Is Physical Therapy Recommended for Pregnant Women?

Is Physical Therapy Recommended for Pregnant Women?

It’s common for pregnant women to be told to ignore symptoms of discomfort, pain, or even embarrassing issues like urinary incontinence. Many doctors will tell their pregnant patients not to worry, their suffering will cease once they give birth. That, and many drug or other nondrug treatment modalities are off-limits during pregnancy to keep the unborn baby healthy. While it’s true that many treatments physical therapists use, including ultrasound or electric stimulation, are not suitable or advisable for pregnant women, there are many other treatments that are helpful to alleviate any pain or discomfort.

A certified physical therapist can help pregnant women safely address issues of pain management to make pregnancy more comfortable. The most common physical discomfort pregnant women face is lower back pain, as their body changes to accommodate the needs of a growing baby. This is especially prevalent during the third trimester, and the discomfort is even more acute for women expecting multiples. Apart from lower back pain, women may also experience other issues during pregnancy, from carpal tunnel syndrome to tendonitis.

Specific Physical Therapy Treatments for Pregnant Women

Every pregnant woman responds differently to the various physical therapy approaches. That’s why it’s important to work with a physical therapist who can help you care for your back pain and any other body pain issues you have. If you are pregnant and have discomfort, especially in your lower back, a visit to your physical therapist may be helpful to assess your specific situation and prescribe exercises that will help diminish pain symptoms and you can learn lifestyle changes to implement during pregnancy to improve your mobility.

Back pain in pregnant women may be treated with the following:

  • Exercise: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that women should exercise at least 3 times per week for 15 minutes per session, and get their heart rate up to 140 beats each minute. Suitable exercises for pregnant women include brisk walking, yoga, swimming, and more.
  • Posture correction: It’s common for pregnant women to develop a pronounced sway in their back, made worse by the weight of the baby developing in front of her spine. Proper posture is important while lying down, sitting, standing, or moving. Good posture can help pregnant women feel better and alleviate lower back pain.
  • Manual/passive therapy: Joint mobilization or massage can ease a pregnant woman’s discomfort. Our physical therapists may recommend a sacroiliac (SI) belt to stabilizer the lower back and provide back support.

Schedule an Appointment, You Don’t Need a Doctor’s Prescription to Get Physical Therapy

You don’t need your obstetrician’s prescription to see a physical therapist during pregnancy, nor the go-ahead from any other physician. Our Doctor of Physical Therapy at ProFysio are well-versed in handling cases of low back pain, even in pregnant women.

Contact us at ProFysio to learn more about physical therapy for pregnant women. We have 5 convenient locations throughout New Jersey to meet your needs. Call us at (732) 812-5200 to book your appointment!

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