The pregnancy term is divided into three trimesters and ranges between 38-40 weeks. Many physical changes occur as early as the first trimester.  For example, postural changes occur to accommodate the growing fetus/uterus, ligaments become more lax, hormone levels change (specifically Relaxin), the abdominal wall weakens, and the posterior core muscles or hip muscles may tighten.  These changes can all contribute to the symptoms listed below. Most physical symptoms experienced during pregnancy can be treated with physical therapy.

Pre-natal symptoms:

  • Pubic symphysis pain:  May require an SI belt recommendation
  • Sciatica
  • Diastasis Recti:  A separation that can occur of the rectus abdominus muscle away from midline. >2 cm separation is considered significant.
  • Pain in hips, pelvis
  • Lower back pain, SI jt pain and/or upper back pain
  • Trouble transitioning positions from sit to stand, lying down to sitting up, rolling in bed
  • Shortness of breath due to inability of diaphragm to descend all the way.

Physical Therapy Treatment Includes:

  • Postural evaluation and correction
  • Body mechanics evaluation and correction
  • Myofascial release
  • Deep tissue massage
  • Stretching
  • Core strengthening