Regardless of whether it’s scheduled and planned or doctors are forced to adjust their delivery plan on the fly, a cesarean section is a significant undertaking for a woman’s body. The process involves delivering a baby through an incision that is made in the abdomen and uterus, which means you’ll have tissue healing and scarring that will take place over the next few weeks. Most of your attention will be focused on your new baby during this time, but it’s also important that you care for your healing body and that you give it the best chance at a full recovery. According to a new study, that may be achieved with the help of a physical therapist.
PT After A C-Section
According to a new study out of the University of Missouri, women who received physical therapy after undergoing a c-section had significantly better outcomes than those who didn’t. For the study, researchers recruited 72 women who delivered by cesarean section. The women were divided into two groups, with 39 patients acting as a control group and 33 in the physical therapy group.
The control group received standard care in the hospital, which included a consultation with a physical therapist, written information about scar management and a suggested abdominal routine. 33 patients received six weeks of guided physical therapy, which included scar therapy and mobilization for their lower back, hip joints and certain soft tissues. They also received stretching routines, core stabilization and therapy exercises to perform on their own from home. Patients in both groups were asked to assess their pain, disability and exercise confidence at certain points throughout the course of the study.
At the end of the study, researchers found that patients who received physical therapy once or twice a week achieved substantially lower pain levels much quicker than patients who received the normal standard of care. Moreover, patients in the PT group also had higher patient satisfaction scores at both 14 weeks and six months after their cesarean section. Finally, patients in the PT group also expressed more self-reported ability to perform exercise at 14 weeks and at one year post-op compared to the control group.
We know that you have a lot on your plate in the wake of a c-section delivery, but you should really consider syncing up with a physical therapist if you just had a cesarean birth. Research shows that women who deliver this way are more than twice as likely to suffer from back and hip pain, and that’s not something that’s guaranteed to just eventually go away with time. You need to attack the problem of physical discomfort head on, and the best way to do that is with physical therapy.
At OrthoRehab Specialists, we have a specific aspect of our center dedicated to Women’s Health. Our physical therapists are specifically trained to understand the toll childbirth and a c-section has on the body, and how to spot imbalances and tissue injuries in patients who have delivered this way. This allows us to provide individualized care and help strengthen key structures that have been affected by the cesarean delivery. So if you’ve delivered a baby in this method and you want to get ahead of potential pain, or you’re struggling with a physical issue and want an expert to help, reach out to the talented team at OrthoRehab Specialists today.
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