Antenatal Physiotherapy

During pregnancy a number of factors contribute to musculoskeletal problems, these include:

  • The release of the hormone relaxin which causes the ligaments to soften throughout the body but particularly around the pelvic area causing some joint laxity.
  • An increased lumbar lordosis (curve) due to a change in the body’s centre of gravity.
  • Weakening of the pelvic floor and lower abdominals.

 
Common musculoskeletal complaints during pregnancy include:

  • Low back pain – particularly with walking or standing on one leg
  • Pelvic girdle related pain – symptoms include pain in the pubic bone with walking, prolonged standing or sitting, turning over in bed and separating the legs
  • Thoracic spine pain – this may present itself as generally tightened pain localised to the rib cage or pain when deep breathing.

 

Treatment Options

Following a thorough physical assessment, physiotherapy treatment may include:

  • Education regarding posture and back care
  • Education regarding the pelvic floor muscles
  • Exercises to improve muscle control around the pelvic area and spine
  • Stretches
  • Soft tissue mobilisation
  • Supports – lumbar spine belt and tubigrip