A women’s body goes through many changes and a great deal of stress during pregnancy and childbirth. While it is a very natural process, women need to take time and have patience in order to heal properly.
According to postpartum therapy specialists at Pelvis Health and Rehabilitation Center (PHRC), physical therapy helps women achieve their maximum potential to care for their new baby, prevent further complications, and safely resume normal activities, such as exercise and sexual intercourse.
In some countries like France and Sweden, postpartum physical therapy is a common, routine practice where women see a physical therapist two to four times within eight weeks after childbirth for things such as pelvic strengthening exercises and lower back stabilization training.
PHRC physical therapy sessions include musculoskeletal examinations of the external and pelvic floor muscle groups, individualized home exercise programs, and assessments and corrections of Diastasis Recti (the separation of the rectus abdominus muscle).
Diastasis Recti is very common in pregnancies and according to PHRC it is a leading cause of pelvic floor dysfunction including incontinence, low back and pelvic pain, and prolapsed organs.
Women that have a cesarean section have even more reason to be cautious during recovery. A cesarean section can cause connective tissue restriction and myofascial pain in the abdominal muscles. This can contribute to urinary dysfunction, abdominal pain and dyspareunia (pain during intercourse). Myofascial pain is defined as muscle tenderness in a few millimeters in diameter in multiples areas in a muscle and muscle tissue.
In such cases, a physical therapist can help relax the contracted muscles with a myofascial release, which is a type of soft tissue therapy used to treat pain and restricted motion. Myofascial release therapists use manual therapy techniques to normalize the tight tissue and myofascial trigger points.
To read more about postpartum therapy read Prevent Pain with Pospartum Physical Therapy.
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