Pre/Post-Natal Care

Our physical and occupational therapists have advanced, specialized training in the management of musculoskeletal conditions during and after pregnancy that may lead to pain and dysfunction.

During both the prenatal and postpartum phases, fluctuating hormone levels combined with additional physical changes can affect the musculoskeletal system.  These changes include altered posture, shortened muscles, potential muscle imbalances, weakness of the core stabilizers and altered spinal mobility and function.  

Diagnoses treated (but not limited to):

  • Pelvic girdle joint pain (sacroiliac, pubic symphysis, sacral, and coccyx joint dysfunctions)
  • Lumbar/low back pain (including lumbosacral nerve root irritation/sciatica)
  • Upper quarter conditions (carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and thoracic outlet syndrome)
  • Cervical/upper back pain
  • Muscle spasm/myofascial pain (piriformis, gluteal, paraspinal, abdominal musculature, etc.)
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction (weakness, pain, improper neuromuscular control and/or incontinence)
  • Diastasis rectus abdominis
  • Core weakness
  • Episiotomy scar pain
  • Cesarean scar pain
  • Pelvic organ prolapse

How can physical or occupational therapy help?

The goal of therapy during the prenatal and postpartum periods is to address spinal and pelvic joint dysfunction, instruct in exercises to address muscle weakness and imbalance, as well as provide guidance and instruction related to the modification of daily activities that may be difficult during these phases of life.

Treatment options vary by condition and may include:

  • Muscle energy techniques to realign the pelvic girdle joints and lumbar spine
  • Soft tissue mobilization and gentle joint mobilization during prenatal phase
  • External/internal soft tissue mobilization, scar mobilization, visceral mobilization and/or joint mobilization during postpartum phase
  • Pelvic floor muscle neuromuscular re-education, coordination and strength training
  • Lumbopelvic stabilization exercises and core strengthening program
  • Postural strengthening
  • Abdominal strengthening to improve diastasis recti 
  • Optimal body mechanics education
  • Modalities as appropriate pending prenatal/postpartum status (moist heat, cold therapy, electrical stimulation, ultrasound)
  • Pregnancy support belt fitting 
  • Self-management strategies to expedite transition to home program