Delivering a baby is one of the most physically demanding processes a woman’s body will ever go through, and the trauma of childbirth can leave a new mother in pain for weeks or months after their birth of their child. While some of this pain subsides with time alone, pregnancy and childbirth results in a number of physical changes in a woman’s body that can lead to long term discomfort and pain if not properly treated. That’s where physical therapy comes in.
In many countries throughout the world, physical therapy appointments and consultations are actually required for mothers after they give birth. These appointments help determine where soreness and injuries exist, why these problems are present and how to best treat the physical challenges associated with childbirth. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at how we can help new mothers deal with postpartum pain through physical therapy.
What Can Physical Therapy Help With After Childbirth?
New mothers may experience a range of different sensations and pains in the wake of childbirth. We can help treat a collection of these issues, including but not limited to:
- Abdominal pain and muscle contractions
- Tailbone pain
- Back pain
- Hip pain
- SI joint dysfunction
- Pelvic floor pain
- Incontinence issues
- C-section related muscle development
- Postpartum depression
Ligaments, muscles and joints all shift and stretch during the birthing process, and this can lead to prolonged pain after childbirth. In order to put this pain in the past, you often need to do more than just let time pass. You need to actively strengthen key areas and work to stabilize areas that have become unstable or overly flexible due to the physical undertaking of childbirth. We can help to pinpoint areas of weakness and help you to become stronger than you were prior to your pregnancy.
Another oft-overlooked benefit of physical therapy after childbirth is its role in helping to reduce the risk that a new mother will become over-reliant on painkillers or opioids. Painkillers are oftentimes prescribed following physically demanding births or cesarean sections, and for many mothers it can help decrease pain when it’s most intense. However, statistics show that 1 in 100 women become consistent opioid users after childbirth, and that can create a number of long term health issues. Physical therapy has been shown to help effectively control pain and reduce the need for patients to continue painkillers in the long term. So not only can physical therapy help strengthen key areas of your body that have been affected by pregnancy and childbirth, but it can also reduce your risk of developing an unhealthy relationship with opioids after you’ve given birth.
Childbirth is a significant trauma on the body, and while you’re going to be pretty focused on the health of your child after they are born, it’s important that you don’t ignore your physical health in the days and weeks after childbirth. Physical therapy can help get you back to feeling like yourself sooner and decrease pain and discomfort associated with the birthing process. We have a dedicated staff of women’s care therapists who specialize in all things postpartum health, and we can help with all aspects of your physical recovery after childbirth. For more information, or to talk with a physical therapist about your recovery options, reach out to OrthoRehab Specialists today.