Prenatal pain and aches: How can physiotherapy help?

A woman’s body goes through various changes during the journey of life

What is prenatal care?

A healthy pregnancy equals a healthy birth, and the best way to do that is to have early and regular prenatal care. You don’t have to wait until your scheduled visit to your doctor before taking steps towards this, as changes to lifestyle can be made. 

It may look like mere baby steps, but every little bit helps:

  • Control medical conditions and diabetes
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Stop smoking, drinking alcohol, and taking drugs
  • If you feel anxious, or depressed, seek help
  • Ensure your vaccinations are up to date

Why is prenatal care important?

Pregnancy is a joyous event, where both husband and wife await the newest addition to their family. But here comes the million-dollar question, how do you make it as smooth and safe as possible for both mother and child?

This is where you should schedule a visit with your doctor, who may refer you to an appropriate OB-GYN. When you’re visiting for a prenatal check-up, you may be asked to provide a urine sample, undergo a physical check, and a weight check. If your stage of pregnancy is advanced, you may also be asked to undergo an ultrasound exam and a blood test.

These tests may look to be a hassle, but visits to your OB-GYN is important as you can have all your questions and worries answered by a medical professional and be monitored for any possible problems that may crop up.

So, what are the other reasons that prenatal care is key?

There are certain medications that aren’t suited for pregnant women, and your doctor will ensure that you are informed of what to avoid, and what is safe. Even some dietary or health supplements can pose a risk to the foetus, so your doctor will ensure that you’re aware of what to avoid.

Alcohol, tobacco, and drugs can be harmful to the foetus and infant and can lead to complications. Other harmful factors will also be made known to your during your visits to the OB-GYN, as well as tips for a smooth pregnancy.

A safe healthy diet, appropriate exercise, and avoiding harmful substances, are imperative in minimizing the risk of complications during pregnancy. Your OB-GYN can help you control medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

Women’s Health Physiotherapy

A woman’s body (Women Health) goes through various changes during the journey of life – in time as the body changes and adapts to the different phases of life, musculoskeletal issues may arise.

However, there is no need to live with this discomfort – there are safe solutions such as women’s health physiotherapy treatment available to alleviate the pain.

Prenatal Pain and Aches

A woman’s body goes through various changes during the journey of life – in time as the body changes and adapts to the different phases of life, musculoskeletal issues may arise.

However, there is no need to live with this discomfort – there are safe solutions such as women’s health physiotherapy treatment available to alleviate the pain.

As rewarding as the pregnancy journey is, it can come along with various aches and pains as your body adapts to the growing fetus.

What causes prenatal pain and aches?

Throughout your pregnancy, your body will undergo changes to better prepare and accommodate the process.

While preparing your body for birth, hormones will be released to relax your ligaments and joints. This occurs throughout pregnancy and will lead to pain and aches throughout your body.         

From your second trimester onwards, you will gain weight. Thus, more pressure will be placed on your joints, potentially leading to you tiring out faster throughout your day, as well as potential pain in your body.

You’ll have a growing belly, which will weaken your abdominal muscles as they are stretched and pulled forward. It is common for pregnant women to experience not only pain in their lower back, but as well as in their legs, groin, pelvis and buttocks.

As the weight of your baby and uterus press down on the sciatic nerve, you may develop sciatica. This will send pain shooting down from the back of your leg down to your buttocks.

How can physiotherapy help with prenatal pain and aches?

Many expectant mums think that these aches are part and parcel of the pregnancy journey and simply live with the pain. However, with your OB-GYN gynae’s approval, physiotherapy is a safe and effective method to relieve the pain.

All of our treatments are non-surgical, and without the use of medication. We understand that as a mom-to-be, your greatest priority is your bundle of joy, which is why we strongly encourage you to consult with your OB-GYN gynecologist before coming to us for treatments.

Continue reading to know what prenatal conditions we treat:

Types of prenatal pain and aches that we treat

Back pain is one of the most common complaints among expectant mothers.

As the fetus grows, the spine is compressed due to the increased load at the front of the body. Thus, this results in back pain and discomfort during pregnancy. Your joints and ligaments will soften in preparation for labor, and as the joints in your lower back and pelvis are strained, it will lead to backache.

Our team of women’s health physiotherapists are able to help to relieve your back pain safely.

How to ease or avoid back pain?

  • Avoid lifting heavy objects
  • Take warm baths or have some massages
  • Wear flat shoes to distribute your weight
  • Get enough rest
  • Use a proper mattress for better support

Symphysis pubic dysfunction (Pelvic Pain during pregnancy)                                                                                                                     

Symphysis pubic dysfunction (SPD), also commonly known as pelvic girdle pain is a pain in the pelvic/groin region.

This condition usually occurs in the second trimester of the pregnancy as the body prepares itself for the delivery of the baby.

