Why Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?
The pelvic floor muscles support the growing baby during pregnancy, but during childbirth, the muscles relax and stretch to allow the baby to be born. Unfortunately, vaginal birth causes trauma to the pelvic floor muscles and may result in dysfunction. Sometimes, the symptoms may show up immediately, and sometimes they show in a woman’s later years.
Many people shy away from talking about pelvic floor dysfunction. But it is essential to get prompt treatment. This article explores pelvic floor therapy postpartum, including when to start and signs that you need treatment at Jackson County PT
What Is Pelvic Floor Therapy Postpartum?
Pelvic floor therapy postpartum is specialized care for women after birth. This form of physical therapy helps the pelvic floor muscles recover and gain strength after undergoing the stress of labor and childbirth. Women need to get pelvic floor therapy postpartum to prevent and treat pelvic floor dysfunction. Without prompt treatment, pelvic floor dysfunction can cause unpleasant symptoms.
When Should You Start Pelvic Floor Therapy Postpartum?
It is not advisable to start pelvic floor therapy postpartum immediately after birth. Instead, allow your body to heal for about six weeks after birth. At this time, the pelvic floor muscles would have regained enough strength for you to start therapy.
However, suppose you are experiencing pain in your pelvic area after birth. In that case, you can consult at PT at Jackson County PT, for an examination. Your PT can determine the best course of treatment that suits you.
What Are The Signs That You Need Pelvic Floor Therapy Postpartum?
Signs that you need pelvic floor therapy postpartum include pain during sex, incontinence, pelvic pain, and chronic constipation. If you notice these symptoms, pelvic floor PT, is essential.
Incontinence is the inability to control bowel or bladder movement. This symptom is often present with a frequent urge to defecate or urinate. Fecal or urinary incontinence is a sign of weak pelvic floor muscles.
Pain during sex
Dyspareunia refers to pain or discomfort during sex. Pelvic floor muscle weakness or tightness is a primary cause of pain during sex, especially after childbirth.
Pain in the pelvic region is another sign of pelvic floor dysfunction. For example, suppose you experience pain in your lower abdomen or pelvis or pain when urinating or defecating. In that case, you may have pelvic floor dysfunction.
Pelvic organ prolapse
Pelvic organ prolapse is when one or more pelvic organs (bladder, bowel, or uterus) descend and bulge into the vagina. The pelvic floor muscles hold the pelvic organs in place. Therefore, when the organs prolapse, it is a sign of weak pelvic floor muscles.
Difficulty passing stool can also result from pelvic floor dysfunction. When the pelvic floor muscles are too tight and unable to relax, it causes chronic constipation, making it difficult to pass stool.
Lower back pain
The pelvis provides support for the lower back. However, when the pelvic floor muscles are dysfunctional, the lower back muscles do not get enough support, resulting in pain.
Diastasis recti are the separation of the rectus abdominis muscles along the belly’s center. If you carry multiple or large babies or have a small stature, you are at a higher risk of diastasis. Besides a postpartum stomach pooch, diastasis recti can contribute to lower back pain, urine leaks, and constipation.
You must visit your physiotherapist if you experience any of the symptoms below postpartum. Your physiotherapist can diagnose the problem and create a customized treatment plan to relieve your symptoms and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
What Happens During Pelvic Floor Therapy Postpartum?
Pelvic floor therapy postpartum consists of several treatment techniques to help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Before prescribing treatment, your PT will examine your symptoms and perform an external and internal exam. After diagnosing the cause and symptoms, your physiotherapist will recommend a suitable treatment plan.
A pelvic floor therapy postpartum treatment plan may include the following:
Manual Therapy is a hands-on treatment that the PT can use to mobilize and manipulate the pelvic floor muscles. Your PT will gently massage and release trigger points – trigger points are small, tight muscle fibers that cause pain.
Although massage therapy may feel uncomfortable, your PT will be very gentle and communicate with you every step of the way, and adadapt to your needs.
Your PT will recommend specific exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. You will also learn how to identify various muscles and carry out the exercises that target these muscles safely at home. Your physiotherapist may also teach you relaxation techniques, including yoga poses and breathing exercises that can help improve your posture and relieve pain.
Furthermore, depending on your condition, your physiotherapist may recommend kegel exercises. You will also learn how to do the exercises safely and correctly. Kegel exercises involve contracting and relaxing pelvic floor muscles to improve strength and function.
Biofeedback requires a device that measures and gives you feedback on the strength of your pelvic floor muscles. This treatment method is often used alongside pelvic floor exercises. When you contract and relax your pelvic floor muscles, the device displays information about muscle activity. With this treatment method, you can use the correct muscles, strengthening them and decreasing pain.
What Happens If You Don’t Get Pelvic Floor Therapy Postpartum?
Without proper treatment postpartum, you may develop pelvic floor dysfunction. Pelvic floor dysfunction presents unpleasant symptoms that can contribute to chronic pelvic pain syndrome and impact the quality of your life.
You can visit your physical therapist at Jackson County PT, for an examination and a proper treatment plan to suit your needs.
Can You Get Pelvic Floor Therapy Postpartum If You Had A C-Section?
Yes, pelvic floor therapy postpartum is also ideal for C-section moms. Although C-section does not add the same degree of trauma to the pelvic floor muscles as vaginal birth, the incisions can cause scar tissue formation. This scar tissue can lead to pelvic pain and discomfort. Your PT will examine your symptoms and condition to create a customized treatment plan to improve your pelvic health.
What Are The Best Pelvic Floor Therapy Postpartum Exercises?
Your physical therapist will recommend the best exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. There are several effective options, customized to each individual’s needs.
If you are looking for help, call us at 541-776-2333 to get scheduled with one of the Pelvic Floor Specialists at Jackson County Physical Therapy.