Physiotherapy During Pregnancy - Know the Significance | CK Birla Hospital (2022)

Ask a pregnant woman how she is feeling and you will hear either absolute happiness or absolute discomfort. During the route of pregnancy, there seems to be no in-between. While pregnancy is a beautiful phase, it comes with its own share of distress, for instance – back pain. Approximately 50-80% of women are affected by lower back pain pregnancy. However, there is a very simple solution to this worry – physiotherapy during pregnancy.

Physiotherapy in pregnancy is an effective practice to reduce painful symptoms such as lower back pain, pelvic pain and involuntary urination.

In this article,at the CK Birla Hospital explains the various benefits of physiotherapy for pregnant women.

Table of Contents

What is the importance of physiotherapy during pregnancy?

Physiotherapy, also known as physical therapy, is an evidence-based technique that involves the science of movement to promote healing and holistic fitness. It includes a wide array of exercises and massages.

While any person, irrespective of age and gender, can benefit from this technique, physiotherapy during pregnancy has well-defined advantages.

Significance of physiotherapy for pregnant women

Our body produces a hormone known as relaxin. While both men and women form relaxin, this hormone is primarily produced in pregnant women. It is responsible for preventing any damage to a woman’s body during childbirth.

The production of relaxin increases significantly during the second trimester. Primarily, this hormone is aimed at the loosening of the birth canal and preparing your body for childbirth. However, besides the birth canal, high levels of relaxin result in the loosening of other ligaments in your body. While on one hand relaxin facilitates the flow of blood, it leads to muscle, joint and body pain, on the other. This side-effect of relaxin is the fundamental cause of your lower back pain pregnancy. The transitory loosening during this period of pregnancy can make your muscles and ligaments weak for a long period of time.

(Video) 1st trimester of pregnancy | Dr. Rachna Singh | CK Birla Hospital

Physiotherapy during pregnancy is a helpful approach in dealing with the pain resulting from an increase in relaxin. This practice can assist in alleviating from muscle pain through the means of specific exercises and massages. The targeted exercises not only help in reducing pain but also maintain the strength of muscles.

Which issues can antenatal physiotherapy address?

As discussed above, antenatal physiotherapy can help in reducing pain and improving the strength of muscles. While a majority of pregnant women complain of the lower back pain, there are other areas that physical therapy can help with.

Some common issues pregnancy physiotherapy can deal with are:

  • Upper back pain
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Sciatica (pain that radiates from lower back through hips and buttocks to the leg)
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (a condition that causes numbness, tingling, or weakness in your hand)
  • Pelvic girdle pain (pain in front and back of the pelvis)
  • Bladder issues

It is important to remember that the source of your pain and discomfort is the increase in levels of relaxin. However, the location of your pain can be unique. The role of physiotherapy in pregnancy is identifying the precise location of the pain and addressing it to minimise ache.

What are the benefits of physiotherapy during pregnancy?

Physiotherapy benefits pregnant women in multiple ways. The role of physiotherapy in pregnancy has both, long and short-term advantages. Some of the top benefits include:

  • Reliving lower back pain:During the early stages of your pregnancy, your body prepares itself to accommodate the growth of your child. It further continues to prepare for delivery. In its attempt to assist you during this journey, your ligaments stretch and become soft. Simultaneously, as your child grows inside you, your size increases and you gain weight. Due to this weight gain, your body’s centre of gravity shifts and moves forward leading to additional pressure on your lower back. Physiotherapy and exercise during pregnancy can help in alleviating lower back pain.
  • Strengthening pelvic floor muscles:It is popularly known how pregnancy making you urinate more. During pregnancy, you will experience an increased flow of blood in your body. This increase blood flow puts your kidneys to extra work and releases extra fluid leading to increased urination. Sometimes, however, increased urination and weakened pelvic floor muscles can cause urinary incontinence. Incontinence is a highly common side-effect of pregnancy. Physiotherapy can help in reducing incontinence by strengthening muscles by offering pelvic floor exercises. There is various exercise during pregnancy such as kegel exercises that you can learn from a verified physiotherapist to train your bladder.
  • Preparing for labour and delivery:While the course of pregnancy may be smooth, childbirth is highly taxing event. Your body requires high levels of strength and flexibility to naturally induce labour and deliver a fully grown baby. Due to the need for core strength and flexible muscles, pregnant women are asked to consistently remain physically active (unless advised by the doctor). Physiotherapy is a good alternative to monotonous physical activities. A physiotherapist can train you to push effectively during delivery. You can also practice a range of pelvic floor exercises to help you prepare for labour and childbirth.
  • Assisting in posture changes during pregnancy:As discussed above, the centre of your gravity may shift during pregnancy. The increased pressure on your lower back can cause your uterus to move slightly forward. Similarly, the weakened lower back muscles can cause you to lean forward with bent shoulders, neck and mid-back. The transition in the position of these muscles can change your posture. Physiotherapy is an effective medical tool that helps in correcting posture during pregnancy.
  • Relieving from carpal tunnel syndrome: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common side-effect of pregnancy. It is a medical condition that causes numbness and tingling sensation in the hand and arm. The increased volume of blood in your body during pregnancy can lead to nerve compression, particularly in the wrist area (because it is comparatively narrow). This nerve compression can cause numbness, pain and tingle in your hand and arm. Physiotherapy addresses Carpal Tunnel Syndrome by focusing on pain management and consistent blood flow.

