Pregnancy is a time that can have a great impact on the ability of a woman to function on a daily basis. Many physical and hormonal changes are responsible for making women feel at times quite uncomfortable during the pregnancy process.
However, women do not have to accept that these feelings of discomfort are unmanageable. Doctors recognise that physical therapy can improve womens’ health during pregnancy, by reducing discomfort, preparing the body for delivery and also to accelerate the recovery process after the birth of the baby.
Physical therapy is able to help the body to cope with musculature, circulatory, mobility, respiratory and circulatory issues. The entire nervous system function can be greatly enhanced by using certain physiotherapy techniques to improve its function. It is estimated that up to 25% of women will experience some form or temporary disablement because of the changes in the body during pregnancy and other women will experience general discomfort to varying degrees. By implementing a regular physiotherapy program as part of your pregnancy care regime you may be able to treat problems associated with lower back pain, neck and head pain, pain in the hamstrings due to the feet becoming flatter, nerve compression symptoms such as tingling sensations in the arms, and bladder control problems. A physiotherapy program can be tailored specifically for each woman’s individual needs.
A thorough evaluation is necessary before starting an effective program, in order to determine the best exercises that will be well suited to the woman. These exercises are intended to decrease joint pain, help to correct muscle imbalances and build strength, and to increase the range of the body’s overall motion and functionality. It is recommended that women attend between four to six instructional sessions in order to learn how to use and incorporate the techniques into their daily exercise or care regime. The session should focus on specific movements and exercises to reduce and manage pain effectively and to assist in development of healthy postural alignment and balance of the body. Particular techniques are designed to enhance flexibility in the soft tissues and joints.
There are a variety of techniques that can be used for mental and physical relaxation. Relaxation exercises are just as important as those that help to increase strength and flexibility.
Therapists can also fit the woman with braces and orthotics that will help to provide support for the lower back if necessary. Positions for sleeping may be advised, if normal sleeping routines have been disturbed. This is also a common problem for pregnant women. After the birth of the baby, rehabilitation can be accelerated by incorporating postpartum physiotherapy techniques into the regular exercise program. The use of physiotherapy, combined with the professional guidance and advice of the practitioner can definitely help to make pregnancy and recovery more enjoyable.
The benefits gained through the use of physiotherapy will be extended to the baby, if a mother is feeling more happy and comfortable.