Conservative Solutions: Pregnancy Related Pelvic and Back Pain, Incontinence and Abdominal Muscle Separation
Women’s health physical therapy is an area of rehabilitation that specializes in the unique needs of women throughout their life cycle. Young female athletes, pregnant women (before, during and after) and women in their menopausal years all have specific needs and problems that can be treated with physical therapy.
Did you know?
• 24% of women have painful sex 18 months after childbirth.
• 50% of all women have pelvic organ prolapse
• Amongst women who report having urinary incontinence 3 months after childbirth, 76% still have it 12 years later.
• 60% of postpartum women have a separation of their abdominal muscles and 39% continue with abdominal issues 6 months later.
• Over 60% of women complain of back pain during pregnancy.
Pregnancy and Post Partum
Women experience many changes that affect their skeletal system during and after pregnancy. Normal increases in hormone levels contribute to loose joints and causes abdominal muscles to stretch. This can lead to pelvic instability. Pelvic instability, postural changes and poor body mechanics contribute:
• Low back pain
• Pubic symphysis separation/pelvic girdle pain
• Sacroiliac dysfunction
• Upper back pain
• Diastasis recti (abdominal muscle separation)
Urinary Incontinence is the involuntary leakage of urine. Over 13 million American’s suffer from this condition with more than 50% being middle-aged women.
Pelvic pain can present itself as vaginal pain, pain during sexual intercourse, painful bowel, bladder, or severe menstrual pain. Pelvic pain can stem from musculoskeletal dysfunctions of your spine, pelvic girdle or other conditions such as interstitial cystitis, endometriosis, and abdominal scar adhesions.
What To Expect During Therapy
A women’s health physical therapist will provide an evaluation and develop individualized treatment programs specific to your problems and goals. Treatments may include a combination of therapeutic exercises to strengthen and coordinate the muscles of the core: which encompass the pelvic floor, abdominals, hips and spine muscles. Other treatment options include: bladder training, education on bladder irritants and nutrition, manual therapy, trigger point dry needling, posture correction, visceral mobilization, functional training, EMG biofeedback and electrical stimulation.
Don’t continue to suffer with these painful and embarrassing conditions. A woman’s health physical therapist can help get you back to enjoying the activities you love.