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Physiotherapy During Pregnancy

Physiotherapy During Pregnancy


Many of us know that lower back and pelvic pain are common occurrences during pregnancy. But pregnancy can take its toll on other areas of the body. Physiotherapy can be helpful for many musculoskeletal problems. This blog will discuss some other pregnancy-related musculoskeletal conditions that we commonly see at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS):

CTS is a condition where pressure on one of the nerves to the hand (the median nerve) causes pain and pins and needles in the hand. In some cases numbness and weakness also occur. These symptoms are often worse at night. The carpal tunnel is a small space in the wrist formed by the wrist bones (carpals) and a ligament (the transverse carpal ligament). A certain amount of swelling in the hands can be expected during pregnancy and if excessive, this can put pressure on the structures in the carpal tunnel, including the median nerve, leading to CTS. These symptoms will often resolve following pregnancy. If, however, the symptoms are problematic your physiotherapist can advise you on splints or supports for your wrist, postural advice, and exercises to take the pressure off the median nerve.

Leg Cramps:

There’s no definite reason that women get leg cramps during pregnancy. The general consensus is that the extra weight of the baby puts pressure on the leg muscles causing them to fatigue easier. These cramps are often worse at night and can wake you up with sudden sharp pain in the leg. Although there’s no hard evidence on ways to prevent these cramps anecdotal evidence would suggest that the following things may be helpful:

  • keeping your ankles moving regularly,
  • completing gentle calf stretches,
  • keeping hydrated,
  • lying down for a short rest during the day to give your legs a break.

If you would like further advice you can ask your physiotherapist. If you notice excessive swelling, redness or heat in the calf, this could be a sign of a blood clot. Although these are rare, they are more common during pregnancy. This requires immediate medical attention.

Thoracic Pain:

Your lower back is not the only area of the back that can come under pressure during pregnancy. From your second trimester on your ribcage needs to expand to facilitate the growing baby. Also, as the baby grows, your heart and lungs have to work harder and you become short of breath easier. This can also put pressure on your ribs and cause thoracic pain. At our Dublin 4 clinic there are many ways we can help you deal with thoracic spine pain. Improving or maintaining good posture is really important, especially if you are working at a desk. Mobility exercises can help reduce pain and improve movement. Specific manual therapy techniques that are suitable for use during pregnancy can be really helpful.

For more information on these or other pregnancy-related musculoskeletal injuries contact us at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy.



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