Physiotherapy to Treat Prenatal & Post-Natal Pain
Pre-natal physiotherapy and postpartum physiotherapy play a critical role in pain prevention, treatment and recovery for pregnant and postpartum women.
Women's bodies change significantly during pregnancy. As they gain weight, their centre of gravity changes, putting more pressure on internal organs. This often leads to many neurological, orthopedic and pelvic issues during the pre-natal and post-natal stages.
Some common conditions women report include:
- Joint pain
- Pelvic misalignment
- Back or pelvic pain
- Blocked breast ducts
- Numb, tingling and painful hands and fingers
- Bladder prolapse
- Abdominal separation
- Varicose veins and swollen ankles
Even before the bump starts "showing" for pregnant women, major changes are happening internally. Posture and the way in which the body moves changes.
Soft tissues, ligaments and muscles become more flexible and the weight pressure on their joints increases. This elasticity and flexibility lets the pelvis stretch to accommodate the growing baby. These shifts are triggered by hormonal changes, all of which are imperative to mom and baby's health and development as the woman's body prepares itself for delivery.
Why do some women experience these conditions during pregnancy?
Not every women will experience pain and discomfort during pregnancy, and it doesn't have to be a reason to reconsider becoming pregnant if you had wished to. That said, many women are at higher risk due to many factors that make them more prone to these symptoms.
Women who have a previous history of pelvic floor dysfunction, lower back pain and pelvic girdle pain are more predisposed to encounter these types of pain during pregnancy and after giving birth.
Being overweight, in addition to being pregnant and giving birth (vaginally or by c-section) seem to leave women at higher risk for urinary incontinence, while risk factors for pelvic organ prolapse are related to a family history of the condition, increasing age and number of deliveries.
Weakness in the pelvic floor muscles, repetitive constipation and straining, repetitive heavy lifting and obesity are also contributing factors.
How can prenatal and postpartum physiotherapy help prevent and treat these conditions?
To lay the foundation for preventing and alleviating prenatal pain and to set the stage for a good recovery, it's important to prepare the abdominal area, lower back muscles and pelvic floor pre and post-pregnancy.
If you experience any of the symptoms listed above during or after your pregnancy, our physiotherapists at our Nepean location can evaluate your specific circumstances and the factors contributing to your pain or discomfort.
We can help you prepare for labour and delivery with a range of physiotherapy treatment options designed to:
- Maintain pelvic alignment and symmetry to reduce pain
- Strengthen and lengthen the pelvic foor muscle to minimize pain and improve continence and mobility
- Optimize birthing positions to leave as much room as possible for the baby to come through the birth canal
- Prepare the vaginal connective tissue and pelvic floor muscles with perineal care and stretching to prevent and minimize tearing
- Minimize pain of musculoskeletal conditions that pregnancy, labour and delivery can exacerbate
- Provide education for expectant mothers on pain management and discuss fears, concerns and labour goals to help calm stress and anxiety
Post-delivery reconditioning focuses on safely and progressively returning various parts of the body to pre-pregnancy and or delivery function most impacted by pregnancy, labour and delivery.
Your physiotherapist may prescribe an active core strengthening program, including specific pelvic floor muscle strengthening exercises to correct back or pelvic dysfunction.
Additional treatments may include massage, joint mobilizations, stretches, acupuncture, myofascial release and heat.
Prenatal & Post-Partum Physiotherapy
Every woman is unique, and every pregnancy is different. At Nepean Sports Medicine & Physiotherapy Centre, our specially trained physiotherapists can help you navigate your personal pregnancy and post-pregnancy experience by helping you prepare for a safer, healthier delivery - and heal afterwards - with prenatal and postpartum physiotherapy (sometimes referred to as parental therapy).
We treat health issues related to pregnancy, delivery preparation and postpartum recovery. Our physiotherapists offer private, compassionate pelvic physiotherapy care in our closed-door dedicated treatment room.
In this private treatment room, we're able to accommodate our pelvic and women's health physiotherapy clients away from our general physiotherapy treatment area.