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Easing Pregnancy Pains with Physical Therapy

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St. Luke’s Physical Therapist Jasmine Pape, PT, DPT, works with a patient at St. Luke's Denfeld Medical Clinic.

Treatment for back pain and other pregnancy symptoms in Duluth

The body goes through many changes during pregnancy. Some discomfort is normal. But if you’re in severe discomfort or unable to carry out your daily tasks, there is help.

“Many women think pain during pregnancy is just something they have to deal with,” said St. Luke’s Physical Therapist Jasmine Pape, PT, DPT, “but that's not true! Physical therapy (PT) can offer a lot of relief.”

Pregnant patient looks at physical therapist

By easing symptoms, PT helps women continue their daily tasks and enjoy what should be a very special time in their lives. It can also keep them fit and healthy. Not only does this make for a better pregnancy and delivery, but also aids in recovery after baby arrives.

PT can help with a range of symptoms, including:

  • Lower back pain
  • Poor posture
  • Pelvic area pain
  • Hip pain
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Reduced flexibility
  • Limited mobility

Treatment plans are customized to meet the unique needs of each patient. Before creating a plan, one of St. Luke’s PTs will perform a comprehensive assessment to evaluate symptoms and a woman’s current condition. After that, the therapist will create a customized plan. Often, treatment will include stretching, strengthening and stability training. It can also involve hot and cold therapy, posture correction, bracing, massage and using kinesiology tape.

“Usually, patients come in once a week, but this can be adjusted to whatever fits their schedule,” said Jasmine. “Plus, they will almost always be given a home exercise program. That way they can work on things more frequently.”

A free class is also available every other month via Zoom. This is lead by St. Luke’s PTs and covers a wide range of topics, from pelvic floor therapy to basic stretching and mobility.

Post-partum PT can be very beneficial as well. “Most moms have a 6-week follow up with their OB-GYN after birth. If they’re still experiencing pain, this is a great time to think about seeing a PT,” said Jasmine. “A PT could also help them create a plan for getting back into exercising or offer tips on healing a C-section scar.” Free classes covering the basics of post-partum PT are also available via Zoom every other month.

Helping someone overcome their challenges and discomforts during pregnancy is a fulfilling experience for Jasmine. She encourages women to advocate for themselves and to not be shy about asking questions.

“If you have pain or are unsure if something is normal, don’t hesitate to speak up!” she said. “From our OB-GYNs to our nurses to our PTs, St. Luke’s is filled with people who would love to help you in any way they can.”

A referral is not required. To schedule an appointment, call 218.249.6040 or request an appointment online.