PRE-NATAL, PREGNANCY AND POSTPARTUM
Are you planning on becoming pregnant soon? Why not come to physical therapy? In a few sessions, you can learn how to correctly strengthen your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles to be in the best shape you can be prior to pregnancy. This will help you prevent low back pain and urinary/fecal incontinence during pregnancy.
Are you already pregnant? Do you have low back pain, pelvic pain and/or incontinence? We can help you too! We want you to feel your absolute best during your entire pregnancy.
Did you just have a baby and are you looking to strengthen your abdominals/back or decrease pain? Physical Therapy is the answer for you as well!
Pregnancy is an incredibly exciting time in a woman’s life. It’s also a time of intense fatigue and extreme changes in our bodies. Physical Therapy treatment before, during and after pregnancy can greatly reduce pain and improve function in order for you to continue to do the things that you enjoy.
Here are some of the changes that occur during pregnancy:
· Increased curvature of your low back as the baby grows causing compression
· Rounding of your mid and upper back due to changes in breast size and weight which can cause pain in the shoulders, back, arms and hands
· Loosening of stabilizing structures/ligaments in the pelvis causing low back and pelvic pain
· Decreased balance due to spinal curvature changes and your growing baby pulling you forward
· Ribs flaring out to the sides as your baby grows
· Hyperventilation, largely influenced by an increase in progesterone hormone, which makes you feel like you cannot catch your breath.
· Increased urination and changes in bowel habits (either constipation or diarrhea)
· Loss of sleep due to difficulty finding a position of comfort
All of these changes can affect how you feel and how you function before, during and after pregnancy. For example, back pain is incredibly common in pregnancy and postpartum, but it doesn’t have to be!
· 30-50% of pregnant women reported pain severe enough to lose time from work or withdraw from social interaction (Kristiannson 1996, Noren 1997, Ostgaard 1991)
· Of those reporting pain to their physician, only 15-30% report receiving treatment for complaints (Owens 2002, Stapleton 2002)
· 20% of women experiencing severe pain during pregnancy reported they will avoid future pregnancy due to fear of low back pain (LBP) (Brynhildsen 1998)
· 30-43.2% of women reported low back pain at 6 months postpartum (Ostgaard 1997, 1992)
We want to change these statistics!
Exercise during pregnancy can:
· Improve sleep
· Decrease muscle aches and pains (Stafne 2012)
· Reduce stress and enhance self-image
· Improve perception of health
How Can Physical Therapy Help?
In your physical therapy sessions we will assess your posture as well as assess the strength and length of your muscles. Once we have evaluated this, we will put together an individualized treatment plan for you including: positioning in standing, sitting and sleeping, as well as stretching and strengthening to improve muscle balance and overall stability. Our goal is to help you function at your absolute best and have the strength and stability in your body to be able to care for your baby and yourself!
The treatment tools we use include:
· Biofeedback to improve pelvic floor strength or relaxation as needed
· Real Time Ultrasound to determine if you are correctly activating your “core” muscles
· Soft tissue and connective tissue mobilization
· Neural mobilization
· Exercises and stretches designed to fit your busy lifestyle
· Patient and family education and training
What should I expect when I go to therapy?
Expect a private session with a physical therapist that specializes in treating women like you where you will receive help and hope!
Once you have scheduled your first appointment with us, we will need to gather important information to ensure we provide you with the best care possible. A patient information packet will need to be completed and provided to our staff when you arrive for your first appointment. The patient information packet will include a description of what to expect, as well as a patient history questionnaire. Your patient information packet can be mailed to your home or downloaded here.
By empowering you with the knowledge, movement and awareness necessary to make the changes in your own body, we simply guide you in your healing process as you transform to be a healthier and livelier person. The greatest success occurs when you are an active participant in your treatment program and we do expect your commitment. For more information, please visit Frequently Asked Questions.
We look forward to working with you!