How Can Pregnancy Exercises Reduce Pain?
by Dr. Alison Gault
Pregnancy exercises reap a whole range of rewards for your body such as maintaining cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, strength and maintaining weight gain within the healthy range. Having muscles and joints that are strong and flexible can greatly reduce many of the common aches and pains of pregnancy as your body is more able to adapt to the all the changes that are occurring. We can help you with the right pregnancy exercises for you and your baby, and we always encourage exercise during pregnancy.
As a crude example (sorry to those with sensitive tummies!), imagine a tough piece of beef jerky vs a nice piece of steak. What is going to be more able to compensate to being stretched, pulled and distorted?
Muscles and joints that are strong yet flexible are able to adapt and change as required to the increasing weight and size of baby, uterus, placenta and don’t forget the boobies! The pelvis and rib cage for example with widen as needed to create more space. The feet will flatten and broaden under the load. The hips externally rotate to compensate for changes in centre of gravity. The list goes on an on!
If your muscles and joints are really tight and weak, you could end up with problems as your body struggles to adapt as your pregnancy progresses. You could start experiencing muscular and joint discomfort or such conditions as dysfunction of the sacroiliac joint or pubic symphysis, rib cage pain, headaches and low back pain.
There are many forms of exercise for strength and flexibility that are pregnancy friendly such as:
- Water aerobics
Pregnancy specific exercise classes such as pilates run by your local physiotherapist ( or check out our pregnancy exercises DVD’s! where you can do the same in your own home)
It is important to remember that before starting a new exercise in pregnancy, it is always a good idea to check with your medical practitioner that it is suitable for you.
All of the above forms of exercise are suitable however your individual capacity to perform these exercise is very important – so please contact your local physiotherapist / Osteopath for further guidance.[block id=”love-stuff-share”]