Not sure if your pregnancy related pain warrants seeing a physical therapist? Continue reading to learn more about pregnancy pain and how to get relief.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
If you are experiencing pain while pregnant, you might be thinking you need to see a physical therapist during pregnancy.
The #1 reason why pregnant women go to see a physical therapist is to get relief of pain.
There are common causes of pain during pregnancy that warrant making an appointment with a physical therapist.
Pain can be associated with pregnancy due to the constant changes that are taking place within the pelvic girdle, the alignment of the spine and the SI joint, the added weight gain and pressure on joints and the changes in center of gravity.
You should never hesitate to call your local physical therapist for an initial evaluation if you start to experience pain during pregnancy. There are treatment options that are safe during pregnancy and will ultimately relieve the pain that you are experiencing, sometimes instantly.
Is Physical Therapy Safe During Pregnancy?
You may be wondering if physical therapy is safe to have during pregnancy. It definitely is safe to go to physical therapy while pregnant. There are highly trained doctors of physical therapy who specialize in prenatal care.
These physical therapists are known as “Women’s Health Physical Therapists” and “Pelvic Health Physical Therapists“.
A physical therapist who treats a patient during pregnancy will choose specific movements and techniques that will not harm you or your baby. Exercise is known to be beneficial to the development of your baby and for yourself as you move further along in your pregnancy. Physical activity and exercise will also help with the ease of childbirth.
It’s always best to prevent the worsening of pain and catch the problem early on during pregnancy so the pain doesn’t escalate into your postpartum recovery phase.
What Are The Common Causes Of Pain During Pregnancy?
The number of pregnant women who experience back pain is somewhere between 50 to 70 percent.
You are not alone.
Don’t overlook the pain and assume this is all part of pregnancy you just have to deal with. NO!
You can get treatment and relief from the pain you are experiencing.
Common causes of pain during pregnancy are due to the following
- an increase in hormones
- a change in the body’s center of gravity
- added stress
- weight gain
- postural changes
- lack of physical activity
- increased swelling
- decline in strength that leads to injury
Not Sure If You Need Physical Therapy?
If you are not sure whether you should go to physical therapy or not, I want you to start with this one question: How much pain do you have on a scale of 0 to 10?
Zero is no pain at all and 10 is considered such excruciating pain that you need to go to the hospital.
Once you classify your pain, you’ll have a better idea of whether the pain is something more serious or just more of an annoyance.
Next, ask yourself how often the pain occurs. Is it all day long or just for a split second in the day?
How long has this pain been going on for…two days, or two weeks? If it’s on the longer side, more frequently throughout the day and for several days, I highly recommend you see a physical therapist for an evaluation.
What Are The Most Common Diagnoses Physical Therapists Treat During Pregnancy?
The most common reason for pain in pregnancy is SI joint pain which is most commonly known as low back pain in pregnancy.
If you are experiencing pain along your lower back and into your buttocks region, I am confident a physical therapist can treat this and help relieve your pain. Learn more about SI joint pain in pregnancy here.
Pelvic Floor Pain In Pregnancy
As your uterus begins to grow and your baby gains more weight, your pelvic bones also start to widen. You possibly will experience some pelvic floor pain.
So much is changing in your body; ligaments are stretching, hormone levels are fluctuating, and organs are shifting around to make room for your growing uterus.
You can learn more about pelvic floor pain in pregnancy here.
Diastasis Recti Causing Pain In Pregnancy
You might start to notice a bulge or a ridge form between the left and right side of your abdominal muscles during pregnancy. It’s more noticeable in the later stages of pregnancy and can be more prominent when trying to do a sit up when getting out of bed. This is known as Diastasis Recti.
“Diastasis recti is very common during and following pregnancy. This is because the uterus stretches the muscles in the abdomen to accommodate your growing baby. One study found that up to 60 percent of women may experience diastasis recti during pregnancy or postpartum.” –Healthline
Other common locations for pain during pregnancy are thoracic pain (mid back pain), hip pain, and pain with sexual intercourse. These are all treatable with physical therapy.
When Do You Start Exercising After Giving Birth?
There are a number of physical activities and exercises that should be avoided while pregnant. To get the full list of activities to avoid click here. Because of these hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy, exercise is more difficult and you are more prone to injury. Ligaments become looser during pregnancy, and it increases the risk of sprains and strains throughout your body. Knowing this, you want to make sure you are not participating in any particular exercise that may be of harm to you or your baby.
What Kind Of Physical Activities Are Best During Pregnancy?
But just because there is a long list of physical activities to avoid, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do any exercise during pregnancy. Exercise during pregnancy is known to help with postpartum recovery. There are a number of other benefits of exercise during pregnancy. See which prenatal exercises are safe to do and why in this article.
If you are looking for a prenatal workout program that is safe to do throughout your pregnancy, the Perfect Pregnancy Plan takes you through each trimester with workouts specifically designed to accommodate your ever changing body. Learn more here.
What Kinds Of Treatments Are Safe During Pregnancy?
You may find that your physical therapist wants to prescribe you body weight types of exercises and stretches for your back and hips.
Massage is another technique that is helpful in relieving pain as are “SI belts” specifically designed for pregnant women.
Your physical therapist will likely spend a lot of time on teaching you proper body mechanics in order to help you prevent the worsening of your pain.
After your initial evaluation, your physical therapist will explain the course of action he or she will take in order to properly treat your condition safely.
Never Overlook Pregnancy Pain
Sometimes pain during pregnancy is a red flag, meaning something more serious is going on and you need to do something about it right away. Don’t wait, but call your doctor if you feel like something isn’t right.
Maybe you know it’s not an urgent matter, but you just aren’t sure what to do about the pain that you are experiencing during pregnancy.
If you are looking for advice from a physical therapist, you can always contact me on my contacts page to set up a FREE discovery call.
I don’t want you to live with pain as you are nearing the end of your pregnancy. You want to feel your best going into childbirth and as you welcome your baby into this world. Your baby is relying on you to be strong and healthy. Take the steps towards getting the treatment your body needs. You can find your local physical therapist here.
Not sure whether you should be seeing a chiropractor or maybe a massage therapist for your pain? Learn more about whether you need a physical therapist, chiropractor or massage therapist to treat your pain during pregnancy and get a detailed comparison of the three types of practices here.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
*It is important to always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program and get medical clearance. Always warm up thoroughly and stretch after all workouts. LiveCoreStrong.com and Jena Bradley will be not be responsible or liable for any injury sustained while exercising at home, gym or elsewhere. Perform exercises at your own risk.
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