Women's Health Prenatal & Postnatal Physical Therapy
What issues can a Physical Therapist address from the tools in our diaper bag?
● Abdominal pain caused by diastasis recti (separation of the Rectus Abdominis)
● Sacroiliac (SI) Joint pain or instability
● Pregnancy induced carpal tunnel resulting in numbness and tingling in the arm, wrist or hand
● Postural changes and subsequent issues
● Orthopedic pain - shoulder, neck, hip, knee, low back, pelvic and ankle
● Pelvic floor strengthening (externally)
● Spinal disorders ● Round Ligament pain
● Pubic Symphysis pain
● Coccydynia (Tailbone) Pain
● Temporomandibular Joint (Jaw) Pain
● Proper stretching to help prepare for various birthing positions & decrease risk for tearing
● Thoracic outlet syndrome - can result in pain in neck & shoulders or numbness in the fingers
● Plantar fasciitis
● Kinesio Taping (KT) for various conditions and pains
Bump & Belly Therapy (Prenatal)
Bump & Belly Therapy (Prenatal) Pregnancy is the ultimate test of strain on a woman’s body, with labor being one of the greatest marathons a woman will ever train for. Given this, a Women’s Health Physical Therapist should be the second doctor a woman contacts after her pregnancy has been confirmed. With the addition of a proactive women’s health-based physical therapy examination and early interventions, the additional stress and strain on both mom and baby can be dramatically reduced. An appropriate strengthening, stabilizing and stretching program designed by a Women’s Health Physical Therapist can help lessen or even prevent the challenges your body may experience during pregnancy and labor. This early intervention of physical therapy will assist in making both pregnancy and labor a positive experience, and provide you with a shorter recovery period. As reported, 50-70% of all expectant mothers’ experience back pain during their pregnancy. This typically stem from expected changes to the body; increased weight, increased stress, a change or increase in hormones, shifting of the body’s center of gravity due to postural changes, hypermobility and joint laxity, baseline strength of supportive muscles, and overall muscle lengthening ability (flexibility). These changes may also impact chest tightness due to forward posturing, neck pain, hip and knee pain from compensations made to maintain activity level and postural stability. As your pregnancy progresses, the change in position of the uterus and the size of the baby may also put additional stress and strain on the body. Benefits of proper exercise in pregnancy include improved cardiac function allowing for improved circulation and blood flow to both mother and baby, decreased risk for gestational diabetes and hypertension, appropriate weight gain and fat retention, improved mental state, and improved fitness to assist your body to prepare for labor.
The Mom Bod Therapy (Post Partum)
The Mom Bod Therapy (Post Partum) : A woman seeing a Physical Therapist after giving birth should be the new norm. After winning the Superbowl, would not the star play follow up with his physician or personal trainer the next day to ensure all is well within the body? So why is it that a woman receives, pending delivery, a brief six week check up and that is deemed to be sufficient? Her body changed, and grew another human for 9 months and then ran a marathon called labor to deliver said tiny bundle of joy. This inevitably takes a significant toll on our bodies. A woman does not have to experience symptoms initially to benefit from postpartum physical therapy. Ensuring proper strengthening and stabilizing of the core musculature can help limit further issues such as back pain, pain with intercourse, urination with sneezing or coughing, abdominal pain post c-section, diastasis recti, or simply a mom wanting to comfortably resume her normal activities. No matter if a mom is 3 days or 3 years post partum, a follow up with a Women’s Health Physical Therapist is in her best interest.
Bundle of Joy Therapy
Bundle of Joy Therapy ( Infant Therapy) Although every baby and child are perfect in their parent’s eyes, sometimes complications or challenges arise such as premature delivery or orthopedic injuries during delivery that can result in an infant having challenges that could benefit from a skilled Physical Therapist. Physical therapists can assist in areas such as education on carrying, holding and playing with baby, fostering appropriate positions to assist in proper developmental growth and achieving developmental milestones. Early therapy interventions for those infants in need can also assist in fostering developmental skills, educating on tummy time and assisting parents in finding alternative options to tummy time if this is a challenging position for baby. The lack of appropriate tummy time can result in motor delays such as sitting unsupported, crawling and walking along with shortening of the back and neck musculature resulting in postural compensations and further complications. At times when a baby arrives prematurely, their muscle tone and strength may also be impaired, thus early introduction to a Physical Therapist can limit the negative
effects of this and assist with achieving gross motor developmental goals in a timely manner. At times, due to positioning in the womb or a difficult birth, torticollis can result and be present at birth or present within the first three months of life. Torticollis results in shortening of the sternocleidomastoid neck muscle resulting in difficulty turning the baby’s head. Without proper interventions, this can impact progression of other gross motor developmental milestones.