HomeHealth articlespregnancyWhy Is Physiotherapy Recommended During Pregnancy?

Physiotherapy during pregnancy helps to deal with difficulties linked to mobility, circulation, and others. This article explains its benefits during pregnancy.

Medically reviewed by

Mohammed Wajid

Published At July 25, 2022
Reviewed AtApril 24, 2023

Why Is Doing Exercise Important During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy and the postpartum period, exercise benefits both the mother and the baby's health and well-being. This one-of-a-kind window of opportunity allows health care providers, particularly physiotherapists, to educate women about the necessity of adopting healthy lifestyle modifications like exercise. Physical activity is considered safe and healthy for pregnant women who do not have any contraindications to exercise. Pregnancy can be viewed as an ideal opportunity to make lifestyle changes. With the required adaptations, moderate to intense physical activity has been shown to be healthy for both mother and fetus in most pregnancies.

What Are the Common Structural Problems That Occur in Pregnancy?

Each woman's pregnancy is unique. Some people complain about a swollen ankle, while others complain about severe back pain. Some women, on the other hand, complain about both. Here are some of the most frequent structural issues that arise during pregnancy:

Lower Back Pain:

Lower back discomfort is a common symptom that a woman experiences during pregnancy. The abdominal muscles of a woman expand as the fetus grows. These muscles grow towards the front, putting pressure on the muscles of the lower back. The stomach expands during pregnancy, stretching the abdominal muscles and putting more pressure on the lower back. If your backache is interfering with your movements, physical therapy for pregnancy back pain is something you should really consider.

Wrist and Hand Pain:

Hormonal changes accompany pregnancy. Wrist and hand pain is frequently caused by hormones producing muscular laxity or looseness and also painful wrists and hands.

Hip and Groin Pain:

Pregnancy causes the abdominal muscles to stretch, as previously stated. Furthermore, ligaments and muscles in the pelvic region stretch, resulting in hip and groin pain.

Ankle Pain:

Ankle discomfort is most commonly experienced near the end of a pregnancy. The weight of the body rests excessively on the feet and ankles due to the mother's growing belly. Walking becomes difficult as well, which affects the ankles. To ease pain and give comfort, physical treatment for sciatic nerve discomfort during pregnancy is also recommended.

Physical activity during pregnancy and after delivery benefits the following maternal and fetal health outcomes in women:

Pain should never be ignored by pregnant women. Here are several reasons why you should see a physiotherapist during your pregnancy. The following are some of the problems that physiotherapy can help with:

Physiotherapy Can Help Alleviate Pain:

Physiotherapy treatments are one of the most efficient and safe strategies to cope with the frequent structural problems experienced during pregnancy. This is essential if you have had previous injuries. Massages, heat treatments, and exercises used in physiotherapy aim to relax stressed muscles and ligaments while also strengthening bones and joints.

Physiotherapy Can Help with Bodily Changes:

During pregnancy, your body is constantly evolving at a rapid rate. The amount of changes it goes through in just nine months is unimaginable - from hormonal to structural alterations. You may ease into all of these adjustments with the help of physiotherapy. You can cope with these changes and prepare for them with the help of physiotherapy's core stability training.

Physiotherapy Can Prepare You for the Labor:

You can have your physiotherapist show you the various exercises that can help you push successfully during labor. Preparing your body for this can greatly lessen the risk of pelvic floor injuries. It will also provide you with more stamina during the labor phase.

Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation:

The pelvic floor is greatly affected by pregnancy. You can lessen tension on the pelvic muscles, nerves, and connective tissues with the correct training and exercises that come with physiotherapy.

What Are the Steps Pregnant and Postpartum Women Without Contraindications Should Follow While Doing Exercises?

All pregnant and postpartum women who do not have contraindications should aim to:

  • Maintain a healthy level of physical exercise throughout your pregnancy and the postpartum period.

  • Throughout the week, get in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity. It is recommended to combine aerobics like brisk walking, swimming, stationary cycling, low-impact aerobics, jogging, modified yoga, and modified pilates with resistance training activities like bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, and push-ups for significant health advantages.

  • Include a variety of aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercises in your workout. It is also a good idea to incorporate some light stretching.

