Many pregnancies result in damage to the pelvic floor, which can cause a range of problems which are often ignored or even considered a normal part of life after birth. General obstetric and even midwife care in the United States often ends following a postpartum visit, and winds up overlooking ongoing issues like incontinence, pelvic and lower back pain, painful sex, or prolapse – and that’s not all.
Common symptoms following childbirth
The bad news is that these injuries to the pelvic floor after childbirth are very, very common.
It is a widely accepted fact that strenuous pushing and vaginal delivery can damage tissues already stressed by the weight of carrying a growing uterus, but did you know that births by C-section can also result in injuries to the pelvic floor?
Even when no pushing is involved in a birth, the pelvic floor is located close to the uterus and abdominal muscles and helps to support the entire area. The trauma of an abdominal surgery can disrupt the pelvic floor’s function, and the body’s natural instinct to protect itself from pain as it heals can further affect the ability of the pelvic floor to move as it should. Add these considerations to the possibility of already tensed or weakened muscles, and there is a good chance that postpartum pain or weakness will occur.
A C-section requires an incision, which as it heals can create scar tissue that attaches to other parts of the body. These adhesions limit the ability of muscles and organs to function and move on their own. This can lead to abdominal pain, bladder dysfunction, and bowel issues.
Physical therapy can help solve postpartum issues
The good news is that postpartum pelvic floor injuries can be treated by a physical therapist specializing in treating pelvic floor dysfunction.
Many people report postpartum incontinence up to months or even years after a birth. Lower back pain, pain with sexual activity, C-section scar pain, and pelvic organ prolapse are also often reported initially after birth as well as much later as activity increases.
We as a society have a tendency to ignore certain types of discomfort; sexual dysfunction and pelvic floor pain are often suffered in silence. There is no shame in getting help.
If you find yourself suffering from pain or incontinence following childbirth, you are not alone. Not only are you one of many people to experience these symptoms, you have the option of pelvic floor physical therapy with experienced physical therapists who have seen these conditions before and know how to improve them.
Physical therapy for pelvic floor dysfunction following C-section and vaginal delivery is safe and effective, and can help regain sensation, strength, and function.
John Barnes Myofascial Release is a technique that helps to untangle the fascial restrictions left by scarring and adhesions, improving flexibility and function. It can also improve the appearance of the scar and surrounding area. Body Restoration Physical Therapy specializes in this technique, which can be a great way to restore your body after a C-section.
To learn more, feel free to reach out to Body Restoration Physical Therapy, specializing in treating pelvic floor dysfunction, in Long Island, New York.