Women’s body will go through a lot during pregnancy, experiencing issues and pain that could go on after childbirth. Which is why taking care of these conditions as soon as the first symptoms appear will help prevent any further complications and pain during your pregnancy. Then following your childbirth, Postnatal Physiotherapy will help avoid all undesirable consequences of the pregnancy such as incontinence, pelvic pain, prolapse, abdominal separation and more.
The Ultimate Pregnancy-related conditions Guide
Women’s health Physiotherapy has always been a little “taboo” but at Mummy’s Physio we believe it is extremely important that women are aware of what can be treated easily by only a few sessions of pelvic floor rehabilitation or pregnancy osteopathy instead of suffering in silence.
In the following article we are going to go through the most common pregnancy and postnatal issues along with the adequate treatments that can be done to relieve women from a painful pregnancy or postnatal problems.
Prenatal & Pregnancy Treatments
What are the symptoms you could experience during pregnancy, and how to treat them?
Lower back pain:
Back pain and especially lower back pain are very common in mothers-to-be. As the belly gets heavier, the pulling weight often leads to back pain that can spread along the leg and pelvis area, and end up with pain along the buttock, hip, thigh and abdomen (pelvic girdle pain).
The most efficient Lower back pain treatment during pregnancy
Both women’s health osteopathy and women’s health physiotherapy have a great effect in treating lower back pain, providing relief with rebalancing, manipulation & manual therapy, massage and stretching, advice and tips to self-manage your daily symptoms, so you can feel as comfortable as possible during your pregnancy.
With a few sessions and if you follow your women’s health specialist, back pain is usually managed very easily.
Symphysis pubic dysfunction (SPD or false sciatica)
Symphysis pubic dysfunction, also referred as pelvic girdle pain is a group of symptoms causing discomfort in the pelvic area (front and/or back of the pelvis), usually due to stiffness or uneven movements of the pelvic joints. Pelvic Pain
Osteopathy and pelvic pain physiotherapy can both help with SPD and pelvic pain, and with the same process as pregnancy lower back pain treatments. The pelvic pain physiotherapist will rebalance your pelvis, stretching the muscles around this area and a few manual manipulations on your legs, pelvis and lower back will fix this painful symptom.
Heavy legs and bad blood circulation: Lymphatic Drainage
Alongside weight gain and hormonal changes, circulatory impairment is quite common in pregnancy, often causing a sensation of heavy legs. Lymphatic drainage is the best treatment to avoid and relieve swollen and heavy legs during pregnancy. With a very soft tissue massage using specific techniques of light pressure, it will stimulate the lymphatic system and rebalance the lymphatic flow. After the first lymphatic drainage you will quickly feel the relief and your legs will feel much lighter and you will be more comfortable at the end of the day.
Tip: To help with this symptom you can lay down every day for 15 mins with your leg up high to help the blood and lymph circulating back to your upper body.
Prenatal preparation for a smooth delivery
Women’s health physiotherapists can help with pregnancy preparation, so women go through delivery with the less pain and issues possible with the help of pelvic floor training and breathing exercises. It will bring awareness of the pelvic floor muscles, and teach you to both control and relax them to avoid further issues during and after childbirth, such as prolapse, posture issues, episiotomy and tear, or even abdominal separation.
If you want to make sure you start your pregnancy the best way possible or if you want to make sure that everything is fine in the middle of your pregnancy, you can do a prenatal assessment with a physio who will examine you from head to toes and make sure you can have a smooth pregnancy. This include advices, exercises program during your pregnancy.
Full Postnatal check-up
After delivery, we advise all women to have a full mummy MOT (postnatal assessment), in order to check their pelvic floor muscles, their pelvic bone, their back, their abdominal muscles (in case of abdominal separation), their neck and general well-being along with some advices to avoid postnatal depression and how to carry and feed your baby to avoid back and shoulder pain.
Pelvic floor rehabilitation to avoid postnatal consequences
Pelvic floor rehabilitation helps recover from pregnancy and childbirth, as well as treat and reduce any other related issues. An efficient pelvic floor rehabilitation with a women’s health physiotherapist will make you get back safely to your daily activities and sports, and avoid other conditions such as incontinence or prolapse.
Even if you don’t have any symptoms after your delivery, it is advised that every woman should do a few sessions of pelvic floor rehabilitation in order to tone their perineum and avoid further issue during their next pregnancy, or seeing appear some symptoms as back pain and incontinence as they get older and muscle tone reduces after the menopause. Pelvic floor rehabilitation also helps regain better sexual sensations for women and their partner.
Symptoms that can be treated with Pelvic floor rehabilitation are:
- Incontinence: our incontinence physiotherapist will assess your pelvic floor and will give you tailored incontinence exercises to do regularly to tone your perineum
- prolapse: Our prolapse specialist will assess the level of your prolapse before showing you the adequate exercises to reduce your prolapse.
- lack of sexual sensation: Most studies show that toning your pelvic floor will allow a better “squeeze” and so increase the sexual sensations. Our expert will also give you many advices to increase them over time. You will then know how to exercise by yourself.
- overactive bladder: The treatment is pretty identical than incontinence one, but our physiotherapist will also show you how to control your bladder and relax your muscle to lose this urgency sensation
- vaginismus: Pelvic floor rehabilitation and awareness of your pelvic muscle, learn to massage them and doing exercises at different intensity will help you relieve vaginismus
Abdominal separations (diastasis recti)
Many women experience abdominal separation or diastasis recti, which is caused by the uterus stretching the abdominal muscles, resulting in a sort of bulge in the middle of the abdomen. Postnatal physiotherapy techniques can help treat this common issue, allowing women to work on their abdominal muscles without putting any pressure on the pelvic floor, already weakened and sometimes even damaged by pregnancy and childbirth.
For this pathology, it is mainly you who will need to follow the exercises program given by your physio. To reduce the gap between your abdominal muscles, you will have to work on you abdominal transverse muscles with low impact exercises. The intensity of the exercises will increase gradually over the weeks until the gap is reduced to its maximum.
General wellbeing and osteopathy rebalancing after delivery
No matter how easy or difficult your delivery was, it is highly advised to have at least one postnatal osteopathy assessment and rebalancing, to relieve all the tensions created by the changes your body has gone through during pregnancy, and that have appeared after delivery, especially as they can sometimes be quite traumatic (c-section, use of medical tools such as forceps…). Osteopathy will realign everything by getting rid of the physical tensions and stress, which will have a massive impact on your emotional state, helping reduce symptoms of postnatal depression.
Tip: Your baby can also benefit from an osteopathy rebalancing for them to starts their life without any tension that could also bring symptoms such as baby reflux.
We hope this article was informative for all women who are or have been going through pregnancy and didn’t know about these treatments. At Mummy’s Physio, we will always try to bring awareness to women who suffer during their pregnancy, that simple treatments can save you lot of discomfort.
If you wish for more information about these treatments, you can check our blog and pages on https://www.mummysphysio.com/ or give us a call on 0207 125 0262 – we are always happy to answer the questions you may have.
For more information about Ante and Postnatal Physiotherapy & Osteopathy: click here
If you have any questions or would like a physio video or phone appointment with one of our women’s health specialists: call us now on 0207 125 0262
Other topics you might be interested in:
- 10 new tips to relieve back pain during pregnancy
- How to look after your pregnancy and avoid postnatal conditions