PARAMUS, N.J. -- Pregnancy can create many musculoskeletal challenges and progressive biomechanical demands in a woman’s body. As the body adapts to its growing baby, a gradual postural shift often occurs, moving the center of gravity forward. This new alignment can lead to an accentuated lower back curve and a forward tilting of the pelvis.
As a result of these normal gestational loads and changing in posture, many pregnant women often experience generalized lower back pain and pelvic girdle/hip discomfort. The hormonal changes that are associated with pregnancy also play a factor in causing injury, and expectant moms are at a greater risk for neck, shoulder, wrist, back, hip and knee strain or sprain injuries.
What is the best approach to maintaining health and wellness throughout pregnancy? New research suggests that a combination of postural awareness instruction, body mechanics training and specific exercise activity participation may effectively minimize pregnancy related lower back pain and pelvic girdle discomfort.
Exercise should focus on improving core and pelvic girdle stability while facilitating spine stiffness -- which is the ability of the axial skeleton to withstand dynamic forces. Helpful prenatal exercises target the abdominal wall and pelvic floor support muscles, and should include functional, progressive movement patterns.
Prior to participating in any exercise activity during pregnancy, it’s important to check with a physician. For more information regarding prenatal and postpartum rehabilitation services, contact a qualified physical therapist skilled in the delivery of women’s health services.
Katrin Ramey DSc, PT is a physical therapist at HSS Rehabilitation in Paramus.
To schedule an appointment with HSS Rehabilitation Paramus, call 201-599-8000.
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