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Pain during pregnancy and postpartum: Don’t “Learn To Live With It.”

Pain during pregnancy and after pregnancy is common…but it’s not normal. Anywhere from 20% to 50% of women experience pain in the low back and hips during pregnancy. Prevalence reports vary because women tend to under report pain.

If you have carried and delivered a baby, you know that this progress, albeit rewarding, is very painful and difficult. Most women just expect that pain is just part of the process and brush it off.

Even those who do report it, typically do not receive the treatment they need. Only 15-30% who reported their pain to their physician received treatment. This lack of treatment and persistent pain has negative consequences after pregnancy and throughout the lifespan. Women who have back pain and hip pain during pregnancy are 3 times more likely to have postpartum depression. They are also more likely lead a sedentary lifestyle, which can lead to other medical problems and chronic pain. Luckily, there are ways to avoid this downward spiral.

I met some new friends a few weeks ago and one of them said something that really struck me: “A good physical therapist can change your life.”

As a Physical Therapist, I certainly know this. The clients I see come into my life and leave completely different people.

But, more people need to know this.

Finding a good physical therapist early, especially when pregnant can change your life completely.

Studies have shown that exercise prescribed by a Physical Therapist can reduce pain and improve function in women with pain related to pregnancy. Exercise also improves the mother’s cardiovascular fitness and psychological well-being. Exercise had no negative effects on the fetus, and actually improved the fetus’ response to exercise later in life.

This looks like a win-win situation to me.

If you’re thinking of becoming pregnant, or are pregnant, seek out a Women's Health Physical Therapist, like me, who has special training in obstetrics, women’s health, or pelvic pain.

Don’t just learn to live with it.

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