As we know, the body will undergo some changes to adapt to the growing baby in the womb during pregnancy. One of the most common changes is known as diastasis recti.
Diastasis recti refer to either a full or partial separation of the rectus abdominis muscle which meets at the mid-line of the stomach. This separation commonly happens in pregnancy to allow more space for the baby in the womb to grow. After giving birth, the separation will still be there.
Most of the time, diastasis recti is harmless and women can go about their daily lives without being affected by it. Physiotherapy is only considered when the separation is too wide (3-5 fingertips wide) and hence poses a threat to the mother.
Pelvic floor weakness
The pelvic floor muscles and urinary sphincter may lose strength because of tissue or nerves getting stretched and damaged during childbirth. This may result in incontinence (lack of voluntary control over urination or defecation) and prolapse (falling down) of the female organs as the muscles are too weak & can no longer support them.
There are exercises that can be done in order to strengthen these muscles, with the most famous one known as Kegels. If a mother were to neglect these exercises, the risk of incontinence and prolapse will be higher as the mother ages.
Back pain is a common occurrence during pregnancy. It is caused by the postural changes during pregnancy, increased ligament laxity, hormonal changes, and the decrease of abdominal and back muscle function.
After childbirth, some women still suffer from back pain. Those that opt for epidural may also experience transient back pain at the injection site lasting a few days. Chronic lower back pain, however, is only worsened over time because the mother spends hours on end carrying, feeding, and looking after the baby.
Sacroiliac/ Pelvic Girdle pain
Sacroiliac joint pain can start during pregnancy; it is caused by the laxity within the joint. During pregnancy, the body releases a hormone called relaxin which causes joint laxity to prepare the body for childbirth. Unfortunately, when the sacroiliac joint becomes lax, there is a tendency for pain to occur because of the movement between the joints.
The pain can be felt at the posterior pelvis and is described as stabbing deep into gluteus. The pain may also radiate down to the back of the thigh or knee and is worsened with prolonged sitting, standing, walking, and torsional activities. Even after birth, the sacroiliac joint may not return to normal as easily and an injury could have been sustained during the childbirth process. Physiotherapy and rehabilitation are required if the pain becomes chronic.
If you want to know more about the types of exercises and stretches that can be done, feel free to give us a call at 03-50315946 or send us a Whatsapp or Make an Appointment. We at Rehamed Therapy are always here to help!