There are some pregnancy issues that are simply par for the course; back pain, waddling, discomfort. Happens to everyone. Right? Just grin and bear it. Or…DON’T.
Contrary to what you may have heard, you can and should have a PAINLESS pregnancy. The truth is that the discomfort you are experiencing is actually a sign of musculoskeletal dysfunction. It’s extremely common during pregnancy, but not normal. If your pain is so severe that it is interfering with basic, everyday functioning then you should speak with your doctor, and as a team, devise a plan for physical treatment. Moms-to-be, please know that your pain and suffering should NOT be growing as rapidly as your abdomen.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret that I hope will soon be common knowledge. There is an ENTIRE branch of Physical Therapy dedicated to YOUR pre-natal and postnatal care. We are Women’s Health Specialists, and obstetrics is our area of expertise! We study the system of muscles and bones in the female body as they relate to changes during and after pregnancy. We personalize treatments for your specific issues that prove to be most effective.
We are always staying current on the newest medical research and rely heavily on the statistics we glean from a well-designed study. One of my personal favorites was written by Colleen M. Fitzgerald, MD, MS and published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She supports the interventions of conservative clinicians, such as physical therapists, with these findings:
- Do not assume that pregnancy pain simply resolves with delivery. You still need to tend to your changing body AFTER your baby is born. Some women report the same pains after delivery as they did while pregnant. This speaks so loudly to the truth that treatment is necessary!
- Do not assume there are no treatment options; in fact, basic treatment often works.
- Having a C-section does not seem to protect from or minimize pelvic girdle pain, and is associated with higher rates of persistent pain. C-section moms need as much abdominal care and pelvic floor care as other moms.
- Not all pain is the same, and a symptomatic patient deserves an individualized evaluation. As mentioned before, I focus on customizing treatment plans for each unique situation. No two babies are the same and no two pregnancy issues are the same either!
- Speak up about your pain! Treating pain in its early stages may minimize the development of chronic pain. Don’t wait until the pain is interfering with your daily life. Speak to your doctor as soon as the pain starts!
The results of this study are extremely hopeful! Simply because your mom leaks every time she sneezes does not mean you have to. Even though your sister suffered with terrible back pain during her pregnancy doesn’t imply that you should. There ARE conservative, safe options that will enhance your health and overall pregnancy and post-natal experiences. Hope!
Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself! My passion and goal in this industry is STOPPING the silence of suffering in moms. Let your OB know that you are interested in women’s health physical therapy. Feeling comfortable during and after your pregnancy means more time and energy to focus on your precious new bundle of joy! For more information, feel free to review testimonials and treatment options on my website.