Trimester wise physiotherapy in pregnancy

As your pregnancy progress across three trimesters, physiotherapy and exercise during pregnancy also vary.

1. First trimester: The first trimester is the time when you are just getting used to pregnancy and the various changes it brings. Your physical activity, diet and physiotherapy will aim at assisting you in getting used to these changes. Your physiotherapist will begin by educating you and your partner about maternal and fetal changes and what to expect.

Physiotherapy in the first three months focuses on your posture, challenges at home and work and pre-existing musculoskeletal problems (if any).

Your physiotherapist will slowly assist you in correcting your postural at workplace and home. He/she will offer you techniques for safe lifting and mobility and treat any musculoskeletal problems you had been suffering from.

2. Second trimester:By the second trimester, you are well into pregnancy and accommodating the tremendous changes in your hormones and your body. Physiotherapy in the second trimester of pregnancy helps you in keeping up with these shifts.

(Video) High-risk pregnancy: Risk factors for high-risk pregnancy & its management | Dr Anjali Kumar

Your physiotherapist will start exercises after completion of the anomaly scan and with clearance from your primary consultant.

Physiotherapy in the second trimester focuses on stretching techniques to improve the flexibility of the lower limbs and pelvis. You will be instructed to do mobility and strengthening exercises for the spine and the abdomen. The goal of this exercise during pregnancy is to enhance fitness and emphasise on pain management.

3. Third trimester:By the last three months of your pregnancy, your physiotherapist will focus on promoting strength and flexibility. You will be assisted towards labour coping strategies such as relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, positioning to facilitate labour and techniques to use in the pushing stage.

Physiotherapy in the third trimester of pregnancy involves advanced strengthening for the spine and abdomen, pelvic floor exercises, techniques to improve the flexibility of the lower limbs and pelvis and pain management.

The concluding note

Your choices during pregnancy will help in deciding the health of your fetus. Physiotherapy during pregnancy is a preferable choice for expectant women who wish to inculcate exercise and relaxation in their life.

Make sure to visit a verified and qualified physiotherapist and follow their correct instructions to avoid any complications.

For personalised guidance on antenatal care, book an appointment with Dr Aruna Kalra, the best obstetrician in Gurgaon at the CK Birla Hospital.

FAQs

Is physiotherapy safe during pregnancy?

Yes, physiotherapy is a completely safe and effective method of pain management, exercises and relaxation during pregnancy.

How can physiotherapy help in pregnancy?

(Video) Back Pain During Pregnancy | Dr. Astha Dayal | CK Birla Hospital

Physiotherapy during pregnancy has a large number of benefits. It helps an expectant mother to engage in physical activity, relaxes sore muscles, strengthens muscles, improves flexibility and offers pain management.

Is exercise recommended during pregnancy?

Yes, nearly 30-40 minutes of regular exercise is recommended for pregnant women to have a smooth and safe pregnancy, labour and childbirth.

Who should not exercise during pregnancy?

A pregnant woman who is suffering from severe anaemia, chronic heart or lung conditions, placenta previa or other complications should avoid doing exercise.

Download Best WordPress Themes Free Download

(Video) Postpartum Hemorrhage Risk Factors by Dr. Nivedita Kaul | CK Birla Hospital

ZG93bmxvYWQgbHluZGEgY291cnNlIGZyZWU=

(Video) (Painless Labour) Pain Relief During Labour by Dr. Archana Pathak | CK Birla Hospital

FAQs

Why is physiotherapy important in pregnancy? ›

The basic aim of Physiotherapy during pregnancy is to help the body deal with issues related to mobility, musculature, circulation and respiration. Before starting an effective antenatal (before birth) program, a thorough evaluation is done to recognize which exercises would be best suited to the women's needs.

