of your pregnancy. Massage is one way to help alleviate pain and cramps. It can also lower stress, reduce nerve pain, decrease swelling in hands and feet and improve sleep quality.

4. Treat sciatica

Sciatic pain can occur when your growing uterus and baby put pressure on your sciatic nerve which runs from your lower back to the back of your legs and feet. This can cause inflammation, irritation and can be very uncomfortable. You may even experience numbness and tingling. A physiotherapist will use massage and stretching exercises to help relieve the symptoms of sciatica and reduce the discomfort you’re feeling during your pregnancy.

5. Provide post-natal support

Unfortunately, once you’ve given birth you may continue to experience aches and pains. The hormone relaxin stays within your body for up to 3 months post birth and you will need to continue to be careful exercising and doing any heavy manual labour. This is especially important after a caesarean.

At Grace, we recommend a six week postnatal review for an abdominal muscle and pelvic floor assessment.  Your physiotherapist can help you ease back into exercise and continue to strengthen your core and pelvic floor muscles post-birth. If you have any bowel or bladder concerns they can guide you through appropriate exercises to suit your individual needs. They will also address any other pain that could be a result of feeding or carrying your baby, such as mastitis or shoulder/neck pain.

If you’d like to find out how our physiotherapists can help you during your pregnancy journey, book an appointment with one of our qualified physiotherapists. Just remember to ‘Ask for Grace’ when you see your GP for a referral. (Medicare rebates are available if you have a referral from your GP).

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  • Pregnancy