Physical Therapy Provides a Natural and Effective Alternative to Pain during Pregnancy By Dr. Alanna Pokorski, PT DPT

Six million pregnancies occur in the United States per year. Of these pregnancies, 80% of women will report experiencing low back pain during the pregnancy, of which one-third will rate their pain as severe to completely debilitating. Physical therapy is an excellent natural alternative to help women manage their low back pain while pregnant, allowing them to focus on the arrival of the new addition to their family.

During pregnancy, the joints within the low back become very loose, and may become misaligned, creating pain. Furthermore, it is typical for a woman to gain 30 to 50 pounds during her pregnancy, which will create increased compression forces within joints and create imbalances. All of these bodily changes can further lead to poor force placement within the low back, leading to lower back pain.

Physical therapy is a safe, natural, and cost-effective alternative for the management of low back pain during pregnancy. PT has been shown to decrease sick leave for pregnant women. It is safe for women without a high-risk pregnancy to be active and exercise throughout the nine months leading up to their baby’s birth. Some proven exercises that can be performed during physical therapy are pelvic tilts, sit-to-stands, bridging, and rowing. In addition to these exercises, a physical therapist educates on posture, appropriate hip alignment with hands-on techniques. A trained physical therapist will also take into consideration positions that labor may occur.

For more information on how PT can help during pregnancy, contact us at info@sptny.com,

References 

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  • Irion, J. Bed rest and physical activity in pregnancy are not mutually exclusive says physical therapist. Alexandria, April 24, 2007.
  • Sawyer, L, Montgomery S. Types of Back Pain in Pregnancy. Spine Health. Jan 2000; p 1-4.
  • Noren L., Ostgaard S., Nielson T.F., Ostgaard H.C. Reduction of sick Leave for lumbar back and posterior pelvic pain in pregnancy. Spine. 1997; 22 (18): 2157-2160