There are a lot of symptoms of pregnancy and birth that seem "normal" such as, back pain, pelvic pain, vaginal pain, leaking, etc. They are normal because most pregnant women experience such discomforts during and after their pregnancies, but while these discomforts are commonplace, they are not actually normal. You don't have to live through this pain nor should you be expected to just wait it out until the pain goes away. There is an alternaitve—physical therapy.
How Does Physical Therapy Help?
There are specific physical therapists trained in women's health that understand all too well the strain pregnancy puts on the body. Women's health PT works by targeting the pelvic floor and working towards eliminating the problems that occur after childbirth. Some of the many problems that new mothers face after childbirth are treated in therapy, these include, joint pain, vaginal pain, and incontinence (which refers to a loss of bladder control).
How Does Physical Therapy Work?
Therapy works by using techniques and exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles and nerves that were overexerted during pregnancy and childbirth. Every woman experiences childbirth differently, and after an initial assessment by your physical therapist, you'll be prescribed a set of corrective and strengthening exercises tailored to your body.
Your physical therapist will also use a hands-on approach to help eleviate pain and help you learn the proper exercises. Other treatments and methods of women's health therapy include ultrasound, electrical stimulation, heat, ice, and posture retraining.
Do You Really Need Physical Therapy?
That is ultimately up to you. No one knows your body better than yourself, and you may experience pains after childbirth as less taxing and therefore might not need physical therapy. However, for many women—especially woman already taking care of other children— the pain of childbirth can be prolonged and inconvenient. Time will eventually heal any scarring, tears, and pains from childbirth but without therapy, your body might not heal properly. Additionally, don't let doctors convince you into thinking that the pain you experience after childbirth is normal and "will go away on its own." Seek a second opinion and give PT a try.
If you would like to learn more about this and related topics, visit the Healthcare section of our blog.
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