Is physiotherapy good for pregnant woman? ›

Physiotherapy is perfectly safe during early pregnancy and can be an effective way of keeping your pregnancy related aches and pains to a minimum. It can also help to improve your mobility, making for a much smoother pregnancy and labour.

What is a pregnancy physiotherapist? ›

A women's health physiotherapist works with a broad range of women's health matters, including issues related to pregnancy. Amongst other treatments, they help women with pelvic floor physio, prolapse, incontinence, back pain, scar treatment and breastfeeding problems.

When do you start seeing Physio in pregnancy? ›

Whether it be 12 weeks pregnant or 6 weeks postpartum, it's never too early or late to give the clinic a call to see how we can best support you. Even better, you'll have a fabulous, excited and caring Physio who will be with you every step of the way!

What physical activity can you do while pregnant? ›

What kinds of activities are safe during pregnancy?
  • Walking. Taking a brisk walk is a great workout that doesn't strain your joints and muscles. ...
  • Swimming and water workouts. ...
  • Riding a stationary bike. ...
  • Yoga and Pilates classes. ...
  • Low-impact aerobics classes. ...
  • Strength training.

What do you do at physiotherapy? ›

What is Physiotherapy? Physiotherapy is treatment to restore, maintain, and make the most of a patient's mobility, function, and well-being. Physiotherapy helps through physical rehabilitation, injury prevention, and health and fitness. Physiotherapists get you involved in your own recovery.

What is postnatal physiotherapy? ›

Regular exercises can help you strengthen your muscles, to help you look after your body during pregnancy, and to recover after childbirth. Many hospitals offer postnatal physiotherapy classes, where you can learn the best exercises to do under professional guidance.

What is antenatal care? ›

Antenatal care is the care you get from health professionals during your pregnancy. It's sometimes called pregnancy care or maternity care. You'll be offered appointments with a midwife, or sometimes a doctor who specialises in pregnancy and birth (an obstetrician).

What exercises should avoid during pregnancy? ›

Any exercise that may cause even mild abdominal trauma, including activities that include jarring motions or rapid changes in direction. Activities that require extensive jumping, hopping, skipping, or bouncing. Deep knee bends, full sit-ups, double leg raises and straight-leg toe touches. Bouncing while stretching.

Is ultrasound therapy safe during pregnancy? ›

Because no clinically evident immediate adverse effects have been reported in humans, most health professionals and patients consider diagnostic ultrasound in pregnancy to be a safe procedure2, 3.

What are the pelvic floor muscles? ›

What are the main pelvic floor muscles?
  • Levator ani. The levator ani composes the bulk of your pelvic floor muscles and consists of three separate muscle components: pubococcygeus, puborectalis and iliococcygeus. ...
  • Coccygeus. The coccygeus is the smaller muscle component in your pelvic floor muscles.
13 Apr 2022

What are the exercises after delivery? ›

After having a baby, you should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. You can divide the 150 minutes into 30-minute workouts on 5 days of the week or into smaller 10-minute sessions throughout each day. For example, you could go for three 10-minute walks each day.

When can I start physio after C section? ›

Physical therapy may help with recovery after a C-section, but it's important to check with your OB/GYN before you start exercising. At around 6 weeks postpartum, provided there are no post-op complications, you'll probably be good to start gentle exercise, but every patient is different.

What is women's health physiotherapy? ›

Women's Health Physiotherapy is the therapeutic treatment of all disorders affecting the pelvis and pelvic floor. From incontinence to prolapse, pelvic pain or constipation, there is growing evidence that physiotherapy can alleviate, and in many cases cure these symptoms.

How much should a pregnant woman walk? ›

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that if you're pregnant or postpartum and healthy, you should aim to exercise 150 minutes each week. This can be split up into five 30-minute sessions of moderate-intensity moves, such as brisk walking.

Does exercise make baby move? ›

Indeed, between 24 and 27 weeks of gestation, fHRV increased following aerobic exercise. 58 An increase in fetal body movement, which varied from 34% to 7%–17% over the same period, was also observed. This increase in fetal body movement may be associated with a normal physiological response of the fetus.

What are the 3 types of physiotherapy? ›

Types of Physiotherapy Treatments
  • Geriatric Physiotherapy. Several health-related concerns arise as we get older as the metabolism slows down, and its ability to stay in form is weakened. ...
  • Neurological Physiotherapy. ...
  • Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy.
17 Aug 2022

What is the importance of physiotherapy? ›

Physiotherapy is a hugely beneficial specialist treatment of injury, disease and disorders. Through physical methods, it helps them to restore function and movement in the area that has been affected. Physiotherapy also helps with preventing further damage or injury on the previously affected body part.

