Physiotherapy benefits many different types of people. Some individuals assume physiotherapy is designed primarily for patients who’ve recently had surgery, but this isn’t the case. While physiotherapy can be extremely helpful pre- and post-op, it serves a wide variety of patients, including pregnant women.
3 Benefits of Physiotherapy for Pregnant Women
Pregnancy can take its toll on a woman’s body and make performing day-to-day tasks more difficult. Expectant mothers should consider physiotherapy because it can do the following:
1) Ease low back pain — About half of all pregnant women experience low back pain, according to NCBI. One way this can impact their quality of life is by affecting their ability to get a good night’s sleep.
Physiotherapy can be a great treatment for back pain. Therapeutic Associates stated,
“As your physical body changes and accommodates to the needs of your growing baby, you may experience discomfort and aches and pains. Physical therapy is an effective way to help you manage your pain and can offer you a variety of ways to make your pregnancy more comfortable.”
Physiotherapists help pregnant patients experience less back pain by helping them engage in stabilization exercises focused on the muscles around the spine. Massage can also be helpful in reducing back pain.
2) Reduce incontinence — Incontinence is an annoying side effect of pregnancy. Pregnant women sometimes have trouble controlling the bladder due to changes to the pelvic floor muscles.
Physiotherapy strengthens the pelvic floor muscles, easing incontinence. (The most common type of incontinence for pregnant and postpartum women is stress urinary incontinence.) According to the American Physical Therapy Association,
“Research has shown that physical therapy has a success rate of more than 80% for individuals with stress urinary incontinence. Additionally, those who engage in physical therapy-led targeted exercise programs for the pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy are less likely to report urinary incontinence late in their pregnancy.”
3) Make labor and delivery easier — Many women become less active when they are pregnant, usually because of fatigue or back pain. However, it’s important for an expectant mother to stay physically active unless a doctor has put her on bedrest or restricted her physical activity.
“There are no guarantees, but it is fair to expect your pregnancy and labor to be easier and possibly even go quicker following any strength and flexibility enhancements,” stated the American Pregnancy Association.
Physiotherapists usually have pregnant patients do strength and flexibility exercises both in a physio clinic and at home, increasing their chances of having an easier experience with childbirth.
Physiotherapy Could Make Your Pregnancy More Enjoyable
A physiotherapist’s job is to help increase your health and quality of life. For pregnant women, this means easing back pain, reducing incontinence, and making labor and delivery a little easier.