Pregnancy and Orthopedic Supplies

Pregnancy Changes Everything

We all know that pregnancy creates myriad changes and challenges to a woman's body. Along with the hormonal issues, there are physiological changes that can, at times, present some serious concerns for a pregnant woman. The musculoskeletal system is taxed during pregnancy as the uterus grows and becomes heavier with the growing baby. The body's center of gravity is altered and this, in turn stresses the axial and pelvic systems, compounding the stress that is already present as a result of fluctuating hormones and water retention. Generally the potential of injury can be controlled, however, there are times when they can't and an orthopedist is required to help.

The Orthopedist

An orthopedic doctor, or an orthopedist, treats broken bones, joint problems, and degenerative diseases of the joints and bones - like osteoporosis. Sports injuries, infections, congenital conditions and tumors in the bones are also treated by an orthopedic specialist. The type of orthopedic work depends upon the orthopedic career path the doctor has chosen. Some work in sports medicine clinics and others choose orthopedic surgery - so the type of treatment is determined by the type of orthopedic specialty chosen. As a point of interest, the word orthopedic actually relates to the foot - pedis being the Latin word for foot. The correct spelling (although seldom used), is orthopaedics which comes from two Greek words - ortho, which means straight, plus paes, which means child. Literally, the definition of orthopaedics is the practice of straightening the child. If a child had a crooked spine, the orthopaedist was hired to straighten the child, not just the child's foot.

There are many pregnancy-related orthopedic conditions and problems a woman may encounter, including posterior pelvic pain - pain at the base of the spine; lumbar disc herniation - swelling of the tissue between discs in the lower spine region; and lower back pain. It is understandable that low back pain is the most common orthopedic issue for women during pregnancy. The extra weight of the baby coupled with the shift in weight distribution tires the back muscles and can cause spasms. Thankfully, this usually disappears after the birth of the baby, but going into the pregnancy with a strong back is a good way to combat this common situation.

Maternity Orthopedic Shoes and Supplies

There are various maternity orthopedic supplies available to help provide relief from back discomfort during pregnancy. Elastic pregnancy belts support the lower abdomen and some have an adjustable side panel and inserts to provide added support to the back and pelvis. Women carrying more than one baby benefit greatly from this type of support.

Often a woman will experience foot pain and swelling during pregnancy. Foot collapse is another issue and, with the added weight of baby and fluids, the pain can be hard to bear. By finding a well-made and excellent fitting pair of orthopedic shoes, some of these foot pains can be alleviated. Orthopedic shoes are designed to be anatomically correct and have specific qualities for comfort and support. Wide toe boxes allow for swelling in the toes and tops of the feet, arch supports help to prevent collapsing feet and padded removable insoles add cushion and comfort when standing and walking. The proper shoes make it easier to keep up a wellness program that allows for strengthening the back, muscles in the legs and arms, and the cardiovascular system as well. Too often proper exercise - necessary and helpful for a healthy pregnancy - goes by the wayside due to orthopedic problems.

Getting A Good Night's Sleep

Finally, to get that much coveted and very necessary good night's sleep, an orthopedic mattress is probably the best bet for a pregnant woman. An orthopedic mattress helps in weight distribution as well as providing the important support necessary to accommodate a growing belly. Combined with an orthopedic pillow, a pregnant woman can get a good sleep while her body receives the comfort and support it needs during the night to give her strength for the next day.

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