Pregnancy creates many changes in one’s body. From the cellular level, walking mechanics, to pelvic floor, a lot can change over the course of pregnancy, and those changes last beyond giving birth.
While people do not hesitate to reach out to a physical therapist for low back pain after an injury, many are unaware of how physical therapy can be beneficial peri/postpartum.
Reasons for physical therapy during or after Pregnancy
Pelvic, hip, back pain, postural changes, altered gait (walking) mechanics, incontinence/ incontinence prevention, post-surgical/delivery scarring, muscle weakness or imbalances within the trunk (abdominal, back, and pelvic floor musculature), diastasis recti, pelvic floor organ prolapse, fluid retention, and managing other conditions while pregnant.
How can a Physical Therapist help with Pelvic Floor?
A physical therapist will complete an evaluation to best determine the course of treatment that is right for you.
- History; learning about your current medical status and pregnancy, past medical history (PMH), birth type, and exercises level.
- Physical Examination; testing your mobility, strength assessment, soft tissue examination, sensation testing, and may include an assessment of pelvic floor muscles.
From this evaluation the PT will help determine what exercises or techniques are appropriate for your symptoms / concerns.
What does treatment look like?
Exercises will vary depending on your specific condition, our goal is to educate you about your body, including the muscles and tissues that may be related to your pain. The PT will teach you how to properly and safely strengthen the muscles of your abdominals, pelvic floor, and surrounding areas.
This may include:
- Stabilization exercises- Learn how to properly engage your core as you move from sitting to standing or lifting your child. ·
- Breathing exercises- learning / relearning how to use your diaphragm most effectively.
- Postural Exercises- Strengthen specific muscles to improve posture and eliminate pain from breast feeding, sleeping, carrying your child, and pushing a stroller.
Pelvic Floor muscle training- improving the brain to muscle connection and strengthening to better support the pelvic floor organs.
Where can I get treatment?
At Elite Physical Therapy we have Physical Therapists with additional training into the specialty of pelvic floor health and women’s health. Bernadine Hoang PT DPT, at our North Tacoma clinic, and Keira Lathrop PT DPT ATC, at our Bonney Lake clinic. Speak to your PCP or OBGYN or a referral, or ask us about direct access.
We look forward to meeting you at one our clinics in Pierce County, and helping you reach your goals.
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