5 Benefits of Physical Therapy for a Healthier Pregnancy
Did you know that physical therapy exercises help to promote a healthier and more comfortable pregnancy experience? Pregnancy brings on significant changes that can cause discomfort or pain. Luckily, there are safe and effective exercises to manage these symptoms.
A recent study from the University of Utah Health found that exercising during pregnancy can have many benefits including lowering the risk of preterm labor and improving overall fitness levels. Here are the benefits of physical therapy during pregnancy and how it can improve your overall well-being.
Physical Therapy Exercises Reduce Back Pain
Back pain is probably one of the most common complaints during pregnancy. It is often caused by the weight gain of carrying a growing baby. Thankfully there are exercises that can help to relieve this pain.
Pelvic floor exercises, kegel exercises, and glute bridges can strengthen the back and core muscles, which will help to reduce discomfort and tension. A physical therapist can help you to find the exercises that fit your body and help you relieve pain.
Improved Flexibility and Range of Motion
As your body changes, you may find it difficult to move the way you used to. Decreased flexibility and range of motion can unfortunately lead to injury or discomfort during daily activities. Therapy exercises and stretches however can help you maintain your flexibility and reduce any risk of injury.
Reduced Swelling By Improving Circulation
If you find your feet swelling up, you are not alone. Pregnancy brings on uncomfortable swelling and risks of blood clots in the feet. Physical therapy exercises can help improve circulation and reduce swelling in the feet and ankles. Better circulation will help you to reduce chances of blood clots while experiencing a more comfortable pregnancy.
Strengthens the Pelvic Floor
The pelvic floor muscles are an important part of a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Physical therapy can provide exercises to strengthen these muscles, reducing the risk of incontinence and pelvic pain. Pelvic floor strengthening can also improve sexual function postpartum.
Prepares You for Childbirth
A physical therapist can provide you with exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor and core muscles – which can improve the pushing phase of labor. Physical therapists can also provide education on proper breathing techniques and body mechanics during delivery.
The Role of Physical Therapy Programs During Pregnancy
Physical therapists play a critical role in promoting a healthy pregnancy. They provide assessment and evaluation to identify areas of concern, and then develop an exercise plan to address those concerns. Physical therapists can also provide instructions on proper body mechanics and the use of modalities to relieve pain and discomfort.
Dr. Stein attended Ithaca College where she obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in clinical science in 2001 and a Master of Science in Physical Therapy degree in 2002 through their entry-level bachelor’s/master’s program.
Following this, she attended Boston University and earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy degree in 2006.
Dr. Stein has earned the Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner Certification through the Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute in November 2021.
Dr. Stein is also currently completing her Master of Healthcare Administration graduate degree through Des Moines University.
– *Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner Certification (PRPC)
– **Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist (COMT)