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Alina Hvostikova/Stocksy United
Alina Hvostikova/Stocksy United

The following are some excerpts from an article on Healthline.com which quotes Heather Jeffcoat on a number of topics related to prenatal (and postpartum) joint pain. There is a link to the full article at the bottom.

Relieving joint pain during pregnancy

Joint pain is the worst, especially during pregnancy. But the good news is there are several safe ways to find relief.

Correct postural dysfunctions

Heather Jeffcoat, DPT, owner of Femina Physical Therapy, says there are two places to start:

  • correcting postural dysfunction to reduce joint strain
  • ensuring adequate flexibility and strength around the affected joints

Beyond postural correction, she also recommends looking at what joints are under strain and developing a rehabilitation program specific to your needs.

First trimester exercise tips

During the first trimester, Jeffcoat says the first relaxin peak occurs around 8–12 weeks, making this is an especially vulnerable period for a pregnant person’s joints and the ligaments that support them. To help, she says strengthening and cardio exercises should be done in a controlled manner that avoids hyperextension of the joints to reduce the risk of injury.

She also recommends prepping your body for postural changes, starting with pelvic floor and deep core strengthening. The first trimester is an ideal time to learn how to do a pelvic brace, which you’ll use before performing any exercise throughout your pregnancy.

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground, about hip-width apart. Place your pelvis and low back into a “neutral” position. To find neutral position, make sure you’re resting on the back of your pelvis to create a very small space in your lower back (your back should not be pressed into the floor).
  2. Inhale to prepare, then exhale and perform a Kegel.
  3. Slightly draw the lower abs in with the Kegel. Inhale and relax the abs and pelvic floor. Exhale and repeat the contraction.

 

Continue reading by clicking here.

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Testimonial by S.B.

As someone who suffered the debilitating physical and emotional effects of vaginismus (as well as a complicated history of back injuries) for more than 15 years, I thought a "normal" life was just a fantasy. Then I found Heather.

Read more: Testimonial by S.B.

Testimonial by Alexandra B.

Heather is without exaggerating AMAZING! After years of trouble with a certain part of my body, in no time, she made everything change back to equilibrium and to what would be considered normal. She explains everything in detail and therefore gives you a better understanding of why things are the way they are, and how you can work towards turning things around. I would highly recommend Heather for any type of Physical Therapy. She has created her own "Method/Therapy" through years of studying (with some of the greatest practitioners), practice and breaking down the issues of her past patients, enabling her to fine tune her own system. I'm so thankful to have found her, and I'm especially grateful for the quick recovery I've achieved, after years of distress. If you cannot afford her, I recommend you purchase her book. Although it may not be Heather in person, it can still help you to get on the right path to recovery!

-- Alexandra B., 5/20/2015 via Yelp!

Testimonial by Alexandra B.

Heather is without exaggerating AMAZING! After years of trouble with a certain part of my body, in no time, she made everything change back to equilibrium and to what would be considered normal. She explains everything in detail and therefore gives you a better understanding of why things are the way they are, and how you can work towards turning things around. I would highly recommend Heather for any type of Physical Therapy. She has created her own "Method/Therapy" through years of studying (with some of the greatest practitioners), practice and breaking down the issues of her past patients, enabling her to fine tune her own system. I'm so thankful to have found her, and I'm especially grateful for the quick recovery I've achieved, after years of distress. If you cannot afford her, I recommend you purchase her book. Although it may not be Heather in person, it can still help you to get on the right path to recovery!

-- Alexandra B., 5/20/2015 via Yelp!

Testimonial by Fritzette H.

I went to Heather after the birth of my third child. It was lucky, really, that I was referred to her, because my doctor had referred me to a surgeon for a possible hysterectomy or pelvic wall rebuild. Thankfully, I went to Heather before undergoing either surgery, she was able to fix the problem. She has studied extensively in women's health--even written a book about it--and was able to diagnose my problem, suggest a course of treatment (6 weeks), and then follow through with said treatment. By the end, as she said, I was as good as gold. Boy, was it worth it! Though uncomfortable to talk about, much less write about, it is worth getting the word out there. If you have painful intercourse, especially after birth or other trauma, the treatment may be as simple as Physical Therapy (with Heather, of course). I highly recommend her.

-- Fritzette H., 3/24/16 via Yelp!

Testimonial by T.H.

I started seeing Heather in October 2014. For more than two years, I had been suffering from painful urinary tract infection type symptoms after my bartholins gland surgery which included constant burning and urinary frequency sensation that led to more and more painful intercourse. I had made multiple visits to internist, obgyn and urologist's offices, went through a range of treatment with UTI and bladder frequency medication that included antibiotics, vesicare, estrogen cream, but nothing worked.

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Testimonial by Lauren B.

Femina PT (née Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy) has been such an answer to prayer, i'm so glad I found them! I've been struggling with vaginismus my whole life, but didn't have a name for it until about 6 or 7 months ago. Even once I did have a name for it though, I didn't know where to begin in getting help. My OB/GYN had me get a set of dilators, but I couldn't even insert the smallest one by myself. Most times I tried I just ended up frustrated and in tears. I felt really alone, like I was broken and didn't have the energy to keep trying. When I got engaged a few months ago though, I realized I needed to get answers so i wasn't dreading my honeymoon.

Read more: Testimonial by Lauren B.

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