Physiotherapy in Pregnancy

When you are pregnant and after you have given birth, as a whole you need extra care. Changing hormone level cause supporting ligaments to soften and become more stretchy during pregnancy and for up to six months after birth. Your tummy and your pelvic floor muscles stretch with the growth and the birth of your baby. With the joints not well supported, it is easy to injure your back or pelvis.

Physical Therapy during pregnancy can be useful for remedying such common discomforts like back pain or for enhancing your body’s ability to have a smoother pregnancy and birth. Physiotherapy is not just for recovery. Hence incorporating Physiotherapy when you’re pregnant will be helpful.

Basic aim of Physiotherapy during pregnancy is to help the body deal with issues related to mobility, musculature, circulation and respiration. Prior to starting an effective antenatal (before birth) program, a thorough evaluation is done to recognize which exercises would be best suited to the womens needs.

Here’s how Physiotherapy deals with some common complains experienced by women during pregnancy:

1) Low back Pain: The most common condition experienced during pregnancy is low back pain, which increases after third trimester as the center of gravity shifts due to stomach size. This can be treated with manual and passive Physiotherapy, back support, postural education and some pilates exercises.

2) Pain in sacroiliac joint: These joints are present in the lowest region of the lower back. This pain is usually concentrated in the buttock region. During pregnancy, due to excessive hormone release, the body s connective tissues tend to relax so that the muscles can stretch to aid in delivery. This may cause the sacroiliac muscles and ligaments to become more mobile, causing extreme joint movements.

3) Urinary incontinence (due to pelvic floor weakness): Due to hormonal changes, the muscles of pelvic floor relaxes in order to make it supple and ready for delivery. Therefore these muscles can weaken and strain during pregnancy and child birth, which leads to urinary incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction. Physiotherapists help you in strengthening the Pelvic floor muscles with strengthening exercises and Pilates based exercise program also help reduce muscle weakness that may occur after childbirth.

4) Sciatica: Continuous pressure or strain on the sciatic nerve can lead to backache and weakness, numbness and tingling in the leg or associated areas. Physiotherapy uses stretching exercises and manual therapy to relieve you of these symptoms.

5) Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: The build -up of excessive fluid results in swelling in the carpel tunnel in the wrist. You may experience symptoms like pain, numbness, tingling and lots of coordination in your hands and fingers.. Physiotherapy techniques such as mobilization, strengthening exercises, stretching and use of electric modalities help reduce these symptoms.

It is important to keep fit during pregnancy, but it is even more important to do the exercise safely. We at Aster believe in treating you well, our Antenatal classes can provide you that safe environment under the supervision of Physiotherapists who can help you plan an individualized exercise program for your pregnancy and beyond. For more information please call us at 0558314822.

Ms. Justina, Physiotherapist

Ms. Justina Dsouza


Aster Hospital, Mankhool