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Pregnancy and Physical Therapy

Pregnancy can create many issues for women. In fact, studies show that approximately 50% to 70% women experience back pain during pregnancy. For many women the pain disappears after pregnancy however more than 33% of the women will continue to experience back pain up to a year after pregnancy. While the baby is growing inside the uterus the pressure causes the center of gravity to move forward and creates a strain on the lower back which is where most women experience the pain. This gravity pull causes a woman to slump forward and creates poor alignment. Over time this pull makes the shoulders begin to roll forward which then creates stress on the neck, mid-back and shoulder.

Pain in the pelvic girdle, hips and lumbar region are most commonly experienced during pregnancy. Sandi Gallagher, PT, of Oregon Health & Science University in Portland states that “In pregnancy, women are more predisposed to these conditions because of the ligamentous laxity that results from hormonal changes, and because a woman’s center of gravity and body mass are changing,” Gallagher further explains. “So, any muscle weakness or joint instability that she had coming into the pregnancy increases her difficulty meeting the increased demands of her body’s changes.”

How is lower back pain treated for women?

At Fusion Physical Therapy we treat lower back pain due to pregnancy with a combination of treatments such as braces, exercise therapy, manual therapy and education. We will work with you by teaching new and proper ways to perform regular daily routine activities that will reduce lower back pain.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week throughout a pregnancy and should include one or more of the following exercises:

  1. Abdominal strengthening
  2. Aerobic activity
  3. Pelvic floor muscle exercises

What are the benefits of exercising during pregnancy?

Below are just a few of the many benefits of exercising during pregnancy:

  1. Alleviate pain and discomfort during pregnancy
  2. Faster recovery
  3. Reduced pregnancy and labor risks
  4. Lose weight quicker
  5. Babies tend to be healthier

What can I expect at my physical therapy session?

At Fusion Physical Therapy our trained women’s health physical therapist will partner with you to create a customized treatment plan which will help relieve back and pelvic pain during and after pregnancy and may include:

  • Heat and Ice treatment: used cautiously
  • Stabilization exercises that include pelvic floor muscles and core muscles
  • Therapeutic exercise: tones muscles, improves metabolism and decreases fatigue

Contact Fusion Physical Therapy today via phone at 580.699.5455 or online at