Almost every pregnant woman will experience varying degrees of musculoskeletal pain—particularly during the third trimester—which can range from mild to temporarily disabling. In response to hormonal changes, weight gain, postural changes, and the redistribution of body mass, this discomfort commonly responds well to conservative treatments. Just a few visits with a Women’s Health Physical Therapist can prove to be extremely effective in establishing strategies for pain management, as well as re-education for muscles as they adapt to a new alignment.
In addition, activity modification, postural support, and massage therapy can also provide relief. The best advice is to seek early medical attention to avoid unnecessary discomfort.
Women are encouraged to engage in both strengthening and aerobic conditioning exercises during uncomplicated pregnancies, as consistent workout routines can help with pain management. The safest and most productive activities are swimming, brisk walking, indoor stationary cycling, elliptical machines, and low-impact aerobics. Exercising for 20-60 minutes, 3 or 4 days a week, is a reasonable goal. The important thing is to remain active throughout each trimester. If these management techniques do not fully manage your pain, seek help from a Women’s Health Physical Therapist.
A consistent exercise routine has health and weight maintenance benefits, and may assist in shortening both the labor and postpartum recovery periods. Exercise can offset musculoskeletal changes that weaken and destabilize the joints.