Pregnancy brings about physical and hormonal changes that can impact the musculoskeletal system, including altered posture, shortened muscles, possible muscle imbalances, and changes in spinal mobility and bone alignment.
Similarly, the postpartum phase can lead to musculoskeletal concerns due to fluctuating hormone levels and physical changes caused by delivery, such as excessive joint mobility, potential muscle imbalances, weakness in core stabilizing muscles, and disrupted spinal mobility and function.
Benefits of Prenatal and Postpartum Physical Therapy in TEMPE
The aim of physical therapy during pregnancy and postpartum is to tackle spinal and pelvic joint dysfunction, provide exercises to address muscle weakness and imbalances, and give guidance on modifying daily activities that may be challenging during these phases of life.
The treatment options depend on the individual condition and may include:
- Muscle energy techniques to realign the pelvic girdle joints and lower back
- Gentle joint mobilization and soft tissue mobilization during prenatal period
- Postpartum phase may involve internal/external soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilization, scar mobilization, and visceral mobilization
- Neuromuscular re-education, coordination, and strength training for pelvic floor muscles
- Lumbopelvic stabilization exercises and core strengthening program
- Strengthening of postural muscles
- Correction of diastasis recti
- Education on optimal body mechanics
- Modalities, such as moist heat, cold therapy, electrical stimulation, or ultrasound, as appropriate based on prenatal/postpartum status
- Fitting and use of pregnancy support belt
- Self-management strategies to efficiently transition to home-based program.
Physical Therapy During Pregnancy
If you suffer from activity intolerance, pain, weakness, or core instability during pregnancy, consider seeking the advice of your OB-GYN about participating in a prenatal physical therapy program. The majority of physical discomfort experienced during pregnancy can be alleviated through techniques such as body mechanics training, relaxation techniques, manual therapy, therapeutic taping, stretching, and strengthening exercises, which focus on accommodating anticipated changes in posture during pregnancy. The Prenatal/Postpartum Health Program at Memorial Hermann can support you throughout your pregnancy and bring relief.
Advantages of Physical Therapy During Pregnancy
Many expectant mothers are concerned about ensuring a smooth pregnancy and delivery, while others may experience the following conditions and benefit from prenatal physical therapy:
- Improved joint mobility
- Correction of muscle imbalance
- Improved body balance
- Better postural alignment
- Greater relaxation
- Stress relief
Physical Therapy After Pregnancy
Whether you have recently given birth or are a seasoned mother, if you are struggling with pain or difficulty in performing daily activities or experiencing changes that were not present during pregnancy, it may be time to consult with your doctor about a postpartum physical therapy program. A physical therapy plan that includes proper exercise and stretching can alleviate the conditions you are experiencing. Relief does not always require surgery or medication, and the experienced physical therapists at Memorial Hermann can help you determine if a postpartum physical therapy program is the right solution for you.
Changes After Childbirth
After giving birth, you may start to notice pain in areas where you have never experienced it before, especially in your core and pelvic floor. Sitting may become uncomfortable, or you may experience muscle spasms or cramping. If you underwent an instrumented birth, you may be dealing with a temporary nerve injury, and if you had a C-section, you may feel pain and discomfort where your belly folds over the incision. These changes can occur immediately after childbirth or even years later.
Physical Therapy Benefits After Childbirth
Physical therapy can provide relief from pain and stress after childbirth. Your core and pelvic floor muscles may have been weakened during pregnancy and childbirth, and physical therapy can help strengthen these areas and retrain muscles that have moved or nerves that have been damaged during labor. If your tailbone was impacted during childbirth, physical therapy can help you sit comfortably again. Physical therapy can also help to properly and comfortably retrain scar tissue after a C-section.
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I have been coming to Moore Therapy for my ankle. David is my Pt. He has made my ankle more flexible so I can do almost every day activities again. The staff is very kind and courteous. They take the extra minute to show they care about each patient. I highly recommend this team.
We had the pleasure of working with Moore Physical Therapy and they did not disappoint! My son needed to do PT for a leg and foot issue. They took their time and always gave extraordinary customer service. My son was a patient for over 3 months and everytime we came in we felt like family. I’m sad he graduated from his program but so thankful he made such good progress! I would definitely recommend the Mesa office. We fell in love with the staff.