The prenatal through postpartum period is a time of great change for a woman, physically, emotionally and hormonally. The overall musculoskeletal system is challenged by altered posture, altered muscle length leading to potential muscle imbalances, and changes in spinal mobility. Fluctuating hormone levels may cause excessive joint mobility.
The changes in muscle length potentially lead to decreased stabilization to the already altered joint mobility. Symptoms of dysfunction may include pain in the joints of the pelvis or spine, muscular pain in the hips and lower extremities, or numbness into the extremities.
Weakness may be present in the abdominals, resulting in pain with transitional movements or lifting, as well as difficulty performing activities of daily living. Weakness may also be manifested as urinary incontinence or pain in the post-partum period. Physical Therapists are skilled in evaluating and providing patient centered treatment of musculoskeletal problems.
They can provide hands on treatment to address spinal, rib and pelvic joint dysfunction and pain, headaches, sciatica and other nerve symptoms, weak or tight muscles, a desire to start or continue an exercise program, urinary incontinence, and pelvic pain with penetration of any kind. They provide diet and activity modifications of activities to activities of daily living, that are specifically difficult during the prenatal and postpartum phases.