Women are no stranger to pain -- from the time a teenage girl gets her first period, on to adulthood when she gets the symptoms of pregnancy, going through nine months of child-bearing, and ultimately, the experience of giving birth.
Anyone who has gone through the ordeal of childbirth knows it's no small feat. Your body goes through a lot of changes, after all. Your hips seem to grow wider, mainly because it's where the lactation-supporting fat gets stored. Your waist and abdomen become flabby from being stretched out. Your breasts may sag, and varicose veins appear on your legs. Your general bone health may suffer a bit, too, because you've had to share your calcium supply (among other nutrients) with the child growing inside you.
Put all of those changes together, then throw in the challenges of breastfeeding and lack of sleep, and what do you get? A mom in pain, ready to explode.
Steph Yee, the head physiotherapist at the newly-opened Prohealth Sports and Spinal Physiotherapy Centres in Makati, says, "When you're pregnant, your body releases a lot of hormones, and most of them [put] your joints and ligaments in a relaxed position. [As a result], your pelvis becomes misaligned," causing pain in your back and all over your body.
Prohealth's primary clients are athletes who have lower back, shoulder and neck pains, ankle injuries, and occasional dislocated elbow or Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ). By the middle of this year, however, it will be introducing a Women's Health program, specifically for pregnant women and those in the menopausal stage.
"Your abdominal muscles or core muscles go haywire when you're pregnant. After giving birth, some women have the separation, the diastasis recti," says Yee, who leads the center's team of licensed physiotherapists. "We can get you into a program and get them working properly again, so you don't get a lot of lower back pains. Kailangan na kailangan 'yang [therapy] especially after normal delivery because you lose your pelvic floor muscles."
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Yee theorized the physical changes women go through post-pregnancy might be one of the reasons why women might get postpartum depression (PPD). "Part of PPD is seeing your husband doing well, looking the same, tapos sa iyo nagbago lahat, and nagmumukha kang losyang dahil sa pagod. We can help you by getting you in good shape so that you don't fall into that state," he adds.
Prohealth will also introduce clinical Pilates soon, which will focus on activating the core muscles. "Let's say you're in your second or third trimester. We can help you get into a program to keep everything intact para mas mabilis bumalik [sa dati ang katawan]. We can't promise you will get back exactly to your pre-pregnancy body, but we'll try to get you in a better place."
Prohealth Sports and Spinal Physiotherapy Centre is located at Unit 3, 28th Floor Centuria Medical Makati, Century City, Kalayaan Avenue corner Salamanca st., Brgy. Poblacion, Makati. It is part of the Prohealth chain of physiotherapy clinics that has branches in Beijing, Hong Kong, India, and Singapore.
Prohealth has also partnered with Pinnacle Performance, a world-class athletic and physical development center in the same location, for a complete rehabilitation and core strengthening program.