Pre-natal Care and Post-Natal Care
During pregnancy there are many changes happening to a woman’s body; both inside and outside. At ReBalance, we have developed a gentle, comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to managing a woman who is pre- or post-natal.
Statistics show that at least 50% of pregnant women will experience back pain, with many suffering from severe discomfort that impacts their activities of daily living. Pregnancy-related back pain can be multi-factorial and rarely only has one cause. Low back, pubic bone, tailbone and hip pain as well as incontinence (i.e urine leakage with coughing and sneezing) are common complaints during pregnancy.
The average healthy weight gain is approximately 30 lbs, most of which is around the abdomen -- adding a significant frontal load. The added weight puts stress on the back, pelvis, hips, knees and feet/ankles. Additional weight can lead to altered posture and biomechanics as we change the way we sleep, stand, and move during pregnancy. As the baby grows and the uterus expands, the abdominal muscles also stretch. These natural changes that happen to our body during pregnancy may cause functional challenges, bladder issues, pain and discomfort, specifically in the lower back and pelvis.
Childbirth can also alter the pelvic floor and low back function which can lead to changes in your bladder and bowel control, pain and other related issues.
Women report pain and discomfort including:
· Back pain
· Pelvic pain and pressure
· Pelvic pain during intercourse
· Neck pain
· Aching legs and buttocks
· Urinary incontinence
· Peripheral swelling
· Sciatica or shooting pain down the leg/foot
· Fatigue and low energy
· Night-time muscle spasms
· Carpal tunnel syndrome
· De Quervain tenosynovitis
· Sleep disturbances
· Pelvic organ prolapse
PELVIC HEALTH PHYSIOTHERAPY AND PREGNANCY
Pelvic health physiotherapy plays an important role in pre-and post-natal (during and after pregnancy) care. A pelvic health physiotherapist has advanced training in pregnancy-related issues by providing guidance, manual therapy to the pelvic floor (internal and external treatment) and prescribing safe exercises needed to meet the challenges during pregnancy, labour and delivery.
Pre-natal treatments may focus on preventing and treating:
Postpartum treatments may focus on:
Every woman in France who goes through a vaginal delivery is offered pelvic health Physiotherapy as part of their recovery process. “The muscles are massaged, lengthened, stretched and strengthened to prevent the weakness that can lead to incontinence, or the tightness which can result from a tear or episiotomy.” (Pelvic Health Solution, 2016)
Although it is common to experience urinary leakage, low back pain and organ prolapse, it is important to know that it can be treated.
For more information about pelvic health physiotherapy please visit the “Pelvic Health Physiotherapy” page of our website.
EVIDENCE-BASED CHIROPRACTIC CARE
According to recent studies, chiropractic care may result in easier pregnancy, including increased comfort during the third trimester and delivery, and reduced need for analgesics. In one study, women receiving chiropractic care through their first pregnancy had 24 per cent shorter labour times and subjects giving birth for the second or third time reported 39 per cent shorter labour times.5 In another study, the need for analgesics was reduced by 50 per cent in the patients who had received adjustments. In addition, 84 per cent of women report relief of back pain during pregnancy with chiropractic care!7 And because the sacroiliac joints of the pelvis function better, there is significantly less likelihood of back labour (contractions and sharp pain felt in the lower back/sacral area during labour) when receiving chiropractic care during pregnancy.
HOW CAN OUR PRACTITIONERS HELP?