At rebound Health, we provide individualised assessment and treatment to get you in the best possible shape before you fall pregnant. We’ll help you to act proactively, to prepare your body, and will also assess and treat any concerns or injuries you may have.
At Rebound Health Physiotherapy, you’ll have full confidence that the treatment and advice we provide is backed by latest research. This includes also working closely with specialised women’s health Physios, who we can bounce ideas off if needed.
Why should pregnant women see a physiotherapist?
As well as the emotional rollercoaster of having a baby, pregnancy is also a heck of a big deal for the body. Humans are highly evolved creatures with many fine-tuned protective mechanisms in our bodies, but even so, the sort of physical changes typically seen during pregnancy puts a lot of strain through joints, muscles and bones.
For this reason, it’s no surprise that various degrees of pain and discomfort are fairly common themes for pregnant women. And at a time when there’s so much on your plate, these are issues you could do without.
There are two strong reasons to see a physiotherapist during your pregnancy:
To help keep, or get, your body into the best possible condition to cope with the physical demands of pregnancy
To recover quickly after birth and make your transition back into ‘normal’ postnatal activities more successful
The comprehensive, systematic and unique approach we use at Rebound Health Physiotherapy will help you achieve both of these goals and provide lasting results.
What are some common musculoskeletal problems during pregnancy?
Our bodies are incredibly complicated, and have an incredible ability to heal themselves. It can rebuild and repair, and if one part of the system fails it can be compensated by other parts giving more effort. Naturally, pregnancy puts a lot of strain on this system and while the body is a champion of adaptation and compensation, eventually the well can run dry.
The body, in all its wisdom, also releases a hormone called Relaxin during pregnancy. This helps to loosen and relax muscles and joints in preparation for childbirth, but the downside is that it’s also a prime candidate for causing musculoskeletal imbalance. Joints that are too loose can cause just as much pain as those that are too tight.
So, after a bunch of physical changes and a few doses of Relaxin, what are the common musculoskeletal problems you can expect with pregnancy?
Neck pain – the weight distribution during pregnancy is skewed towards the front of your body, so strain on the neck is common and can easily lead to pain.
Back pain – postural changes, changed sleep positions and a growing belly can all lead to back pain.
Sacroiliac joint pain – SIJ pain is one of the most common complaints during pregnancy. The relaxing and loosening effect of Relaxin can cause the usually stiff SI joint to move more than usual. This in turn can cause pregnant women to favour one side of their body over the other which can lead to inflammation and pain in other areas in the body.
Shoulder pain – this is not as common in pregnancy but can be related to postural changes and weight distribution.
Hip pain – usually caused by the loosening of the ligaments holding together the sacroiliac joints, which connect your spine to your pelvis.
Knee pain – carrying around that growing baby bump, along with any changes in gait (the way you walk) can put extra pressure through the knees.
Ankle pain – similar to the causes of knee pain but also add in swelling in the joint and you’ve got the usual triggers for ankle pain during pregnancy.
Postnatal pain – posture is a common source of pain after the baby is born, as Mums always put the comfort of the baby ahead of their own. The posture taken to breastfeed, soothe and bond with a baby for prolonged periods puts massive amounts of strain on the body (the hours and hours of doing this really add up) and can see many sources of pain flare up.
Pregnant women are also advised to sleep on their left side to increase blood flow to the uterus, but this too can cause strain and discomfort.
Pregnancy is also known to aggravate any existing musculoskeletal conditions you may have. Remember that old knee injury you never quite finished your rehab on? Expect it to come knocking!
What is the best time for pregnant women to see a physio?
As with everything, prevention is better than cure and from this perspective it’s better to be proactive than reactive when it comes to managing joint pain during pregnancy. That said however, it’s never too late and with the Rebound Health Physiotherapy Approach, you’ll be able to achieve results regardless – though the longer you wait, the more you have to catch up.
If you have, or have had, musculoskeletal conditions or injuries in the past that flare up every now and then, it’s definitely best to get on top of these before you fall pregnant with pre-natal physiotherapy.
What are the benefits of physiotherapy for pregnant women?
The specific benefits you’ll receive through maternity physiotherapy will be relative to your own body, but generally speaking the following benefits can be expected:
Reduced pain and discomfort during pregnancy
A personalised plan that is right for your body and safe for your baby
Education and information that can help you avoid problems down the track
Advice on carrying and breastfeeding positions specific to your body
A constant during a sometimes stressful period, providing expert advice and guidance about your body
A smoother and more successful return to activities after birth
Very few (if any) experts talk about preparing your body from a musculoskeletal point of view for pregnancy but that’s just what you’ll get at Rebound Health Physiotherapy.
What is a typical physio session like for a pregnant woman?
No two sessions in our clinic are ever the same, and it’s no different for sessions during pregnancy. Our experienced team are all at the top of their discipline and treat each maternity physiotherapy session with a fresh set of eyes, following the Rebound Health approach to:
Understand your goals
Identify the root cause of your problem
Create an effective rehabilitation or training plan
Teach you how to maintain your progress for lasting gains
Communicate with other professionals involved in your treatment
One aspect we’re always sure to include in sessions with pregnant women is education, focussed on what’s happening during each specific stage of the pregnancy. We use this knowledge and overlay it with your goals and lifestyle to help keep you doing the things you want to do, safely.