Is Physical Therapy Safe During Pregnancy?

January 13, 2021 2:27 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

As you undoubtedly know, pregnancy takes a huge physical toll on the body. It’s not just the fact that you’re growing another human—your own body has to adjust to make room for them, which can result in major discomfort or even severe pain. Many people ask whether physical therapy is safe during pregnancy in Napa County, CA. The answer is yes—physical therapy can be tailored to the pregnant body to provide pain relief, prepare your body for pregnancy and ease recovery after birth.

Here’s how physical therapy can help you.

How does pregnancy affect the body?

Your body has about 40 weeks to make room for your baby as they grow. While pregnant, your musculoskeletal system does the bulk of the work, which is why pregnant women often complain of back and muscle pain, especially in the last trimester. The hormone relaxin is released during pregnancy to help your ligaments loosen. However, this can pull your lower back and pelvis in different directions. As your baby gets larger and puts pressure on your back and pelvis, you may experience back, pelvic and hip pain.

Pregnant women may also experience nerve compression issues, where your muscles and the baby put so much pressure on the nerves that they “pinch.” Compressed nerves can manifest as carpal tunnel syndrome, pelvic joint pain, spinal problems and circulatory issues.

Finally, you might notice heartburn, morning sickness, abdominal pain, urinary problems and other issues not directly related to musculoskeletal pain. In many cases, taking time during your pregnancy for physical therapy in Napa County, CA can provide some relief for all of these issues.

What kinds of treatments are available during pregnancy?

When you’re pregnant, you should avoid modalities like ultrasound and electric stimulation. You can, however, work on exercises for stabilization (which helps strengthen the pelvic floor and core muscles), yoga, swimming and walking.

If you’re concerned about exercise, don’t be—it’s recommended that pregnant women get their heart rate up to 140 beats per minute, for 15 minutes, about three to four times per week. Using these gentle forms of exercise will help ease discomfort, strengthen the body and improve your circulation.

What kinds of treatments are available after pregnancy?

After you give birth, your pelvic floor is probably going to be very weak. You’ll need to work on pelvic floor strengthening and stretching, using the proper form. A physical therapist can help you work through post-partum and back pain issues with physical therapy in Napa County, CA. Having additional guidance and supervision ensures that your form is correct and you’re not placing additional undue stress on your body.

Working with a physical therapist can help you avoid a lot of common post-pregnancy problems, such as bladder leaks and uterine prolapse. Together, you’ll work to strengthen your core and pelvic floor in a way that won’t exacerbate scars or tearing.

Focus Forward Wellness & Physical Therapy can help you through your pregnancy and post-partum period. Call us today to learn more about our services and schedule an appointment.

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