Pregnancy is an exciting yet worrying time. You’ve barely come to terms with the miracle of life growing inside you when you’re brought down to earth by all of those “side-effects”. Pregnancy produces the largest postural and hormonal change that a woman’s body will undergo. This can result in a very wide variety of aches and pains which can be helped by pregnancy physiotherapy, also known as ante-natal physiotherapy.
Just as you need your body to strengthen for the increased weight of the baby and amniotic fluid, you produce the hormone relaxin. This hormone loosens your ligaments. This is necessary to allow the pelvis to expand during child-birth, but also increases the workload of your muscles and joints. This can become very painful. The areas hit the hardest tend to be your low back, pelvis and hips.
Back pain in pregnancy
The extra weight at the front causes you to arch your back and neck to compensate. This exacerbates low back problems. It sometimes irritates nerves causing leg pain (sciatica), and can also result in neck pain and headaches. The strain on the sacro-iliac joints and conditions such assymphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) can make walking painful.
The effects of these changes carry through after childbirth. Many new mums get very frustrated that they still suffer from low back and pelvis pain. This can detract from the joy of having a new member of the family. In addition, you may now be suffering from mid-back pain and aching arms from supporting your baby whilst feeding.
Heartburn during pregnancy
As the baby fills your abdomen and presses on your stomach, circulating oestrogen relaxes the lower oesophageal sphincter. This forces gastric juices out of the stomach causing heartburn (gastro-oesophageal reflux, GOR).
Pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain (PGP)
Around 1 in 5 pregnant women experience mild discomfort in the back or front of the pelvis. PGP describes pain in the joints that make up your pelvic girdle. This includes the symphysis pubis joint (SPJ) at the front and the sacroiliac joints (SIJ) at the back. The discomfort is often felt over the pubic bone at the front, below your tummy or across one or both sides of your lower back.
Physiotherapists have a great deal of experience treating women during and after pregnancy. Physiotherapy treatment and postural advice is a gentle way of helping the body adapt to these changes.
Initial Assessment – 45 mins – £40.00
Follow up – 30 mins – £37.50
Home Visit – £55.00