Avoiding Musculoskeletal Disorders During Pregnancy?

Musculoskeletal disorders in pregnancy

Carpal tunnel syndrome, shoulder-rotator cuff syndrome, epicondylitis, low back pain… This is how the most important musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) manifest themselves. All result from an imbalance between the body’s physical capabilities and the stresses and constraints it is subjected to, as explained by ameli.fr. In France in 2015, MSDs accounted for more than 87% of occupational diseases that resulted in sick leave or financial compensation for consequential damages.

These diseases mainly affect women: “MSD are widespread and affect one in three women. Every second woman is affected during and immediately after pregnancy,” says Athanase Kollias, founder of KINVENT, a connected object company dedicated to the rehabilitation of patients intended for physical therapists.

“The hardest hit area in a pregnant woman is lower back, often for biomechanical reasons. If the mother-to-be is generally spared in the first trimester of pregnancy, her focus changes very quickly. The load is permanent, then the back bends more, and the spine is in an unusual position. Since the muscles in the back are used more than before pregnancy, pain in the lower back occurs, especially if it was not sufficiently muscular in the early stages of pregnancy or before. And that continues after the birth,” explains our speaker.

MSDs during pregnancy: the affected areas

In addition to the back, the lower limbs, such as the hamstrings or the hips, are also affected by musculoskeletal disorders during pregnancy. In fact, the pelvis moves during this period and at the time of birth it expands, causing a change in the position of the hips and thighs. This affects the knee valgus (also called knee valgus), a deformation of the legs that arches inward, bringing the knees closer together while keeping the ankles wide apart (when standing, the legs form an X). this Valgus is more pronounced in late pregnancywhat can create worries on the cartilage and meniscus.

How to fight MSDs during pregnancy?

If done correctly, exercise and Strengthening of the abdomen, back and muscles of the lower extremities (Quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings) are a great way to prevent MSDs during pregnancy as they allow the expectant mother to assume better positions. However, this requires a lot of supervision: it is therefore essential to be accompanied by a physiotherapist. A midwife may also recommend exercise regimens of 20 minutes every other day to help prevent disruption. It may begentle sheathing exercises For example, like the dog pose: on a yoga mat, knees and hands on the floor, the expectant mother raises one leg. It is important for your specialist to demonstrate the positions during a consultation so that you can absorb them more easily and become aware of what is and isn’t good for you and your baby.

Not sitting still every day and walking as much as possible (unless there is a medical contraindication) is also a good way to prevent musculoskeletal disorders. “As a result, the nervous system is always very active and there is a constant metabolic effort taking place. This allows for the continuous regeneration of the muscles. If you don’t move, the muscles weaken and this can make childbirth difficult, as well as recovery.” indicates the founder of KINVENT.

Cure musculoskeletal disorders after pregnancy

If you didn’t overcome musculoskeletal disorders during pregnancy, you can still reduce them after delivery by undergoing rehabilitation supervised by a physical therapist. Its duration varies depending on the intensity of the musculoskeletal disorders. It can last from a few weeks to several months.

While rehabilitation of the perineum is now well integrated into mothers’ postpartum journey, this is less the case for the back and lower limbs. So do not hesitate to discuss this with your gynecologist before you give birth, who can prescribe sessions that are covered by social security. They are conducted in the office twice a week in addition to exercises at home. If the existing program is followed, it can significantly speed up healing and even reduce treatment time. So all good for you!

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