What are the 5 stages of postnatal development? ›

The five life stages of postnatal development are: 1) neonatal, 2) infancy, 3) childhood, 4) adolescence, and 5) maturity. The neonatal period extends from birth to one month. Infancy begins at one month and continues to two years of age.

What is post natal pregnancy? ›

Antenatal or pre-natal meaning 'before birth' Postnatal or postpartum meaning 'after birth'

How can I strengthen my back after pregnancy? ›

Exercise To Strengthen Lower Back Post Pregnancy - YouTube

What are the 5 aims of antenatal care? ›

Aims of Antenatal Care?
  • Following a definite plan and schedule.
  • Being problem-oriented.
  • Identifying risk factors from previous obstetric history.
  • Identify potential complications and risk factors.
  • Screen for health conditions that can affect the mother and fetus.
  • Provide health education.
9 Nov 2021

Who antenatal 8 visits? ›

The newest guidelines from the World Health Organization recommend that women attend 8 ANC visits. Globally, 85% of pregnant women attend at least one ANC visit with a skilled health professional, and 58% attend at least 4 ANC visits.

How long is the first pregnancy? ›

The average length of human gestation is 280 days, or 40 weeks, from the first day of the woman's last menstrual period. The medical term for the due date is estimated date of confinement (EDC).

Can walking too much affect early pregnancy? ›

You can certainly overdo any physical activity during pregnancy, whether it's hyper-extending your joints in a prenatal yoga class or pushing yourself too hard in the lap pool. Even walking too much in pregnancy can incur potential risks, such as shortness of breath, strain and pain.

How can I sleep during pregnancy? ›

The safest position to go to sleep is on your side, either left or right. Research suggests that, after 28 weeks, falling asleep on your back can double the risk of stillbirth. This may be to do with the flow of blood and oxygen to the baby.

Does ultrasound affect baby? ›

Does ultrasound have any risks? Ultrasound is safe for you and your baby when done by your health care provider. Because ultrasound uses sound waves instead of radiation, it's safer than X-rays. Providers have used ultrasound for more than 30 years, and they have not found any dangerous risks.

What are the side effects of ultrasound therapy? ›

Ultrasound heating which can lead to irreversible tissue changes follows an inverse time-temperature relationship. Depending on the temperature gradients, the effects from ultrasound exposure can include mild heating, coagulative necrosis, tissue vaporization, or all three.

How can I relieve back pain during pregnancy? ›

Advertisement
  1. Practice good posture. As your baby grows, your center of gravity shifts forward. ...
  2. Get the right gear. Wear low-heeled — not flat — shoes with good arch support. ...
  3. Lift properly. ...
  4. Sleep on your side. ...
  5. Try heat, cold or massage. ...
  6. Include physical activity in your daily routine. ...
  7. Consider complementary therapies.

Can a weak pelvic floor affect pregnancy? ›

Starting out your pregnancy with strong pelvic floor muscles helps decrease the damage these muscles experience under the strain of carrying a growing child. A healthy pelvic floor also makes labor and delivery less risky, as you'll be better equipped for labor, which means less stress for your baby.

What causes a weak pelvic floor? ›

These factors include overweight or obesity, chronic constipation or chronic straining to have a bowel movement, heavy lifting, and chronic coughing from smoking or health problems. Getting older. The pelvic floor muscles can weaken as women age and during menopause.

What are the 4 types of pelvis? ›

Although pelvises can be classified according to diameter, in obstetric practice they are often divided into 4 main types: gynecoid, android, anthropoid, and platypelloid, based mainly on the shape of the pelvic inlet [5].

What is postnatal physiotherapy? ›

Regular exercises can help you strengthen your muscles, to help you look after your body during pregnancy, and to recover after childbirth. Many hospitals offer postnatal physiotherapy classes, where you can learn the best exercises to do under professional guidance.

How can you prevent pregnancy induced hypertension? ›

How can I prevent Gestational Hypertension:
  1. Use salt as needed for taste.
  2. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.
  3. Increase the amount of protein you take in, and decrease the number of fried foods and junk food you eat.
  4. Get enough rest.
  5. Exercise regularly.
  6. Elevate your feet several times during the day.

Does exercise help pregnancy pain? ›

Routine exercise may also help prepare muscles for childbirth and prevent or lessen back and pelvic pain commonly experienced during pregnancy.

