Physical Therapy for Pregnancy Pain

Posted on Dec 27, 2016

Posted in: Specialty Treatments

By: Nikki Strick, MPT

pregnancy tips

What are you looking forward to the most in 2017? My husband and I are expecting our second child in March! My growing bump is exciting for our family, but it’s also a reminder of the significant changes beset by pregnancy (both physical and hormonal). During the last few months, I’m more acutely aware of how I move as my body expands to accommodate the needs of our growing baby. It’s my desire to use this attentiveness to help patients experiencing pregnancy pain, including back and hip pain, muscle strains and other discomforts.

In my thirteen years as a therapist, I have helped hundreds of women prepare their bodies for an easier pregnancy and delivery. Equally important are the therapies I provide for women who need guidance on how to properly carry their rapidly growing babies (as well as the arsenal of bags and strollers). It’s one of the most fulfilling things I do as a professional.

When a woman has her first consultation with me, I let her know the need for physical therapy during pregnancy or after childbirth is not uncommon, and it’s completely safe at any time.

The American Physical Therapy Association estimates that seven of every ten women experience low back pain during pregnancy. Weight gain and change in the center of gravity adds stress to the lower body, even interfering with the pelvic floor.

The cause of much of the pregnancy pain and discomfort can be traced to hormones, which causes the ligaments to relax. It can lead to postural changes, causing pelvic, hip, or back pain.

Physical therapy is a medically-based profession, which means the services we provide are covered by most medical insurance plans. The treatment plans developed by me and others on our team at Peak Performance are effective for improving typical triggers of pain and discomfort for pregnant women, including:

Regular therapy sessions, receiving exercises to target trigger areas, and recognizing the changes the body is undergoing, all help relieve several issues for moms-to-be, such as:

Treatment techniques include:

For a few patients, I also perform Kinesiotaping, especially to decrease pain for SI and back pain. Recently, a patient pregnant with twins had her husband join her at one of our sessions. He took video of me taping so he knew exactly how to help (what a great spouse)!

As the months progress, I’ll share updates on physical therapy for women in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. I recently attended a continuing education session focused on pelvic floor exercises and pregnancy pain. I’ve enhanced my Kegel exercise program for patients and look forward to helping them gain strength that will help them during and after childbirth.

To learn more about the pregnancy physical therapy program at Peak Performance, contact us at (920) 738-0671 or request an appointment online.