PT During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a beautiful and wonderful thing. Some say it is a miracle. I would have to agree BUT there are many changes that occur in a woman’s body that will be a source of pain and dysfunction.
Posture Changes and Muscle Imbalances
The most obvious change that we see during pregnancy is the change in posture. As baby grows, increased pressure can be placed on the low back due to increased weight in the abdomen that rotates the pelvis forward. Increased breast size is a common culprit during pregnancy that increases stress in the neck and middle back. These postural deviations will lead to significant muscle imbalances that will contribute to long-standing postural changes even after the baby has been born. Working with a PT at the beginning of your pregnancy will allow you to improve the strength of the muscles that stabilize the spine and pelvis. Priming these muscles early in pregnancy will improve their ability to function as your body begins to change.
Balance and Safety
Some women do experience difficulty maintaining their balance as they progress into their pregnancy. As the baby grows, your center of mass begins to shift forward. These changes are subtle but can be a main contributing factor to imbalance during pregnancy. Physical therapists are trained to assist you in training your balance to improve your overall safety with all activities during your pregnancy.
Connective Tissue Laxity and Muscle Stabilization
During pregnancy, hormone changes can increase the laxity or “stretchiness” of your connective tissue. This allows your pelvic area to “open” in preparation for labor. As much as we would like these hormones to only affect the connective tissue in the pelvis, it does not. These hormones can affect the integrity of all connective tissue in your body. When we have increased laxity in our connective tissue, it is extremely important to rely on our muscles to stabilize the joints in our body to avoid injury. Working with a PT will allow you to...
Nerve Injuries and Swelling
One problem during pregnancy that does not get enough attention is nerve injuries. This can occur when excessive swelling creates pressure on a nerve. The most common being carpal tunnel excessive swelling creating nerve injury. One of the most common nerve injuries occur at the carpal tunnel which can result in pain, numbness, and weakness in the affected hand. Another nerve we see injured due to increased swelling is the common peroneal nerve. This can result in lower leg numbness, pain, and even weakness of the anterior tibialis. Injury to this nerve could create a condition called foot slap or drop foot. Working with a PT could help prevent these injuries from occurring with techniques that aid in reducing swelling. If you do end up with a nerve injury during your pregnancy, a PT can assist you in recovering from this injury.
Comprehensive Care for a Magical Time
Here at Re-form, we are trained to take care of any injury or dysfunction that occurs during your pregnancy and post partum care. We would love to walk with you during this most magical time so you can enjoy every minute.```
Jentry is the owner and founder of Re-Form. She and earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in 2011 and founded Re-form in 2015. She discovered her passion for Pilates while rehabilitating from a hip injury in college and knew someday she would integrate it into her physical therapy practice.