When pregnant, the body releases different amounts of certain hormones contributing to ligamentous laxity. Due to this, doing something as simple as coughing can cause ribs to come out of their correct placement and/ or cause increased tension along the intercostal muscles (located between the ribs). This can be excruciatingly painful. This rib pain can then make it difficult and painful to breathe, yawn, cough, etc. Using extremely gentle techniques, your physical therapist can use your muscle power to assist in returning the rib into the proper position, but also can ease the muscle tension between the ribs. This technique to ease the intercostal muscular tension is one of my favorites to do on patients who are pregnant. It is simple, gentle, and brings great results pretty quickly typically. Don't let pregnancy be a pain in the ribs for you! Get help! This typically does not end up being a long treatment process. We like to release and re-educate the muscles on how to move in their new/ proper length and give you the tools to help maintain! Breathing should be something you don't have to think about! Let your PT worry about taking away the pain, and let yourself focus on growing that little life inside of you instead!
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