Do we need physiotherapy during pregnancy?
Physiotherapy is a type of treatment that aids in the restoration and maintenance of physical fitness and well-being. Physiotherapy can be beneficial during pregnancy because it can help tackle a variety of issues that may arise. Pregnancy can be exhausting on the body, and physiotherapy can assist in managing or alleviating some of the associated discomforts and complications. Because there are numerous benefits to physiotherapy during pregnancy, most doctors advise women to participate in it during their pregnancy.
Some of the advantages of physiotherapy during pregnancy are as follows:
- Relieves low back pain: Back pain and spinal discomfort are common during pregnancy as your body weight changes. Your body isn't used to carrying around the extra weight that comes with pregnancy. As a result, the extra weight you must carry can put strain on your lower back, causing pain and discomfort. Pain symptoms can be reduced with physiotherapy interventions such as exercises, stretches, and massage. It helps to relax the muscles and relieve stress caused by the extra weight they must carry. To relieve pain, physiotherapists have their patients perform exercises that engage the muscles near their spine. Massages can also be beneficial in dealing with this type of pain.
- Pelvic floor muscle strengthening: Because of changes in the pelvic floor muscles, women have difficulty controlling their bladder, which can be embarrassing and annoying. You will have an increased flow of blood in your body during pregnancy. This increased blood flow puts your kidneys to work and causes extra fluid to be released, resulting in increased urination. Urinary incontinence can sometimes be caused by increased urination and weakened pelvic floor muscles. Physiotherapy can aid in the improvement of pelvic floor function, which is important in the prevention of incontinence and other pelvic floor disorders following childbirth. Physiotherapy exercises help you learn to control your muscles better, allowing you to be relieved of the incontinence process.
- Reduces labour and delivery time: While pregnancy may be easy, childbirth is a physically demanding event. To naturally induce labour and deliver a fully grown baby, your body requires a high level of strength and flexibility. Pregnant women are encouraged to stay physically active on a regular basis due to the need for core strength and flexible muscles. Physiotherapy is an excellent alternative to repetitive physical activities. A physiotherapist can teach you how to push effectively during labour and delivery. You can also prepare for labour and childbirth by doing a variety of pelvic floor exercises. This has proven to be beneficial for women during labour, as it greatly simplifies the delivery process.
- Changes in posture during pregnancy: Your centre of gravity may shift during pregnancy. The additional stress on your lower back could trigger your uterus to move forward slightly. Similarly, weak lower back muscles can cause you to lean forward with your shoulders, neck, and mid-back bent. Changes in the position of these muscles can alter your posture. Physiotherapy is a useful medical tool for correcting posture during pregnancy.
- Physiotherapy during pregnancy: Physiotherapy and exercise during pregnancy change as your pregnancy progresses through the three trimesters.
- First trimester: Physiotherapy focuses on your posture, challenges at home and work, and any pre-existing musculoskeletal problems during the first three months. Your physiotherapist will gradually help you correct your posture at work and at home. He/she will teach you safe lifting and mobility techniques, as well as treat any musculoskeletal issues you may be experiencing.
- Second trimester: Physiotherapy in the second trimester focuses on stretching techniques to improve lower limb and pelvic flexibility. You will be instructed to perform spine and abdominal mobility and strengthening exercises. The goal of this pregnancy exercise is to improve fitness while focusing on pain management.
- Third trimester Physiotherapy in the third trimester of pregnancy includes advanced spine and abdominal strengthening, pelvic floor exercises, techniques to improve lower limb and pelvic flexibility, and pain management. You will be guided through labour coping strategies such as relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, positioning to facilitate labour, and pushing techniques.
The physiotherapist can design a rehabilitation program that is safe and appropriate for your needs. Overall, physiotherapy can make your pregnancy more comfortable and healthy, lower your risk of complications, and improve your post-natal recovery.