Hormonal changes in the body cause the pelvic girdle to widen and causes the structure to become unstable. While this condition isn’t harmful to you or the baby, it can be uncomfortable and make getting around difficult.

Signs that you have SPD:

  • Difficulty in stand up and moving around
  • Pain when you turn over in bed
  • Walking up and down the stairs is difficult and painful

How to ease or avoid SPD?

  • Get adequate rest
  • Don’t perform activities that worsens the pain
  • Sleep in a comfortable position
  • Avoid twisting or bending
  • Avoid carrying heavy objects

Diastasis recti is the separation of the left half and right half of the abdominal muscles at the midline. This separation occurs due to the growing fetus pushing against the abdominal wall to create space in the uterus.

This in turn causes there to be inner abdominal pressure to push out against your abdominal muscles, causing the connective tissues between the abdominal muscles to stretch and weaken.

Therefore, after giving birth, the connective tissue remains stretched, leaving your left and right abdominal muscles separated.

The stretched connective tissue causes the tummy to protrude and results in a little bulge. occurs in 30 – 68% of postpartum women.

Symptoms of diastasis recti:

  • Urine leaks when you cough or sneeze
  • Visible bulge above or below the belly button
  • The area around your belly button feels like jelly
  • Constipation
  • You find it difficult to walk or perform everyday task

How to ease diastasis recti:

Diastasis recti is an expected part of pregnancy and not an injury, however there are treatments and exercises to close the abdominal gap.

  • Correct improper posture
  • Move in a mindful manner
  • Strengthen core muscles
  • Engage in breather exercises

Our treatments for prenatal pain and aches

Pain and aches are common during pregnancy, and through manual therapy, you will be able to alleviate them.

Pregnancy can be stressful, especially with the discomfort that comes with it. We understand your worries and through our facilitated stretch therapy, you can be more relaxed as you prepare yourself for labor. This can also alleviate any soreness or pain in your joints and muscles.

Labor pain and contractions are a common part of pregnancy, but Pilates can help you with them. This exercise may seem to be best suited for athletes and avid sportsmen, however, due to its highly adaptable nature, it can also be modified to suit pregnant women.

How about physiotherapy for postnatal conditions?

Giving birth

Childbirth can be extremely taxing on the body – researchers have found that the physical demands of childbirth are as tiring as running a full marathon or an athlete who takes part intense physical sports.

The difference is that athletes train for months to condition and prepare their bodies for the race. Most expecting mothers on the other hand; are unable to be physically prepared for the pregnancy journey.

As such, mothers tend to experience a variety of postnatal injuries such as pelvic weakness, muscle strains, and injuries.

Why should you choose Core Concepts?

Our team is experienced in treating postnatal and prenatal health-related conditions and has had remarkable success in resolving such cases.

If you or a loved one are experiencing pain and need help with these conditions, do get in touch with us and book an appointment with us.


I came in with quite severe/unique diastasis recti, measuring more than five fingers width at the bottom (the typical seems to be two or three fingers width). My gyne said to try physio before considering surgery and so there I was. I met Sylvia, who also tried to manage my expectations that there may still be a need for surgery later because of the extent of my condition, but she said “let’s just try darn hard since we are here”. I was very fortunate that the exercises recommended worked well for me and I saw improvements within a week at my next session, down from five fingers to three!

I’m at my tenth weekly session so far and the gap has narrowed to about 1.5 fingers at the moment (this last bit of gap would be the hardest to close). I also got the chance to work with another physiotherapist Annabelle, and observe other physiotherapists when they are working with other clients, so far my impression is that they are all very professional and have a good understanding of the human body, able to tweak the exercises as needed to adjust to an appropriate level of challenge.

Also very friendly and encouraging. The receptionists are also very welcoming and helpful, and I love the convenience of the WhatsApp service that allows me to change my appointments when needed. I enquired about package pricing for the physio and was informed that they do not practice this as they believe in following the clients’ progress to schedule sessions as needed (rather than following a preset number of sessions). Tldr, professional and no gimmicks, do give them a try, recommended! 

Core Concepts – Women’s Health Physiotherapy Specialists

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Our team is experienced in treating women’s health-related conditions and has had great success in resolving such cases. If you are experiencing pain and need help with women’s health related conditions, do get in touch with us and book an appointment with us.


Women Health At Core Concepts Singapore

We understand the importance of diagnosing and treating the root cause to prevent a recurrence.

We are firm believers in ‘The Thinking Physiotherapist’ and acknowledge that pain is a symptom and has various layers.

Our first step is determining the root cause of the problem by digging deeper into the symptoms layer by layer.

After determining the root cause, we resolve the multiple layers of pain you feel. Instead of just simply temporarily relieve your symptoms; we also aim to fix the underlying cause.

After, we ensure that your pain doesn’t return by making sure your body is stronger and more functional.