PHYSICAL THERAPY BEFORE PREGNANCY
Physical therapy during pregnancy can be useful for remedying common discomforts like back pain or for enhancing your body’s ability to have a smoother pregnancy and birth. Physical therapy is not just for recovery.
PHYSICAL THERAPY DURING PREGNANCY
The number of pregnant women who experience back pain is somewhere between 50 to 70 percent.
The reasons for back pain vary from person to person, but the majority of back pain concerns can be accounted for by one of the following reasons:
- an increase in hormones
- a change in the body’s center of gravity
- gaining additional weight
- a decline in posture
- added stress
Over the last 40 years, the average age of women having their first child has risen from 21.4 to 25 years of age. Due to the fact that many women are juggling both the demands of pursuing higher education and the competitive nature of today’s workforce, more women are having their first child after the age of thirty five.
As a result, many women becoming pregnant are less physically active in their daily lives. This decreased activity leaves an alarming number of women under-prepared for the strenuous journey of carrying and delivering a baby.
Lower back pain is an all too common reality for many expecting mothers. As the uterus and baby grow, the mother’s center of gravity moves forward. This shift increases the amount of force the muscles must generate for everyday support causing women to slump forward. Over time this poor alignment creates muscle tightness in the pectoral muscles, rolling the shoulders forward and creating increased stress on the muscles of the neck, shoulders and mid-back.
If these muscular factors are not addressed, these forces will ultimately be translated down to the low back, an area which is already under a great deal of stress because it is supporting the increased center of gravity.
Physical Therapy for Relieving other types of Pain
Women searching for ways to cope with this reality may be surprised to know that musculoskeletal and postural factors can be directly addressed with a proper physical therapy program. Physical therapy is a medically based profession specializing in pain relief. Physical therapists (PTs) work with individuals to develop a treatment plan to decrease pain by identifying and addressing its causes.
Though it varies from state to state, many don’t require a doctor’s referral or prescription to see a physical therapist. PT’s can begin treating your pain on the first visit, so you walk out the door feeling better than when you walked in. Additionally, since physical therapy is a medically based profession, the services are covered by most medical insurance plans with limited out of pocket cost.