  • Women who were physically active or engaged in vigorous-intensity aerobic activity prior to pregnancy can proceed with the same during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

  • Engaging in some form of physical exercise will help their health if they are not used to a regular exercise routine. They should begin with small levels of physical exercise and gradually increase the frequency, intensity, and duration of their physical activity over time. To lessen the risk of urine incontinence, pelvic floor muscle training (Kegel's exercise) can be done on a regular basis.

  • Women who are pregnant or recently given birth should reduce their sedentary time. Physical activity of any degree (including light intensity) can replace inactive time and bring health benefits.

  • Avoid physical exercise in extreme heat, especially when the humidity is high.

  • Drinking water before, during, and after exercise routine is important to stay hydrated.

  • When not used to living at altitude, avoid engaging in activities that require physical contact, provide a high risk of falling, or may impede oxygenation, such as activities at high altitude.

  • After the first trimester of pregnancy, avoid supine activities since they can cause decreased cardiac output, aortal-caval compression, and hypotension.

  • Pregnant women should be told by their healthcare provider about the risk indicators that indicate when they should stop or reduce physical activity, and should seek emergency medical attention if they occur.

What Are the Contraindications of Physiotherapy During Pregnancy?

Women who have absolute contraindications to exercise during pregnancy may continue with their normal everyday activities, but moderate and strenuous activities should be avoided. Women with relative contraindications should consult with their obstetric care provider before beginning or maintaining their exercise plans.

Contraindications of physiotherapy during pregnancy include:

  • Ruptured membranes.

  • Active preterm labor.

  • Higher-order multiple pregnancies.

  • High blood pressure, diabetes, or thyroid disease.

  • Uncontrolled or severe arrhythmia.

  • Other serious cardiovascular, respiratory, or systemic disorders.

  • Incompetent cervix.

  • Mild/moderate cardiovascular or respiratory disease.

  • Well-controlled type 1 diabetes.

  • Mild pre-eclampsia.

  • Preterm premature rupture of membranes.

  • Intrauterine growth restriction.

  • Moderate to heavy smoking.

  • Untreated thyroid disease.

  • Multiple nutrient deficiencies or malnutrition.

  • Symptomatic severe eating disorder.

  • Placenta previa after 28 weeks.

  • Unexplained PV (per vaginal) bleeding.

  • Placenta previa after 28 weeks.

  • Severe pre-eclampsia.

  • Other significant medical conditions.

What Are the Adverse Reactions to Exercises During Pregnancy?

Pregnant women should be advised to stop exercising and consult their healthcare provider immediately if they have any of the following conditions:

  • Excessive shortness of breath, which does not resolve with rest.

  • Severe chest pain.

  • Persistent loss of fluid from the vagina indicates the rupture of the membranes.

  • Muscle weakness affects balance.

  • Regular and painful uterine contractions.

  • Vaginal bleeding.

  • Continuous and persistent dizziness, syncope, or faintness that does not resolve on rest.

  • Decreased fetal movement.

  • Calf pain or swelling.

What Are the Tips for Safe Exercise in Pregnancy?

The tips for safe exercise in pregnancy are:

  • Find an activity or workout that you enjoy and is the correct intensity for you. Remember that even low-intensity exercise can be extremely healthy for your body.

  • Pay attention to your body. There are likely to be various hurdles to exercising during each trimester, ranging from morning sickness to having a huge belly. To overcome these changes, adjust your workout routines.

  • There are many virtual and in-person group exercise courses for pregnant women, which are a terrific way to exercise safely while meeting new people.

  • When the abdominal separation has begun, avoid vigorous upper abdominal workouts like sit-ups. While your baby is growing, you need those muscles to be able to stretch and not shrink.

  • After 16 weeks of exercising on your back, some women may feel dizzy, nauseous, or lightheaded as the fetus will be placing pressure on the main blood vessels, so simply roll onto your left side till the symptoms go away in this scenario.

  • Know when to stop your exercise. Stop immediately and visit your gynecologist if you have any vaginal bleeding, loss of fluid, decreased baby movements, calf pain, or abdominal pain after doing exercise.


Maintaining a regular fitness regimen can help you stay healthy and feel best during your pregnancy. It can also help to improve your posture and alleviate some common aches and pains, such as backaches and weariness. It aids in the prevention of gestational diabetes, the reduction of stress, and the increase of stamina required for labor and delivery.

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Dr. Muthu Laakshmi. G
Dr. Muthu Laakshmi. G


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