What Does a Prenatal PT Do?


April 12, 2011

By Karen Woodman, Obstetrics PT

What’s the difference between your traditional exercise instructor and a prenatal PT? While both may be beneficial, there are significant differences between the two. Studies have shown that individualized physical therapy treatment programs with specifically designed stabilization exercises are more beneficial than traditional exercise or group exercise classes in reducing back and pelvic pain during daily activities.

Here’s why: A prenatal physical therapist has the experience and training to identify impairments during pregnancy and differentially diagnose the culprit(s) causing the problems. This is done through a thorough postural and musculoskeletal examination, in addition to gait analysis and physical exam of the lumbar spine and pelvic girdle. The patient is educated in how their body is changing, why they are in pain, and what to do in order to manage their symptoms and improve their functional strength for daily activities, labor and delivery, and recovery afterwards.

If you are having problems with back, pelvic or sciatic pain that are keeping you from participating in exercise and daily activities, ask your physician for a referral to a physical therapist trained in obstetrics. With the right help, you can regain your life, reduce your pain, and then rejoin that fun exercise class to stay in shape!