What pregnancies are high risk? ›

A woman's pregnancy might be considered high risk if she:
  • is age 17 or younger.
  • is age 35 or older.
  • was underweight or overweight before becoming pregnant.
  • is pregnant with twins, triplets, or other multiples.
  • has high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, or another health problem.

What is women's health physiotherapy? ›

Women's Health Physiotherapy is the therapeutic treatment of all disorders affecting the pelvis and pelvic floor. From incontinence to prolapse, pelvic pain or constipation, there is growing evidence that physiotherapy can alleviate, and in many cases cure these symptoms.

What are the 5 stages of postnatal development? ›

The five life stages of postnatal development are: 1) neonatal, 2) infancy, 3) childhood, 4) adolescence, and 5) maturity. The neonatal period extends from birth to one month. Infancy begins at one month and continues to two years of age.

What are the exercises after delivery? ›

After having a baby, you should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. You can divide the 150 minutes into 30-minute workouts on 5 days of the week or into smaller 10-minute sessions throughout each day. For example, you could go for three 10-minute walks each day.

What is the normal blood pressure for a pregnant woman? ›

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) state that a pregnant woman's blood pressure should also be within the healthy range of less than 120/80 mm Hg. If blood pressure readings are higher, a pregnant woman may have elevated or high blood pressure.

What causes BP in pregnancy? ›

There are a few possible reasons for this. The amount of blood in a woman's body increases. According to the journal Circulation , a woman's blood volume increases by as much as 45 percent during pregnancy. This is extra blood that the heart must pump throughout the body.

What are signs of high blood pressure during pregnancy? ›

Some signs of high blood pressure in pregnancy include:
  • Severe headaches.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Excess protein in urine (a urine sample is gathered at each doctor visit during pregnancy)
  • Changes in vision.
  • Upper abdominal pain.

How can I sleep during pregnancy? ›

The safest position to go to sleep is on your side, either left or right. Research suggests that, after 28 weeks, falling asleep on your back can double the risk of stillbirth. This may be to do with the flow of blood and oxygen to the baby.

What exercise can I do in 2nd trimester? ›

Exercises that are safe for your second trimester:
  • Hip flexor and quadriceps flexes.
  • Incline pull-ups.
  • Mermaid stretches.
  • Side-lying leg lifts.
  • Prenatal yoga.
  • Brisk walking with weights.
  • Swimming and water aerobics.
27 Jul 2021

How many steps should a pregnant woman walk a day? ›

at least 150 minutes of exercise over a week. 10,000 steps per day.

What are the 10 danger signs of pregnancy? ›

Fever. Abdominal pain. Feels ill. Swelling of fingers, face and legs.
...
DANGER SIGNS DURING PREGNANCY
  • vaginal bleeding.
  • convulsions/fits.
  • severe headaches with blurred vision.
  • fever and too weak to get out of bed.
  • severe abdominal pain.
  • fast or difficult breathing.

What is high risk ultrasound? ›

Ultrasound Evaluation

Being a high-risk pregnancy means you will have routine ultrasound examinations performed by a registered sonographer and reviewed by a perinatologist. The best way to protect your health and promote your baby's health during a high-risk pregnancy is to plan ahead.

During which trimester does the fetus gain the most weight? ›

Fetal development continues during the third trimester. Your baby will open his or her eyes, gain more weight, and prepare for delivery.

Videos

1. Exercises during pregnancy for Normal Delivery | First Trimester Exercises | Dr Aruna Kalra
(CK Birla Hospital)
2. CK Birla Hospitals - World Physiotherapy Week
(CK Birla Hospitals )
3. Ck Birla Hospitals - World Physiotherapy Week
(CK Birla Hospitals )
4. Patient Experience of Ovarian Cancer - HIPEC Treatment by Dr. Amit Javed | CK Birla Hospital
(CK Birla Hospital)
5. Facts every couple must know before becoming pregnant
(CK Birla Hospital)
6. Birthing experience at the CK Birla Hospital!
(CK Birla Hospital)

Top Articles

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Saturnina Altenwerth DVM

Last Updated: 10/11/2022

Views: 5393

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (44 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Saturnina Altenwerth DVM

Birthday: 1992-08-21

Address: Apt. 237 662 Haag Mills, East Verenaport, MO 57071-5493

Phone: +331850833384

Job: District Real-Estate Architect

Hobby: Skateboarding, Taxidermy, Air sports, Painting, Knife making, Letterboxing, Inline skating

Introduction: My name is Saturnina Altenwerth DVM, I am a witty, perfect, combative, beautiful, determined, fancy, determined person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.