Carmen MacAngus, B.Sc.PT, CGIMS, AFCI, Registered Physiotherapist, Women’s Health
A client that’s prenatal that requires physiotherapy, some of the issues that they might have would be problems with their posture, adaptations that happen there.
The pelvic floor weakness that can occur and core muscle weakness that occurs due to the stretching of the abdomen during pregnancy. The big changes that occur in the body prenatally or during pregnancy is that there’s a change obviously in the shape of your physique so as the baby is growing off the front of your center of mass changes considerably and it causes a number of postural changes and can cause malalignments, so the low back would sway more, the shoulders would become rounded, the head would come forward, those kinds of things.
Your balance is altered due to the changing of your weight distribution. So you tend to stand with your legs a little bit wider and your knees really quite straight or locked out. So there are a number of changes that can happen in the joints throughout the body and that would cause pain that way.
The other changes due to the mass that’s developing off the front is that the abdominals become quite stretched and the constant pressure or weight of the baby on the pelvic floor. Coinciding with that is the hormone relaxin that occurs during pregnancy and that really allows the ligaments to stretch for the baby to pass when its time for delivery. But because it softens the ligaments it can really contribute to how much the weight of the baby can change your alignment during pregnancy.
Prenatal therapy could include manual therapy for restoring range of motion of the joints and correcting the alignments that have happened with the changes in the posture. It could also include core muscle strengthening, pelvic floor muscle strengthening, bracing for any pelvic malalignments is possible using a maternity belt or an SI joint belt.
You might visit a physiotherapist for information on what is, conditions, side effects, symptoms and treatments related to prenatal issues that require physiotherapy, lower back pain in pregnancy, pubic symphisis and safe pregnancy exercise.