At Pelvic Wellness Center, we feel pregnancy should be a joyous time. Expectant mothers should be able to engage in ordinary daily activities without being limited by pain or dysfunction.
Why Should I See a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist During Pregnancy?
Do you have any of the following symptoms?
- Pelvic pain
- Low back and/or aching back
- Hip pain and/or pain around the pelvis
- Heaviness or aching in the perineum (very bottom of pelvis)
- Pain down the legs
- Bladder control problems (urinary incontinence, accidental leaks, urgency and/or frequency)
- Diastasis Recti (midline separation of the abdominal muscles)
- Pelvic Organ Prolapse
If you are pregnant and experiencing any of the above symptoms, you can benefit from seeing one of our therapists.
The unfortunate reality of pregnancy is that the many changes occurring to the female body during pregnancy sometimes result in pain or dysfunction within the pelvic, low back, and abdominal regions – limiting function and resulting in an unpleasant prenatal/perinatal experience for mom. Research indicates that about half of all pregnant women experience back pain, with postural and hormonal changes responsible for much of the dysfunction plaguing this susceptible region.
What Can I Expect During a Treatment Session with my Physical Therapist During Pregnancy?
Physical Therapy during pregnancy is very important to ensure you are doing the best you can to stay mobile and strong, and not feeling each day is a struggle because of pain, bladder control, or other physically limiting factors. Your physical therapist will work with you to find what you need. This may include:
- Individually designed exercise program to improve muscle function and improve optimal movement. This may include the muscles of the abdomen, spine, pelvic floor, pelvic girdle, and legs.
- Learning about body mechanics and postural habits to improve muscle function and reduce symptoms during everyday activities.
- Learning about the physiologic changes throughout pregnancy and how to safely navigate your physical changes.
- Learning about bladder training to improve bladder control.
- Learning what to expect after baby.
- Advice and instruction for use of maternity supports and belts if needed.
- Hands-on techniques to assist with the release of tight or overactive muscles, or to promote activation of underused, weak muscles.
- Some techniques are used to assist with better positioning or movement of joints.
Exercise and Pregnancy
During pregnancy, women should be able to enjoy regular engagement in fitness activities that provide benefits to both mom and baby. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), “pregnant women should be encouraged to engage in regular, moderate-intensity physical activity to continue to derive the same associated health benefits during their pregnancies as they did prior to pregnancy.”
Some of the benefits of exercise include maintenance of bone strength, regulation of a healthy cardiovascular system, and the prevention of gestational diabetes, to name a few. Our goal is to assist women to identify the causes of pain and dysfunction during pregnancy in order to facilitate an active, healthy lifestyle during this important time.
What Pregnancy-Related Conditions Does Pelvic Wellness Center Treat?
Pelvic Wellness Center provides treatment and guidance for the following pre- and perinatal conditions:
Pain within the thoracic (mid-back), lumbar (low back), and sacral region of the spine associated with the postural and hormonal changes experienced during pregnancy.
Pain located in and around the anterior (front) of the pelvic region associated with a laxity (loosening) and widening of this area during pregnancy.
The involuntary loss of urine with physical activity including laughing, coughing, sneezing, and positional changes. Learn more about Pelvic Wellness Center Incontinence Care.
The sacroiliac (SI) joint is the link between the pelvis and the spine and is formed through the articulation between the sacrum and ilium in the posterior (back) region of the pelvis. Dysfunction within the SI joint is a common source of low back, buttock, and pelvic pain in the pregnant woman.
Painful regions of the expectant mother are not limited to the low back and pelvis. Hip pain is another common region where discomfort and pain associated with the changing pregnant body will manifest.
Symptoms associated with sciatica include pain and/or numbness in the buttocks, the posterior (back) region of the leg, and into the calf musculature and foot.
Diastasis recti is a condition characterized by a separation of the abdominal muscles during pregnancy, allowing for the growth of the pregnant belly. The separation of the major muscles within this area, the rectus abdominus, can cause significant muscle weakening which can lead to spine instability and back pain.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Pelvic organ prolapse, POP,is when a pelvic organ “drops” from its optimal position in the pelvis and pushes on the wall of the vagina. POP can happen after childbirth and with treatment, symptoms usually resolve without surgical intervention.
Pelvic Wellness Center is an independently owned physical therapy clinic in Eugene, Oregon focused exclusively on treating pelvic health issues through physical therapy. Contact us today!