The female pelvic muscles are designed for childbirth. That said, it's not always an easy process. The changes our bodies make to accommodate our growing baby and the birth may result in pelvic pain and dysfunction. Physical Therapists specializing in pelvic muscle rehabilitation can be a vital part of "getting your body back".
Areas of dysfunction treated by physical therapy before and after childbirth
This is a separation of the abdominal muscles to allow for the growth of your belly. This usually resolves but if it doesn't it can lead to abdominal laxity and back pain due to poor core strength. By approximating the two sides of the muscles and leading you through a guided muscle strengthening program, these muscles can do a great job of getting "back together". Utilizing biofeedback we insure that you're engaging your muscles properly.
This is commonly used to enlarge the vaginal outlet. Complications may include impaired sensation or excess scar tissue that may result in vaginal tightness and pain. These tissues respond well to gentle progressive manual release techniques and modalities used by the physical therapy specialist.
(hip and leg pain) During pregnancy the body makes adaptations to allow room for the baby to grow. This creates a laxity in the sacroiliac joint. The sciatic nerve runs along this joint and the laxity may put stress on the nerve. Providing stabilization and muscle re-educations for this joint as your pregnancy progresses can often alleviate painful symptoms.
Urinary leakage with activity is often the result of weak pelvic muscles. Pelvic muscle contractions, Kegel's, work! They need to be done correctly and often. Having a therapist measure and guide these contractions with biofeedback is a great motivator and ensures you're off to the right start.
Pelvic organ prolapse:
A vital role of the pelvic muscles is to support our internal organs. This is really put to the test during and after pregnancy. This is the time to focus on these muscles. Learning how to engage and use your "pelvic core" is key to maintaining organ support through your life time.
Cesarean section scar:
3% of c-section and hernia scars result in pain that radiates into the groin and leg. This has to do with the nerves that run through the area. The scarring and nerve entrapment respond well to manual release work. The general rule is to wait about 6 weeks for the incision to heal before starting manual work.