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Pregnancy and Post-Partum PainCommon Musculoskeletal Problems with Pregnancy

Relaxin and estrogen (hormones) increase early in pregnancy. These changes cause ligaments to loosen (ligaments are tough bands that hold bones together). This means muscles have to work harder and the bones can get out of alignment easier. Some problems that can arise as a result of an increase in hormones include:

  • Abdominal muscles become weak and stretched and may become separated (also known as diastisis recti) during pregnancy
  • Changes in posture and weight affect the back and may cause pain
  • Stress incontinence may occur because of increased pressure on the bladder and pelvic floor muscles.This means that you may experience a loss of urine when you cough, sneeze, or do exercises that increase the pressure inside the belly.

What can physical therapy do?
Physical Therapists are able to treat these common pregnancy-related conditions through teaching proper exercises and positioning, and through modalities such as TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), heat, massage, and education for you to manage and reduce your discomfort throughout your pregnancy. Often, water exercise is prescribed for strengthening and relief of pain.

Health and Wellness classes and programs, such as Finding Your Core, help you learn more of what you can do to improve your condition and strengthen your abdominal muscles after childbirth.

For additional information on treatment options for pregnancy-related pain, please contact the therapy department at 225-924-8450, located at Woman's Center for Wellness.


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