Prenatal Conditions

Pelvic girdle pain

Pain in the back and pelvis is complicated and for women the issues that can present will often need specialist women’s health input. Pain can mask other conditions that need medical input or specific treatment which is why it is important to get it assessed and treated by someone with the expertise to manage complex and multifactorial pain. Pelvic girdle pain can present in the hip, back and pelvis (both front and back) with symptoms that are aggravated by a vast array of factors such as bending, pulling on your pants, stretching and impact. Differentiating the relative contribution of hip/back/pelvis occurs during your initial assessment and we will give you a diagnosis and plan to help improve your symptoms and get it under control for the duration of your pregnancy. 

Pregnancy related back pain

Back pain during pregnancy is a very common complaint that can range for mild and achey, to severe and debilitating. The causes of back pain can vary from SIJ dysfunction, pubic symphysitis to ‘normal’ back pain that coincides with being pregnant. There are also conditions that are specific to pregnancy such as round ligament pain, transient osteoporosis of the hip and pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain. Being assessed by a women’s health physio will mean you are able to get a good understanding of the expected progression of your pain over the trimesters, pregnancy specific solutions and guide you as to what types of exercise will be best for you going forward.

This can be booked in as a ‘standard initial’ physiotherapy session (30mins) with either Yvonne or Caitlin although if you feel you need more time and would also like to discuss other issues in pregnancy (such as exercise, pelvic floor, separation) then please book in for a women’s health initial physiotherapy session (60mins). Feel free to call or email and check what is recommended in your individual situation – what do you need?

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

The pelvic floor is made of muscle and fascia that acts as a hammock of support for the contents of the abdomen. Through pregnancy the downward load on the pelvic floor increases as the placenta and baby grows, and if the pelvic floor does not have the capacity to match these changes then pelvic floor dysfunction can become apparent causing a range of symptoms. Early or late into a pregnancy we can guide you with the strategies that best will strengthen and improve the coordination of your pelvic floor.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Pregnancy

Carpal Tunnel is a common condition of pregnancy that is likely due to increased fluid retention that occurs as pregnancy progresses.

The increased fluid in a pregnant women’s hands can cause added pressure around the nerves of the wrist causing various symptoms including:

  • Pins and needles or numbness or throbbing in the hands and wrists
  • Worsening symptoms at night
  • Swollen fingers
  • Difficulty holding objects, or performing fine motor skills.

One or both hands may be affected and symptoms may worsen as the pregnancy progresses after 30 weeks, where most weight gain and fluid retention occurs.

A physiotherapist can guide you on management of this painful hand condition and guide you on the expected prognosis. Often the symptoms are worse in the first week after giving birth especially if you receive intravenous fluids but they generally then improve for many women.

Management may include:

  • The use of a splint: This will help alleviate any extra pressure a bent wrist posture may add to the nerves. These splints can also be used at night time, where often symptoms can be worse.
  • Activity modification: Generally avoiding positions that encourage a bent wrist position, particularly for extended periods of time.
    Be particularly mindful of the position you hold your wrist in when getting to sleep.
  • Ergonomic considerations: Prolonged periods of typing on some keyboards can often exacerbate the carpal tunnel and modifying the keyboard and mouse may be useful in offloading the wrist/s.
  • Improving fluid retention in hands:
    Contrast bath: Alternating between soaking your hands in cold water to warm water several times over, may help with circulation and fluid retention
  • Elevation: elevate your wrists wherever possible to encourage fluid to drain away from your hands/wrists. Try bending your elbows when walking and clenching fists so as to deter too much fluid retention in the hands