In many countries, physical therapy evaluation is mandatory after childbirth. Physical therapy helps to identify impairments and restore normal muscle function in order to prevent future complications arising from pregnancy or delivery.
Symptoms may include, but not limited to:
- Painful intercourse
- Vaginal, rectal, or abdominal pain
- Scar tissue mobilization for C-section incisions, episiotomy, or perineal tearing.
- Urine and/or fecal leakage
- Urinary urgency/frequency
- Diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles)
- Back pain
- Sciatica, SI joint, hip, pubic symphysis, or tailbone pain
- Pelvic pressure/heaviness
- Colorectal dysfunction
- Decreased capacity for exercise
Postpartum Physical Therapy includes:
- Subjective history pertaining to past medical history, pregnancy and delivery, gynecologic surgeries, past injuries, current limitations, and overall goals.
- Education on anatomy of the pelvic floor
- External and internal (when appropriate) evaluation of the pelvic floor muscles to assess length, strength, trigger points, and motor control
- Evaluation of connective tissue and neural tension
- Postural, structural, and biomechanical evaluation
- Individualized exercise prescription
Childbirth is a beautiful process. Don't let pain, discomfort, or embarrassment keep you from enjoying this time.